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GE Aerospace and University of Cincinnati Celebrate Inaugural Next Engineers Academy Class

May 13, 2024

Cincinnati, Ohio — May 13, 2024 —Next Engineers, a global college- and career- readiness program working to increase the diversity of young people in engineering, celebrated the graduation of its first-ever Engineering Academy students last week. 

The 45 students from the Cincinnati-area who completed the program – many of whom plan to enroll as engineering students at the University of Cincinnati this fall – were joined by family and friends at the University of Cincinnati for a celebration to honor their achievements. The University of Cincinnati is the GE Aerospace Foundation’s educational partner for the local Next Engineers program which was established by the GE Foundation in 2021. 

“These students have committed three years and more than 200 hours to learning about engineering concepts, designing prototypes and solving complex problems,” said GE Aerospace Chairman and CEO H. Lawrence Culp, Jr. “These graduates carry with them the legacy of Next Engineers as they continue on in their educational journey.” 

Students who complete the Engineering Academy program and enroll in a qualified engineering or engineering-related degree program receive scholarships to support their education towards becoming engineers. To date, the Next Engineers program has reached more than 18,000 students globally.

The Next Engineers: Engineering Academy is a transformative learning experience designed for students aged 15 to 18. Through a rigorous curriculum, immersive design challenges, and career coaching, participants learn to think and act like engineers. The program is supported by local partners, like the University of Cincinnati, to equip youth with the skills they need to build an engineering identity and pursue successful careers in engineering fields. 

“Through the Next Engineers program, we are not just shaping young minds, but empowering them to shape the future of engineering,” said Whitney Gaskins, Associate Dean of the University of Cincinnati’s College of Engineering and Applied Science. “These graduates exemplify the dedication and potential of our youth, and I have no doubt they will continue to inspire and innovate as they embark on their engineering journeys.”  

Following the separation of GE into three independent public companies, the recently launched GE Aerospace Foundation announced it will continue the Next Engineers program by committing an additional $20 million through 2030 to expand the program globally to four new locations, including Warsaw, Poland, and extend the successful Cincinnati program through 2028.

Key program highlights:

  • Dedication: The Engineering Academy spans three years, with students dedicating 220 hours outside of regular school hours to participate.
  • Design challenges: In small teams, students tackle increasingly complex design challenges, mastering the engineering design process.
  • Foundational skills: Beyond technical knowledge, students develop essential skills such as communication, teamwork, persistence, time management, and presentation abilities.
  • Education and career exploration: Workshops and activities prepare students for their next steps, including university campus tours and interactions with company volunteers.
  • Scholarships: Students who complete the program and enroll in post-secondary engineering degree programs receive scholarships from the GE Foundation.

For more information about Next Engineers and the Engineering Academy, visit




About Next Engineers

Next Engineers, a program funded by the GE Foundation, now known as the GE Aerospace Foundation following the separation of GE into three independent public companies, is a college and career readiness program dedicated to inspiring and preparing the next generation of engineers. Through innovative programs, mentorship, and community partnerships, we empower young minds to shape a better future through engineering. 

About the GE Aerospace Foundation

The GE Aerospace Foundation, an independent charitable organization funded by GE Aerospace, complements the company’s purpose to “lift people up” in communities where employees live and work around the world. The Foundation’s philanthropic strategy and programs focus on engineering education, workforce development, and disaster relief.  We also support GE Aerospace employees through programs such as Matching Gifts and STAR Awards.  When GE Aerospace launched as an independent company in 2024, the GE Foundation was relaunched as the GE Aerospace Foundation, commencing a new chapter that builds on the successful, 100+ year legacy of the previous GE Foundation.