What is the Engineering Academic Challenge?

The Engineering Academic Challenge is an immersive, 7-week interactive problem solving competition for students to learn core research skills in context of transdisciplinary themes, inspired by the National Academy of Engineering Grand Challenges of the 21st Century. A new Challenge will be available weekly on Monday 9.00 am CEST / 3.00 am EDST for 7 weeks, and you will be asked to search for and submit your answers. Your Challenge is to answer all of the questions correctly with the highest accuracy of that week’s participants.

What important technical things do I need to know?

  • Make sure not to use the Back/Forward/Refresh options of your browser. Once you do this, the challenge will be closed and you are not able to finish this weeks challenge.
  • The Challenge cannot be played on a mobile phone or tablet. Make sure you're using a laptop or desktop to play.
  • Please use Google Chrome as your default browser as Internet Explorer does not support the Challenge completely.
  • You have 60 minutes to play each challenge
  • If you encounter any problems, please send an e-mail towards eac@elsevier.com
  • If your school has a EV subscription, you will be asked to choose an organization when you want to search in EV (see image below). To make sure you have access to all content sources used in the Challenge, choose the bottom one, named "Engineering Academic Challenge Access, TICURL Access'.

    EV Organization choiceTekengebied 1

Which themes are covered in the Engineering Academic Challenge?

This year's challenge covers 5 new themes inspired by the National Academy of Engineering Grand Challenges of the 21st Century. These themes are: 

  • Engineer the Tools of Scientific Discovery
  • Restore and Improve Urban Infrastructure
  • Provide Access to Clean Water
  • Engineer Virtual Reality 
  • Engineer Better Robots

How do I participate?

Get your Engineering Academic Challenge credentials by registering through www.elsevier.com/eac. During your registration, you will be asked to pick your institution from a drop-down list. Make sure you pick the institution where you are enrolled, and register with the email account associated to your university. If you can’t find your institution in the list, please add it to the field "Other" in the dropdown list.

Once you have registered you will receive a confirmation email with a link to activate your EAC account. If you do not receive this email, please check your spam folder as it may have been blocked by your server. If you played EAC 2016 or Spring edition 2017, please use these credentials to log in. If you forgot your password, you can reset it by requesting a new password in the login screen.

Who has to register and why?

Registration is open to all engineering students, librarians, professors and deans from all academic institutions.

I’m a librarian and I want to promote the EAC, do I have to register?

You don’t have to register if you only want to promote the EAC, the EAC librarian toolkit will be provided. An example of the previous edition can be downloaded here. We do recommend registering, because once you are registered, you are able to follow the progress of all players. See which of your students climb to the ranks of the leaderboard, and how your institution performs compared to other institutions from all over the world.

I’m a librarian and I want to organize and event. How?

If you want to organize an event for your students to play, just download the EAC librarian toolkit and check the Best Practices pdf on How to Organize an Event. It gives useful tips to get started. Elsevier can provide you with give-aways and tips. Please contact us at eac@elsevier.com

Why should our faculty join the Challenge?

Daniel Christe from Drexel University tells a lot on game-based learning  in a webinar which was held on March 27, 2017. The webinar contains demos and an explanation of the value of the EAC to students, faculty librarians and educators. View the recording. Learn how active learning can be brought to life in your classrooms in a webinar by our STEM Learning Strategist Daniel Christe on September 7th, 10.00 AM EST. Click here to register. Daniel will join us again on September 14th, 10:00 AM EST for a detailed walkthrough of the Engineering Academic Challenge. Click here to register.

Can I form a team to play the Engineering Academic Challenge?

Yes you can. After you have registered, you can create a team and invite four other fellow students to join your team. This can be students from your own faculty, but you can also invite engineering students from other faculties all over the world. Your scores combined make your team score. 

Is there a prize for the best team?

There's no prize for the best team, only the honor. Team scores will be displayed in the leader board, so you can see how your team performs compared to other teams from all over the world. 

When did the Challenge begin and when will new Challenges be posted?

  • The first Challenge begins on Monday, September 18, 2017, at 9am CET / 3am EST.
  • Every week the Challenge ends on Sunday, at 23pm CET / 17am EST.
  • All subsequent Challenges will be posted on Monday at 9am CET / 3am EST.


How does the Engineering Academic Challenge work?

  • A new Challenge will be posted each week. After you log-in, the current Challenge will be presented. You will need to answer all the questions in the Challenge before the next Challenge is posted.
  • Read the question, and then click the button to search for your answer in Knovel or Engineering Village.
  • Use the navigation of the challenge to get back to the question & answers.
  • Choose and submit your answer and repeat this for the other 4 questions.
  • If you need help with how the Challenge works, click the question mark at the bottom of the page and instructions will be provided. Click the question mark again to return to the Challenge page. For more information, check the demo in the broadcasted webinar.


How many questions will I need to answer?

Every Challenge has five scenarios with several questions.

What search tool(s) can I use?

Free access to Engineering Village’s Compendex database and Knovel is provided to every participant; you will not be able to access any other search tools from within the Challenge platform.

How do I search for and answer questions?

Once you begin a Challenge, you’ll notice a Knovel or Engineering Village button on the upper right that opens that platform where you can conduct your research. In order to answer a question you must have conducted your search within the Knovel or Engineering Village Compendex tool. Once you have found the answer you want to submit, click on “Back to Challenge” and submit your answer.

What happens after I submit the answer to the last question of a Challenge?

You will see a screen that provides feedback on your accuracy. 

Can I compete as an individual or as part of a team?

You can play the Engineering Academic Challenge individually and as part of a team (with 3 to 5 players).

Will there be winners?

Yes. For each Challenge, the 3 participants with the highest scores will be that week’s winners.The students with the highest accumulation of points at the end of The Challenge, will be the Challenge winner. 

How does scoring work?

Players will be awarded 100 points for every correct answer. You have 60 minutes to play each challenge. Whatever time is remaining from the 60 minutes at submission will be added in points to your challenge score. Additional point are given when you participate in the optional design challenge.

How do I know what my score is?

After you complete the Challenge, you will see your points & correct answers for that Challenge immediately. You'll also be able to see your individual and cumulative Challenge scores on the Leaderboard after each Challenge.

How will I know if I win?

Your username and uploaded photo will be posted on the leader board, and you will be mentioned in the weekly EAC email and social media updates.

What do I get if I win?

  • For Weekly winners: get in the top 3 and receive a: 1. $50 /  2. $30 / 3. $20  Amazon gift card

  • 1st Place Grand Prize: get the highest accumulation of points at the end of The Challenge and receive $100 Amazon gift card, 2nd Place Grand Prize: $60 Amazon gift card, 3rd Place Grand: $40 Prize Amazon gift card

  • Winner design challenge: $100 Amazon gift card

Who makes the questions for the Engineering Academic Challenge?

The challenge is developed by a team of three engineering students and an engineering librarian, Jay Bhatt at Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA. Lead designer is Daniel Christe, Research Associate - Drexel Mechanical Engineering and Innovation Advisor to Elsevier.