February 2006 Newsletter

From the Dean

Dean Katehi

Herbert Hoover commented that engineering is society’s great profession, a profession where satisfaction is gained from taking a figment of imagination, turning it into an idea, and then seeing that idea turned into a commodity. He said that the product of an engineer’s imagination is brought to the homes of many, where it “elevates the standard of living and adds to the comforts of life.”

Hoover’s words stand true today.

A science of practicality, engineering embraces the challenges of a global community and creates technology that satisfies the needs of a diverse and booming world population. With the energy, environmental, healthcare, and poverty challenges we’ll face in this new century, Purdue Engineering is approaching the future with the same determination and sense of purpose our alumni have exhibited for over 130 years.

From February 27 through March 4, we’ll celebrate the accomplishments of our faculty, students, and alumni, while discussing the critical role engineers play in the advancement of humankind. I encourage you to visit campus and attend the great events we have scheduled throughout National Engineers Week.


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

Feature: National Engineers Week, February 27 – March 4

Boilermakers in West Lafayette are usually enthusiastic during the last week of February—the snow is melting, days are longer, and Spring Break is just around the corner. There’s even more reason to celebrate for Purdue engineers: National Engineers Week!

This year, we honor the careers of ten alumni during the Distinguished Engineering Alumni Convocation, we welcome former U.S. secretary of state Madeleine Albright to campus, and we put creativity to the test at the annual Rube Goldberg Machine Contest.

Take a look at this year’s exciting events:

Thursday, March 2
Globalizing the World’s Technology Supply

Madeleine Albright

8 p.m. Purdue Memorial Union
South Ballroom

Madeleine Albright, distinguished former U.S. Secretary of State, discusses the foreign policy connection to America’s R&D enterprise.

Friday, March 3
Distinguished Engineering Alumni Convocation

Purdue Memorial Union, South Ballroom
1:30 p.m. (reception following)

Honoring the following ten alumni who’ve brought new ideas to life:

Allen H. Alley (BSME ’76)
Pixelworks Inc.

David R. Boyd (BSCE ’60)
Webcor Builders

Robert N. Davis (BSChE ’68)
Air Products and Chemicals Inc.

Max C. Downham (BSChE ’58)
International College of Surgeons

Keith Krach (BSIE ’79)
3points LLC

Roman Krygier (BSME ’64)
Ford Motor Co.

Aelred Kurtenbach (PhD ’68, Electrical Engineering)
Daktronics Inc.

Allen S. Novick (BSAE ’65; MSAE ’67; PhD ’72, Aeronautics and Astronautics)
Rolls-Royce Corp.

Essam Abdel-Aziz Sharaf (MSCE ’80; PhD ’84, Civil Engineering)
University of Cairo

David A. Wolf (BSEE ’78)

Saturday, March 4
Rube Goldberg Machine Contest (Local)

10:30 a.m. Purdue Armory

Rube Goldberg Logo

Watch as Purdue students take on this annual “Olympics of Complexity.” This year’s task: to shred five sheets of paper in 20 or more steps.

For more information, please contact:
Office of Special Events

Students in Action: Cassandra Shoup, President of PSWE

In 1954, Purdue formed a collegiate section of the Society of Women Engineers (PSWE), making it the oldest continuous section of SWE in the nation. It’s also one of the largest, with over 400 members participating each year.

We took a moment to talk with Cassandra Shoup, current president of PSWE. Shoup is a senior studying chemical engineering. She previously held the positions of PSWE’s membership vitality director and middle school TEAMS chair (Teaching Engineering Activities to Motivate Students). Shoup plans to become a SWE collegiate leadership coach after graduation.

Cassandra Shoup

Q. Can you talk a bit about the history of PSWE?

A. Five years after the national Society of Women Engineers was established, an already existing organization called Pi Omicron changed their name to become SWE, Purdue Student Section. At that time, there were approximately 20 members. Our membership has been as high as 700 in 1974, and is currently at 400.

Q. What are some milestones PSWE has achieved?

A. Important milestones include giving the first SWE scholarship in 1967, now named the Zimmerman Family Women in Engineering Award, and having the first joint-recognition banquet in 1973 with the Society of Black Engineers. In 1974, PSWE was the first Grand Prix team with an all-female crew and driver. Our section has also been named the best section in Region H more than 10 times, and won the national title of Best Student Section in 1979. This past year, PSWE was named the 3rd Outstanding Student Section in the nation. Two Purdue alumnae have also served as national SWE presidents, Roberta Gleiter (1998-1999) and SWE’s current president, Ronna Robertson.

