Sarah Brownell Headshot

Sarah Brownell

Senior Lecturer
Department of Engineering Leadership
Kate Gleason College of Engineering

585-475-4076
Office Location

Sarah Brownell

Senior Lecturer
Department of Engineering Leadership
Kate Gleason College of Engineering

585-475-4076

Currently Teaching

ITDL-205
3 Credits
We face grand challenges in the 21st century that will test our collective intelligence and resourcefulness — global change, new diseases, the need for access to clean water, technological developments that are changing us and our relation to the world. We have the opportunity to transform our future through innovation and leadership, but we need to improve our critical thinking, innovate towards possible solutions, and work across disciplines to meet these common challenges. This course is therefore open to all students with the curiosity, imagination, and commitment to meet such challenges. We need engineers, scientists, public policy specialists, and humanists — individuals from every field of study and endeavor –– to contribute to global efforts to meet these challenges. One of the most important challenges of our time — and one identified by the National Academy of Engineers as among fourteen Grand Challenges— is that of providing access to clean water to people across the globe. This course focuses on this grand challenge though interdisciplinary links between the liberal arts and engineering. Students will work in teams to analyze the scope of the clean water problem, examine real case studies, trouble shoot observed problems, and propose alternative solutions. Given the social and cultural contexts within which the need for clean water access arises, this course encourages students to think holistically about sustainable solutions rather than narrowly about the technical quick fix.
STSO-489
1 - 6 Credits
This course will focus on a special problem or topical area in the field of STS. Topics and specific content and methods vary from year to year or Semester to Semester. This course may count for minors and immersions with the permission of the Department. The STS Department Chair and individual instructors may be contacted for details.
EGEN-250
1 Credits
Did you choose an engineering degree because you want to make a difference in the world? From protecting public health and the environment to improving education, security and wellbeing, humanity faces dire challenges as well as exciting opportunities to improve life in the 21st Century. This course will explore how engineers, working in concert with other disciplines, can play an important role in addressing such Grand Challenges and how RIT faculty and students are already making progress. You will learn how you too can start building a better future in the Grand Challenges Scholars Program even while you are still completing your undergraduate degree! Using the global initiatives of the National Academy of Engineering's 'Grand Challenges' Program and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals for direction, the course seeks to broaden students' vision of technological problem solving, explore how engineers/scientists can participate in meeting key societal needs, and introduce some of the social and ethical questions that must also be considered. Seminars by campus and local experts will expose students to the challenges and the interdisciplinary approaches required to address them. Opportunities available on campus for students to meet the five Grand Challenges Competencies will be presented along with examples of work from graduating scholars. As part of the course, students will generate all the materials required for an application to the RIT Grand Challenges Scholars Program, and if they wish, they may submit them for consideration for program entry at the end of the course.

In the News

  • December 15, 2019

    student presenting poster.

    Students address challenges in RIT Grand Challenges Scholars Program

    Ridding waterways of microplastics, delivering water to remote villages experiencing drought, and better ways to remove salt from water were just a few of the clean-water research projects recently presented by undergraduate students as part of RIT’s Grand Challenge Scholars program.