December 2003 Newsletter

In this issue:


It’s been a tremendous year. Through this forum, I’ve been pleased to share with you exciting news about the progress and the accomplishments of Purdue Engineering. To name just a few, in 2003 we’ve celebrated the formation of a University Technology Center with Rolls-Royce and seen ground-breakings for the Birck Nanotechnology Center and the Biomedical Engineering Building. We’ve opened the Bowen Lab for Large-Scale Civil Engineering Research, and we’ve been ranked highly for both undergraduate and graduate programs. Our faculty have gained renown through prestigious awards, and we’ve seen the development of an ambitious strategic plan.
All these achievements, and the many others we’ve experienced in 2003, bear witness to an engineering program that’s on the move to preeminence.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of you for your commitment to Purdue Engineering and for the part you play in our success. I’d also like to invite you to Orlando for the Purdue Engineering reception in connection with the Capital One Bowl (see “Orlando Bound” below for details). We’re going to have a great time!
Happy holidays!

Linda P.B. Katehi
John A. Edwardson Dean of Engineering

ORLANDO BOUND: Capital One Bowl Reception 12/31/03 @ 5 p.m.

The Boilermakers are headed to Orlando for the Capital One Bowl on New Year’s Day, and Purdue Engineering is hosting a party to celebrate. Join us at the Orange County Convention Center, across from the Peabody Hotel, on Wednesday, December 31, at 5 p.m., to mingle with fellow alumni, Dean Linda Katehi, and the Engineering school heads. Check the Purdue Web site at for all the latest information. RSVP by December 23 to

Signature Area Feature
Advanced Materials and Manufacturing

Advanced Materials and Manufacturing (AMM)—one of Purdue Engineering’s eight signature areas—has a distinct approach of researching manufacturing from a materials perspective. With research in diverse areas, Purdue engineers have shown, for example, that nanostructured material can be made in a wide variety of metals and alloys from machine shop chips for about per pound, whereas traditional methods cost more than 0 per pound and are more limited. AMM has two subareas:

  • Intelligent Manufacturing Systems, which applies intelligent control to optimize and control complex manufacturing processes. A hybrid technique combines conventional control, information technology, and emerging areas of soft computing to solve complex problems such as grinding, where multiple issues such as roughness, power, wear of wheel, and temperature must be addressed.
  • Sustainable Manufacturing Systems, in which researchers improve efficiency of the manufacturing process and reduce effluents and energy consumption. Three focus areas include nanomaterials, reducing friction in machining while improving efficiency by application of controlled vibrations, and improving efficiency of processes through better sensing and control of manufacturing machines and processes.

With a high level of interdisciplinary work and new facilities such as the Center for Laser-Based Micro-Fabrication and the Center for Laser-Based Manufacturing, we continue to strive for excellence and innovation within this signature area.

Wings of Their Dreams: Purdue in Flight

John Norberg, a senior writer for Purdue, is publishing his fourth book about the university, “Wings of Their Dreams: Purdue in Flight.” In this new book, Norberg gives us a history of flight and a history of Purdue, told through the stories of aviation pioneers.

This is a story in which Purdue plays a unique role. Purdue established the first university airport and one of the first academic programs in aeronautics and astronautics. Purdue helped finance the final flight by Amelia Earhart. Before NASA and the Mercury program, a Purdue engineer became known as "Mr. Space." Purdue created the first bachelor's degree for airplane pilots and has graduated 22 people selected for space travel—including the first and last men to walk on the moon.

In telling the stories of 22 Purdue astronauts, “Wings of Their Dreams” covers the space program from the beginning of NASA to the present day and is among the most extensive collections of narratives about people who have flown in space.

For more information, see:

To order, see:


December 21

Engineering Commencement
9:30 a.m., Elliott Hall of Music.

December 21

Engineering Send-Off
Immediately following commencement, for all Engineering graduates, their families, and the Engineering Faculty. North Ballroom, Purdue Memorial Union (school displays in Main Lounges).

December 31

Engineering Bowl Reception
5 p.m., Orange County Convention Center, Orlando Florida. Check for the latest information.

January 1, 2004

Capital One Bowl Game
1 p.m., Purdue Boilermakers vs. the Georgia Bulldogs.

January 16

President’s Council Event – Houston, TX
Time and location to be announced.

January 16

Regional Alumni Event –Houston, TX
Time and location to be announced.

January 30

President’s Council Event – Phoenix, AZ
Time and location to be announced.

January 30

Regional Alumni Event –Phoenix, AZ
Time and location to be announced.

January 31

President’s Council Event – San Francisco, CA
Time and location to be announced.

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