The Eaton Award in Design Excellence

Jim and Shirley Eaton


This unique award program recognizes outstanding work in the field of design by recent ECE alumni. The program was established with a generous gift from Jim and Shirley Eaton of Palo Alto, California. Jim Eaton earned each of his degrees (BSEE '58, MSEE '63, and PhD '67) from Purdue, and his father was a well- known faculty member in the School from 1942 to 1967.

The first Eaton Award in Design Excellence was won by Daniel Elmhurst in March 2001.

Dr. Eaton's motivation for creating this award comes from his three decades of leading design work during his career at Hewlett Packard. The Eaton award encourages promising young engineers to continue their work in design by recognizing their early achievements in the field.


Any graduate receiving a bachelor's, master's, and/or doctoral degree from the Purdue University School of Electrical and Computer Engineering between May 2014 and May 2018 is eligible for the 2019 award. (For alumni who received more than one ECE degree, eligibility is determined from the date of the most recent degree.)

Award Highlights

The recipient of the award will receive:

  • A specially-designed plaque, presented at a ceremony in Fall 2019.
  • a $500 honorarium and a stipend to cover all travel costs for your trip back to campus.
  • the opportunity to speak with current ECE students to discuss your design work.
  • the opportunity to recognize the ECE professor or staff member who had the greatest impact on your education as the recipient of an accompanying award.

Entry Procedure

The entry consists of a self-nomination form to be completed by the alumnus/a and returned to ECE to be considered. The forms is also available as a PDF and can be emailed or mailed to:
Matthew Merzdorf
Manager of Stewardship and Donor Relations
Electrical and Computer Engineering
Wang Hall, Rm 4026
516 Northwestern Ave.
West Lafayette, IN 47906


All nomination materials must be postmarked no later than June 15, 2019