December 2002 Newsletter

In this issue:


In my last message, I mentioned the importance of developing “signature areas” for the Schools of Engineering at Purdue. These multidisciplinary areas of excellence will present us opportunities to address national priorities and to establish international leadership in education and research over the next five years. After many extensive meetings, we have identified eight distinct signature areas:

Advanced Materials and Manufacturing (includes polymers)
Addresses high-strength and high-temperature materials that will enable new generations of advanced technology in aerospace, automobiles, electronics, displays, lighting, and other areas.

Global Sustainable Industrial Systems
Links industrial and traditional ecology for better management of the flows of materials and energy for sustainable utilization of both renewable and nonrenewable resources

Information, Communications, and Perception Technologies
Includes thrusts in dependable computing, wireless systems and applications, human-computer interaction, perception-based engineering, and synthetic engineering environments

Intelligent Infrastructure Systems (integrating sensors with computer controls)
Includes thrusts in intelligent controlled environmental systems, intelligent structural systems, and transportation/logistics systems

Nanotechnologies and NanoPhotonics
Addresses the development of devices and systems at the nanoscale (~1-100 nanometers, or billionths of a meter) and the integration of photonics—the interfacing of optics and electronics—into nanodevices and nanosystems

Renewable Energy and Power Systems
Addresses long-term solutions to the nation’s energy problems, including a focus on nuclear energy, hydrogen, and biologically based fuels

System of Systems
Addresses the analysis and synthesis of very large systems composed of several independent, self-contained subsystems brought together to satisfy a global need (e.g., air traffic management)

Tissue and Cellular Engineering
Addresses the development of medical diagnostic and therapeutic systems relying on novel tissues and sensors that interface with the body at the molecular and cellular scales

As our faculty produce breakthroughs
in these high-impact areas, we will better the lives of people in our nation and around the world. At the same time, we will advance toward our strategic goal of preeminence for the Schools of Engineering and the University. I look forward to reporting to you on our progress.

Linda Katehi

John A. Edwardson Dean of Engineering


The Purdue Alumni Association is sponsoring a special welcome celebration (December 29) and tailgate party (December 31) for fans at the Sun Bowl in El Paso. To buy tickets, call 888-471-3037 or go here. Deadline to reserve tickets: December 23, 5 p.m.


Purdue’s nationwide road trips—“Purdue Days Across America”—continue. Save the date for the January 17 reception at Tucson, Arizona, followed by a January 18 reception at Phoenix, Arizona. On February 1, Purdue travels to Dallas, Texas—then arrives at Naples, Florida, on February 8. Contact:


The 39th annual Distinguished Engineering Alumni Convocation is set for Friday, April 25, 2003, at 1:30 p.m. in Eliza Fowler Hall, Stewart Center. The convocation, held during Gala Week, honors graduates of the Schools of Engineering for outstanding achievements in professional and related fields of endeavor.

29Sun Bowl Welcome Celebration, El Paso, Texas
31Sun Bowl Tailgate Party and Game, El Paso, Texas
1Happy New Year!
17Tucson Purdue Days Across America (
18Phoenix Purdue Days Across America (
1Dallas Purdue Days Across America (
8Naples Purdue Days Across America (
15-16SWE, NSBE, SHPE Awards Banquets and Career Fair
17-19Co-op Days (Co-op office: 765-494-7430)
20Civil Engineering Alumni Awards Banquet (
25Distinguished Engineering Alumni Convocation

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