Q. What are some of the activities and programs offered by SWE?

A. Our section offers many different types of special events and programs along with monthly meetings for our members. Events such as Day with Industry, Networking Night, and Market Yourself focus on professional development and members interacting with our corporate partners. There are also many pre-college initiatives such as the essay contest, Girl Scout Day, Senior Sleepover, and TEAMS. Senior Sleepover is an overnight program for high school seniors to spend a Friday afternoon in classes and stay in the dorms with a hostess. This program has been very successful and, out of last year’s participants, 70% are now Purdue Engineering students! One of PSWE’s newest events we’re helping with is the Indiana High School Rube Goldberg Machine Contest. It’ll be held in the Armory on February 18th from 9am-3pm with over 15 teams participating. PSWE also has competition teams for the Purdue Grand Prix Race and the collegiate Rube Goldberg Machine Contest.

Q. How long has PSWE been competing in the Rube Goldberg contest?

A. We’ve been competing in Rube Goldberg for over 10 years. In 2004, PSWE placed 1st in the regional competition!

Q. The task for this year's contest is to shred paper. How is the planning going for PSWE?

A. The Rube competition team has really been working hard and has transitioned into biweekly meetings since the beginning of this semester. PSWE’s Rube Goldberg team leader is Gabriela Torres. She’s a junior in mechanical engineering and has been on past competition teams. With good teamwork and leadership, we’re hopeful to have a consistent and exciting machine.


Participate in Preview Purdue Receptions

The College of Engineering is looking for alumni to help with our recruiting efforts. Be a part of the action by helping set up receptions, speaking on panels, or representing the College of Engineering at events geared toward recruiting students at Purdue. Learn more.

Editor’s Note

In our inaugural issue of Purdue Engineering's new alumni magazine, Impact, we listed an e-mail address to which you can send reader mail: peimpact@purdue.edu. Some readers had their messages bounce back. The problem is solved, and the e-mail address is now functioning properly. We apologize for the inconvenience and look forward to hearing your thoughts on the new publication.

Upcoming Events

From Silicon Valley to Pennsylvania, the coming months offer a variety of opportunities for alumni to get together.

February 9, 2006
TechMakers Lecture: “The Next Big Thing in Information Technology“

ECE alumnus Charles Bess will speak on campus in Fowler Hall from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. The TechMakers lecture series presents Purdue engineers and corporate executives to talk about technology and careers. Bess is an EDS Fellow—a title awarded to the corporation's most innovative thought leaders for their exceptional achievement.

The lecture is free and open to the public.

February 22, 2006
Silicon Valley Symposium: “Nanostructured Semiconductors: The Key to Efficient Solid-State Energy Conversion Devices?“

Please join Purdue Engineering in Palo Alto, California, on Wednesday, February 22, from 8:00 to 10:00 a.m. for a complimentary breakfast and seminar. Professor Tim Sands, the Basil S. Turner Professor of Engineering, will kickoff our 2006 symposia. All engineering alumni and corporate friends are welcome. For more information and to RSVP, e-mail Robin Canada at rcanada@purdue.edu . A special thanks to our symposia sponsors: Foundation Capital, National Semiconductor, and Tallwood Venture Capital. Information on this and other Silicon Valley Symposia is available on the College of Engineering web site.

March 9, 2006
TechMakers Lecture

Come hear ECE alumnus Joseph Schoendorf speak about future global technologies from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. in Fowler Hall on campus. Schoendorf has been active in high technology industries for 39 years—the past 18 years as an executive partner with Accel Partners. He is also a board member of the World Economic Forum—an independent, international not-for-profit organization that engages the world's leaders to foster economic progress and social development worldwide.

March 9, 2006
Hawaii Alumni Luncheon, School of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Meet Mark J. T. Smith, ECE's Michael J. and Katherine R. Birck Professor and Head, and hear first-hand about the latest strategic initiatives at Purdue. For more details, contact Robin Canada at rcanada@purdue.edu .

March 28, 2006
Silicon Valley Symposium: “Creating a Semiconductor Device Technology in Silicon Carbide“

Professor James Cooper, the Charles William Harrison Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, is the founding co-director of Birck Nanotechnology Center—a $58 million research facility that recently opened in Purdue's Discovery Park. Join him for a complimentary dinner and discussion of his semiconductor research at the Marriott Hotel in Santa Clara, California, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. For more information and to RSVP, e-mail Robin Canada at rcanada@purdue.edu . A special thanks to our sponsors: Foundation Capital, National Semiconductor, and Tallwood Venture Capital. Information on this and other Silicon Valley Symposia is available on the College of Engineering web site.

March 31, 2006
Purdue Reception at the NSBE Annual Convention, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Join fellow Boilermaker alumni, students, corporate partners, and other friends for a fun evening during the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) Annual Convention in Pittsburgh. Location and time to be announced. For more information, visit https://engineering.purdue.edu/MEP/ or contact Alicia Pilon at 765-494-9860 or apilon@purdue.edu.

