Online Engineering Grand Challenges

FSE 150 - Perspectives on Grand Challenges for Engineering


Are you excited about new technologies that impact every facet of our lives? Are you concerned about the many problems, big or small, faced by our communities on planet earth, and want to help? This course is for you! This course will provide you with opportunities to explore the global challenges facing society, and to learn about how engineers are making an effort to address these challenges. It will serve as a first step to prepare you to become a well rounded Engineer who is ready to tackle these challenges.

Read more

Course prerequisites and requirements

To be successful in this course, we recommend English language fluency and computer literacy. We also encourage you to make sure your laptop or desktop computer meets the technical requirements.

Quick facts

  • Credits: 3
  • Length: 8 weeks
  • Cost: $25 + $400

What you’ll learn

  • Develop an interdisciplinary understanding of the global engineering Grand Challenges that human societies face in the 21st century
  • Describe the NAE Grand Challenges themes, and learn about ongoing research in all Grand Challenge theme areas
  • Identify opportunities to create added value in the Grand Challenge areas, and apply customer focused design and an entrepreneurial mindset to conceptualize a potential future solution
  • Interpret why (and in what ways) a technology or design solution adds value from multiple perspectives (technological, sociocultural, economic, environmental, global, etc.), and describe a design solution in terms of its societal value (as well as its technical features and function)
  • Demonstrate an awareness of societal issues (e.g. sociocultural, political, economic, environmental) that influence and/or constrain engineering solutions

What to expect in class

Video lectures, readings, projects, graded activities, discussions, an ePortfolio, and optional live meetings with the instructor

Exams and grading


Projects (2)




Activities (15)


Graded Discussions


This course appears on your transcript identically to how it appears on the transcript of an enrolled ASU student who has taken the course on one of ASU’s campuses. Course attendance dates will be listed on your transcript. A self paced course will appear on your transcript in the session you complete the course.

This course satisfies 3 credit hours toward the Social-Behavioral Sciences (SB) General Studies requirement at Arizona State University. This course is also a required component of the National Academy of Engineering Grand Challenge Scholars Program at ASU. It is strongly encouraged that you consult with your institution of choice to determine how these credits will be applied to their degree requirements prior to transferring your credit.

Faculty and course staff




Associate Teaching Professor,

Engineering Academic & Student Affairs

Arizona State University

Read bio



Associate Teaching Professor,

Engineering Academic & Student Affairs

Arizona State University

Read bio

Why take ASU Universal Learner Courses

  1. Credit you receive is from a regionally accredited university
  2. Your credit is highly transferable
  3. You only pay the $400 course cost if you pass

Related programs

Online BS Electrical Engineering

Online BA Mechanical Engineering

Online MSE Sustainable Engineering