Global Grand Challenges Short Video Competition

US Global Grand Challenges Summit Video Contest Winners Announced

The first-place winner of the US Global Grand Challenges Summit Video Contest is Katie Speights, a chemical engineering student at the University of Texas at Austin.

Runner-up videos included submissions from students at Washington University, Duke University, the University of Pittsburgh, and Pennsylvania State University.

The judging panel consisted of Li-Te Cheng (Google), Lizabeth Fogel (The Walt Disney Company), Larry Johnson (New Media Consortium), and Beau Lewis (Seedwell).

Sponsored by:

IBM logo                    Genentech logo

First Place Video:

The Water Energy Nexus

by Katie Speights, The University of Texas at Austin


Description: This video examines the relationship between water and energy, challenging the idea that the water crisis is just a problem of clean drinking water. Here, the crisis is explained as an interdisciplinary problem with ample opportunities for unique solutions. It is shown that although engineers play a vital role in the development of these improvements, we ultimately need help from others to create lasting solutions.



Engineering Urban Infrastructure

by Washington University McKelvey Scholars


Description: The Washington University McKelvey Scholars and friends are always ready to spread engineering. This time, it is to an original parody of Call Me Maybe - highlighting the importance of engineering, its interdisciplinary nature, and relating it to urban infrastructure. Our goal is to show the value of engineering through fun, entertaining ways in hopes of encouraging younger members across all communities to consider engineering in their future.


We Build Things

by Hunter Douglas, Duke University


Description: A short animated exploration of the role of engineers in tackling major global issues; turning ideas into reality.


Brain Computer Interface (Reverse-Engineering the Brain) : NAE Grand Challenges

by Karuna Relwani and TJ Collanto, University of Pittsburgh


Description: Intracortical microelectrode arrays that capture neuron signals with greater resolution and prosthetic limbs capable of higher degrees of motion have enabled McGowan Institute engineers and UPMC doctors to develop advanced BCI algorithms. Through increasingly sophisticated feedback loops, they have linked cognitive thought and action with greater precision. This research is not only fundamental to reverse-engineering the brain, but its applications strengthen existing damaged neurons. Most impressive, though, is the BCI’s ability to recreate human interaction.


PSU HESE Affordable Greenhouse Venture

by Shayne Bement, Curtis Eckard, and Arianna De Reus, Ernie Lehman, Pennsylvania State University