American Universities offer Scholarship for Engineering Students

    12 March, 2014


    From VOA Learning English, this is the Education Report.

    American colleges and universities have a new program to give foreign engineering students a chance to study and work in the United States. It is called the Charles M. Vest Grand Challenges for Engineering International Scholarship Program. The Grand Challenges are 14 big problems that could be solved by engineers in the 21st century. They include making energy from the sun more economical, providing more clean water, preventing nuclear terror and making better medicines.

    Eight American universities each offered one Vest Scholarship in 2014. Richard Miller is the president of Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering in Massachusetts. He talks about the type of Vest Scholars Olin College is seeking.

    "Because that is to try to find very highly gifted individuals who are likely to make a difference in their generation. They are up-and-comers. People who are in graduate school now, who have visions to make a difference on a large scale. We believe that the next generation in order to achieve that vision are going to have to work across the globe," said Miller.

    The first class of Vest Scholars has already been selected. Applicants must propose a one-year research and study plan connected to one of the Grand Challenges. Applications for the next class are being accepted now at

    Another program for young foreign engineers is Frontiers of Engineering, organized by the National Academy of Engineering. Young engineers from 30 to 45 years old come together to listen to presentations about the newest developments in all types of engineering.

    Two engineers who study earthquakes in the United States and India met at a Frontiers of Engineering meeting in the United States in 2012. Nicolas Luco with the United States Geological Survey talked about designing nuclear power plants that can withstand earthquakes.

    "Make sure that you design for some ground motion that has the small chance of happening. We want to be pretty conservative. But this newer method goes beyond that, says we want to really be able to qualify what is the chance of damage to the power plant," said Luco.

    C.S. Manohar is an engineer from Bangalore, India, who listened to Mr.Lugo and invited him to come to India. Both of these engineers want stronger building rules to deal with the risk of earthquakes in all buildings, not just nuclear power plants. These engineers are now looking for money to pay for further cooperation.

    Building awareness and connections is what the Frontiers of Engineering Program is all about. The Frontiers of Engineering meetings are planned for and by younger engineers. There is a meeting in India in May, one in Japan in June and one in California in September.

    This has been the Learning English Education Report. I'm Karen Leggett.