The National Academy of Engineering (NAE) has established a vision for the engineer of 2020 (E2020). These engineers will be engaged in activities such as shaping public policy, leading public debate on the use of technology for the betterment of society, and working across disciplines and around the world to help our nation remain economically competitive and to improve the quality of life for people everywhere.

In order to prepare the engineers of 2020, higher education must focus on providing learning and developmental opportunities consistent with the four “pillars” of the NAE E2020 vision. These pillars are:

  • Leadership
  • Systems Thinking
  • Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  • Global Awareness and Understanding


The E2020 Scholars Program provided scholarships for cohorts of undergraduate engineering students within the college’s established learning community infrastructure, giving specific attention to the aspirations and attributes of the NAE’s vision for the engineer of 2020. The program promoted student engagement and development through both curricular and co-curricular activities centered on these E2020 outcomes: leadership development, global awareness and understanding, systems thinking, and innovation.


The E2020 Scholars Program pursues the goals of the S-STEM program through four objectives:

  • Provide opportunities of the Engineering Leadership Program to greater numbers of students and create learning outcomes consistent with the E2020 vision.
  • Engage students in new learning opportunities through cohorts and communities focusing on E2020 concepts.
  • Involve greater numbers of students in the Engineering Leadership Program and use E2020 scholarships in coordination with new programs being developed in a related NSF STEP grant.
  • Use the E2020 focus in coordination with the NSF STEP grant to prepare more graduates to fulfill the NAE and college vision.


The E2020 logo graphically represents each “pillar” of the E2020 program.

Star: Leadership
Arrow: Systems Thinking
Exclamation: Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Circle: Global Awareness and Understanding

Features of the program are captured in the symbology of the graphical design elements: going outside the box represents breaking barriers, while the circle inside the box means keeping the world safe; imperfect squares represent that each student is unique, and there are different paths; and the shading variations represent depth in student development.