April 4 and 5, 2006
Kelly Lectures in Chemical Engineering

Dr. Frances H. Arnold, the Dick and Barbara Dickinson Professor of Chemical Engineering and Biochemistry at the California Institute of Technology, will present two Kelly lectures titled “Engineering by Evolution” and “An Artificial Protein Family Created by Structure-Guided Recombination.” Her research group engineers enzymes, biosynthetic pathways, and genetic regulatory circuits by directed evolution. She has received numerous major awards for her pioneering research including membership in the National Academy of Engineering. For more information, please contact Chris Murray at 765-494-4075 or chrismur@purdue.edu .

Saturday, April 8, 2006
Civil Engineering Faculty Omelet Breakfast Gala Weekend

The Civil Engineering faculty will cook their world-famous omelets for alumni and friends on Saturday, April 8, 2006, as part of the Spring Fest/Gala weekend in the Civil Engineering Building, Room G150. Door prizes will be given away. Come to reconnect with old friends as we celebrate the reunion classes and visit the Purdue Mall for even more alumni festivities including Engineering ENvision.

April 25, 2006
Silicon Valley Symposium: “The Path to Nano-Preeminence: Facility, Faculty, and Tech Acceleration“

The new Birck Nanotechnology Center has a legitimate claim to being the best academic nanotech facility in the country. George Adams, the Center's business development director, and Julie Goonwardene, technology commercialization director for Discovery Park, will describe the building's specialized design and unique features for nanoscale research and will discuss the model for accelerating intellectual property into products. Join them for a complimentary dinner at the Marriott Hotel in Santa Clara, California, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. For more information and to RSVP, e-mail Robin Canada at rcanada@purdue.edu . A special thanks to our sponsors: Foundation Capital, National Semiconductor, and Tallwood Venture Capital. Information on this and other Silicon Valley Symposia is available on the College of Engineering web site.

May 10, 2006
46th Annual Civil Engineering Golf Open

Join Civil Engineering faculty and students for the 46th Annual Civil Engineering Golf Open on Wednesday, May 10, 2006. We'll play the famous Purdue Ackerman Hills Golf Course. For more information, visit our website at www.engineering.purdue.edu/CE/Alumni/ or call Cindy Lawley at 765- 494-7089.

May 19, 2006
Los Angeles Alumni Dinner, School of Electrical and Computer Engineering

ECE alumnus Jack Kelble, Raytheon's corporate vice president and president of the Space and Airborne Systems Division, will team with Mark J. T. Smith, ECE's Michael J. and Katherine R. Birck Professor and Head, to discuss the critical need for future engineers. The get-together over dinner will take place at the Ayres Hotel, Matisse Restaurant in Hawthorne, California, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. For more information and to RSVP, e-mail Robin Canada at rcanada@purdue.edu .

May 23, 2006
Silicon Valley Symposium: “Tales of a Boiler/Winemaker“

We'll take a break from our monthly technical program and hear Christian Butzke, professor of agriculture, talk about Purdue's wine program. Our complimentary dinner will be held at the Testarossa Vineyards in Los Gatos, California, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. For more information and to RSVP, e-mail Robin Canada at rcanada@purdue.edu . Information on this and other Silicon Valley Symposia is available on the College of Engineering web site.

September 22, 2006
Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering Building Dedication

The new home of the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering has taken shape and has begun to fill with the components that'll transform it from a simple structure into the premier biomedical education and research facility in the world. According to staff engineer Kirk Foster, who is serving as point person for BME on completion, “The building is progressing rapidly and is on schedule for move-in during the summer of 2006.” Classes and research will formally start with the Fall 2006 semester.

Industrial Engineering Hits the Road

Industrial Engineering Head Nagabhushana Prabhu is leading an initiative to take Purdue IE on the road to share his vision and goals for the school with its alumni. The school has targeted several regions around the country to hold alumni events where school officials will share insight to how the school plans to become the #1 ranking industrial engineering school in the country by 2010.

IE will visit these areas: Phoenix, Northern California, Southern California, Chicago, Detroit, Northern Indiana, Florida, Seattle, Atlanta, North Carolina and Indianapolis.

Be on the watch for more information about these regional events. For moreinformation, contact Dan Folta at dfolta@purdue.edu .

News From PAA

For more information on alumni events, visit the Purdue Alumni Association website at www.purduealum.org.

Are you a member of the Purdue Alumni Association? As a College of Engineering graduate, a portion of your membership dues comes back to the College of Engineering for alumni and student activities. Consider becoming a member today and connect with the Purdue family forever - www.purduealum.org.

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.