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A new cross-disciplinary first-year course, ldquoIntroduction to Societypsilas Engineering Grand Challenges,rdquo has been developed as part of a college-wide initiative at the University of Wisconsin-Madison to transform undergraduate engineering education for 2010 and beyond. The inspiration for developing this new course was the National Academy of Engineeringpsilas ldquoEngineering Grand Challengesrdquo project. By emphasizing humanitarian applications in an introductory engineering course, we expect to not only inspire future generations of engineers and show students how the skills they will be learning can have a positive impact on quality of life, but also encourage more women to pursue engineering degrees. The course consists of an introductory module followed by two theme-based modules of the studentpsilas choosing, selected from the following themes: ldquoEngineering challenges that impact our lives on a personal scale,rdquo ldquoEngineering for the developing world,rdquo ldquoEngineering the megacity,rdquo ldquoGlobal engineering challenges,rdquo and ldquoEngineering beyond Planet Earth.rdquo The team-taught course is being offered for the first time in the spring of 2008. This paper presents an overview of the course, the expected outcomes, and the preliminary results from a survey-based assessment tool.