April 2004 Newsletter

In this issue:

From The Dean
"Schools of Engineering" Changes to "College of Engineering"
Dean Katehi

I'm pleased to report that on April 9, Purdue's Board of Trustees approved a request to rename the Schools of Engineering the "College of Engineering," effective immediately. Our Engineering leadership asked for this name change for a number of reasons: Whereas in the past the Schools of Engineering have emphasized decentralized, independent engineering disciplines, our approach for success in the 21st century, as laid out in our strategic plan, is collaboration, interdisciplinary work, and shared goals among the engineering schools. We've also found over the years that the label "Schools of Engineering" is confusing to our external constituents, a situation that leads to poor name recognition and the sense that engineering at Purdue is a collection of disciplines rather than an integrated unit.

Before proposing the name change, we consulted with members of our external Engineering Visiting Committee, the members of the Engineering Alumni Association, key engineering alums, the broad engineering faculty and staff, and student organization leadership, and we found that all our constituencies expressed support for the change.

In light of our strategic plan, our signature areas for research and education, and our upcoming campaign for name branding and name recognition, I believe that the change to "College of Engineering" symbolizes Purdue Engineering's commitment to multidisciplinary collaborations in discovery, learning, and engagement. I hope you'll join me in spreading the word!

Linda P.B. Katehi

An Engineering First: Department of Engineering Education Created at Purdue

The first of its kind in the nation, Purdue's new Department of Engineering Education hopes to attract young students to engineering while researching the ways they learn. The department, approved by the Board of Trustees on April 9, will combine the Department of Freshman Engineering and the Division of Interdisciplinary Engineering.

The initiative is aimed not only at increasing student interest but also at responding to the projected demand for more engineering professionals. In the future, the Department of Engineering Education plans to offer graduate degrees for students studying the science of learning and other topics in engineering education. Engineering education reforms have been called for not only by engineers at Purdue but also by leaders in the field from around the country, including the American Society for Engineering Education, the National Research Council, and the National Academy of Engineering.

Kamyar Haghighi, a professor of agricultural and biological engineering and the head of the former Department of Freshman Engineering, will lead the new department. "It's imperative to strengthen the pipeline to K-12 education," he says. "Part of that is to perform research that will help us understand how best to teach engineering concepts to a wider variety of students, increasing the pool of students who will be both prepared for and interested in a career in the field."

The Department of Engineering Education will initially focus on research and outreach programs while maintaining programming for first-year engineering students enrolled at Purdue. By 2006, Haghighi expects to have a program in place for educating certified high school teachers with an emphasis in engineering.

For more information, see http://news.uns.purdue.edu/UNS/html3month/2004/040409.BOT.enged.html.

Purdue Engineering Advances to No. 8 in U.S. News Rankings

U.S.News & World Report

U.S.News & World Report's annual survey of graduate schools ranks Purdue Engineering eighth in the country (up one from last year's No. 9 position), with several specialty programs ranking among the top 10. In a separate survey, employers ranked the Purdue Engineering 10th nationally. Individual Purdue program specialties rankings are:

  • Industrial engineering, 3rd
  • Aerospace, aeronautical and astronautical engineering, 6th
  • Civil engineering, 7th
  • Mechanical engineering, 7th
  • Computer engineering, 9th
  • Electrical engineering, 9th
  • Chemical engineering, 16th
  • Materials engineering, 16th

For more information, see http://news.uns.purdue.edu/UNS/html3month/2004/040402.Katehi.usnews04.html

2004 DEAs Honored April 16

The 41st annual Distinguished Engineering Alumni Convocation, held April 16, honored 11 outstanding graduates who have distinguished themselves in professional and related endeavors. We're pleased to feature this year's honorees here:

Front: John A. Brighton, BSME ’59, MSME ’60, PhD ’63; Emily M. Liggett, BSChE ’77.

Middle: James S. Kahan, BSEE ’69; Lloyd M. Robeson, BSChE ’64; John M. Storm, BSMetE ’77; Dean Katehi; Jerry L. Ross, BSME ’70, MSME ’72; William Lyles, BSCE ’55.

Back: Robert D. Shadley, BSIE ’65, MSIE ’66; Chris G. Whipple, BSES ’70; Stephen S. Schwartz, BSEE ’81, MSEE ’82, PhD ’85; Hank Queen, BSAE ’74 (not pictured).

Alumni Achievements:
Garth Gathers and Jeff Niemeier Receive 2003 Lilly Engineering Excellence Awards

Garth Gathers (BSEE '85) and Jeff Niemeier (BSChE '82) of Eli Lilly and Company have received the 2003 Lilly Engineering Excellence Award, that company's highest award for engineers.

Gathers, associate engineering consultant for process control engineering, has used his grasp of technology to touch all corners of Lilly's manufacturing world--bulk, biotech, dry products, parenterals, packaging, development, utilities, and environmental control. He has mastered the details of process control and instrumentation, its applications, and associated business processes for success throughout the life cycle. He mentored new engineers and, by showing a dedication to excellence, earned the respect of customers.

Niemeier, engineering consultant for development engineering, founded Lilly's Chemical Hazards Lab, which provides hazards testing and consultation services. He led the effort to build the lab into a state-of-the-art facility, which includes capabilities for testing thermal stability, flammability, dust explosions, reaction calorimetry, and emergency vent sizing. The lab now employs five engineers and technicians. He also consults on hundreds of thermal stability, vent sizing, and process hazards issues for Lilly's global operations each year.


April 30

Regional Alumni Event -Boston, MA
6:30 p.m., Museum of Fine Arts
RSVP: events@purdue.edu

May 1

Regional Alumni Event - New York, NY
2:30 p.m., The Palm House, Brooklyn Botanic Garden
RSVP: events@purdue.edu

May 15

Engineering Send-Off
11:30 a.m., North and South Ballrooms, Purdue Memorial Union

Contact Us

Send your alumni news and thoughts on what you’d like to see in this e-newsletter to the Engineering Alumni Association at EAA@ecn.purdue.edu.