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CCEE student Emily Boldor named Grand Challenges Scholar 

Emily (Emi) Boldor

CCEE freshman Emily (Emi) Boldor was tapped as a National Academy of Engineering (NAE) Grand Challenges Scholar by the College of Engineering and Office of Academic Affairs. 

“I was so excited and honored to be recognized as a Grand Challenge Scholar,” Boldor said. “I am looking forward to being a part of a community of fellow Grand Challenge Scholars that have the same desire to help improve the world one challenge at a time.”

The Grand Challenges Scholars Program (GCSP) was inspired by the National Academy of Engineering’s 14 Grand Challenges for Engineering and increasingly calls for a new engineering education paradigm. The NAE lists the challenges as a call to action and a way to focus society’s attention on opportunities and challenges affecting quality of life. The 14 grand challenges fall into the categories of sustainability, health, security and joyful living. The program was endorsed by the National Academy of Engineering in February 2009 and has now been implemented at more than 40 engineering schools around the world. 

The NC State Grand Challenges Scholars Program has a list of five competencies that a student must achieve as part of the program: talent, multidisciplinary, multicultural, entrepreneurship and viable business model, and social consciousness. Scholars are required to expand their educational experience through activities related to the five competencies such as completing mentored research related to their chosen Grand Challenge, participating in study abroad programs, engaging with the community through service opportunities and more. 

CCEE professor Dr. George List will serve as Boldor’s advisor for the program. 

“Emi is very bright, highly motivated, energetic and has a very positive attitude,” List said. “She is interested in learning and exploring new intellectual topics.”

Boldor first learned about the engineering grand challenges in an introductory class for all first-year engineering students. The challenge she wants to focus on is “restore and improve urban infrastructure.”

“Growing up, I experienced the effects of natural disasters on infrastructure first-hand,” said Boldor, who grew up in Romania and Louisiana. “It led me to want to be a part of a group of engineers that focus not only on disaster relief, but disaster prevention in the first place, by working with infrastructure in urban areas. Restoring and improving infrastructure plays a key part in ensuring that loss of life due to natural disasters can be minimized.”

Boldor said she wants to participate in research that has a direct correlation with restoring and improving infrastructure.

“I plan to attend graduate school, and having research experience will prepare me to do well in a field that I am passionate about,” she said.

In addition to being a Grand Challenges Scholar, Boldor, who is double majoring in civil engineering and international studies, is a Park Scholar and a Benjamin Franklin Scholar. She serves as fundraising director for the NC State chapter of Engineers Without Borders, an analytics team committee member for the NC State Engineering Career Fair, and a part of the logistics teams for both Service Raleigh and the Krispy Kreme Challenge.