ENE Memo: August 29, 2011

From the Head

Creating Preferred Futures

To accommodate our many activities, ENE faculty, staff and students operate from offices and labs spread from one end of campus to the other – from Armstrong Hall in the NE corner, to the Potter Engineering Center and Grissom Hall and over State St. to the Discovery Learning Research Center. As our School continues to grow and becomes geographically dispersed, there is a real danger that we will “lose sight of each other” and fragment into silos, as often happens in the life of academic departments. The strength of our School is its unifying mission of transforming engineering and engineering education, albeit manifest on multiple fronts – in First-Year Engineering, in the Interdisciplinary Engineering Program, in the Graduate Program and associated research projects, through INSPIRE and in capacity building locally, nationally and globally.  

No matter when each of us joined the School, as it was being envisaged, during the formation years or more recently, we all share in the rich heritage of the pioneers who came before us, right back to the creation of freshman engineering in 1953 – a major innovation at the time. This is a special place where we can model what engineering education might be like in terms of how students, staff and faculty experience an academic department. Large public universities like Purdue are approaching a "strategic inflection point" which will cause us to question our most fundamental assumptions as we explore preferred futures as a university competing in a rapidly changing global context. Our School is well placed to provide a glimpse of the future. 

To help us to be an effective catalyst for transformation, I want to challenge the ENE community to work actively on two critical questions this year. First, how can we foster rich, creative conversations that draw us together to tackle the “big questions” (Goal 3 of our Strategic Plan)? Second, how can we be more considerate and constructive in our interactions with one another, so as to foster greater trust and respect and thereby empower each other to be the best we can be and provide a model for others (Goal 1)? Such civility not only makes for a better work environment, but also improves your health.

- david

News and Information

ENE Research Seminar
Speakers     Beth Holloway, Qu Jin, Julia Thompson, Lorie Groll,
School of Engineering Education, Purdue University
Title What's Happening With Women in Engineering: ENE Grad Students Present Their Research 
Details 3:30-4:20pm Thursday, Sept. 1, 2011, Forney Hall, Room G124

Participation Sought

Class of 1961 Alumni Reception (Friday Sept 16, 10-11:30 a.m., Armstrong Hall)
We'll be hosting a reception with coffee and rolls in the area outside of ARMS 1300, where visitors will gather for i2i tours. We need faculty and staff volunteers to take 30-minute shifts (10-10:30, 10:30-11, 11-11:30) to chat with visitors. Please contact Becky Fry to volunteer.

Family Day (Saturday Sept 17, 9-11 a.m., Engineering Mall and i2i)
ENE will have an informational booth set up in the Engineering Mall for students and families and will be offering tours of the i2i lab. We need faculty and FYE advisors to take one-hour shifts to answer questions about the First-Year Engineering program. Please contact Becky Fry to volunteer.

CIE College Teaching Workshops Fall 2011
A new series of workshops for faculty, other instructors and graduate TAs. 

NSF Data Management Workshop

The next workshop covering NSF’s Data Management Plan (DMP) requirement (see http://www.nsf.gov/bfa/dias/policy/dmp.jsp)  is scheduled for Tuesday, September 6 from 11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m. in Stewart Center, Room 314.   This workshop will cover Purdue’s strategy to assist faculty with this process, including: 

  • Overview of the DMP requirement
  • Data management planning, resources & consulting
  • Demo of Purdue University Research Repository (PURR) & discussion of resource allocation

Registration is available at http://www.purdue.edu/research/vpr/.  When registering, attendees should indicate the program to which they are applying, as well as the due date.  Attendees are welcome to bring their lunch, and  OVPR will provide snacks and drinks. 

If you have any questions about this event, please contact Kristi Stroud at kstroud@purdue.edu.

Reminder: ENE Outstanding Alumni Award voting
Deadline for faculty to vote on ENE Outstanding Alumni Award nominees is August 31. 


  • Wednesday, Aug. 31: Faculty deadline for voting on ENE Outstanding Alumni Award nominees
  • Thursday, Sept. 1: Research Seminar: What's Happening With Women in Engineering: ENE Grad Students Present Their Research: Beth Holloway, Qu Jin, Julia Thompson, Lorie Groll: 3:30-4:30 (FRNY G124). [See all fall research seminars.]
  • Tuesday, Sept. 6: Faculty Meeting 1:30-2:30 (ARMS 1021)
  • Tuesday, Sept. 13: Faculty Meeting 1:30-2:30 (POTR 234 - Fu Room)
  • Friday, Sept. 16:  ENE reception and tours of i2i Class of '61
  • Saturday, Sept. 17:  Family Day (tent outside MSEE); tours of i2i
  • Tuesday, Sept. 20: Purdue Engineer of 2020 Workshop: Designing a Safer Tomorrow
  • Tuesday, Sept. 27: Faculty Meeting 1:30-2:30 (POTR 234 - Fu Room)
  • Tuesday,  Oct. 4: Faculty Meeting 1:30-2:30 (ARMS 1021)
  • Wed/Thurs, Oct. 19-20: Grad Recruitment Open House
  • Thursday, Oct. 20:  Science on Tap: 50th Anniversary of Spaceflight: Lessons for Tomorrow
  • Saturday, Oct. 22:  Homecoming (booth in ARMS atrium); tours and refreshments in i2i
  • Tuesday, Oct. 25: Faculty Meeting 1:30-2:30  (POTR 234 - Fu Room)
  • Thursday, Nov 10: It Takes A Team. 3:30-5:00pm.  A Celebration of 50 Years of Human Space Flight. This event is a prelude to the ENE Industrial Advisory Board meeting.
  • Friday, Nov 11: ENE Industrial Advisory Council Meeting  
  • Mon/Tues, Nov. 21-22: Site Visit by External Review Committee


...to the FYE Academic Advising Team:  Over recent weeks the FYE Advising Team has been under considerable stress handling the large number of new students, made worse by the uncertainty in these numbers. They have to handle difficult phone calls from angry parents or frustrated students upset about any matter of things, and they have to keep their cool even when the problem is not of their making. They seldom get a thank you! So it was very pleasing when I received an email from a very satisfied parent who wanted to compliment the team on how they handled their son's case in a "very courteous and business-like manner, while taking it very seriously and making things happen in a prompt manner" acknowledging that "I know it is not easy ...especially when you have parents that feel we should get your undivided attention because our situation is the most important you're dealing with". While this particular case was handled primarily by Billi Jennings, Kristin Deckard and Dr. Reed-Rhoads, this compliment should be taken as well-deserved recognition for the resilient professionalism shown by the whole team.  

...to Jeremi London: Jeremi returns to the ENE grad program after a summer as an intern with the NSF's Division of Undergraduate Education, where she worked on a study about cyberlearning. "This is a topic that is both interesting and relevant," she says. "I was able to find answers to questions like: How much funding has the DUE provided to cyberlearning awards over the past 10 years, and what types of cyberlearning projects have they funded? What are the perceptions of cyberlearning among a subset of NSF program officers? What are possible directions the DUE can take with cyberlearning?" She also had the chance to witness a panel review session, which has broadened her understanding of how research proposals are evaluated.

...to Karl Smith, Cooperative Learning Professor: Karl presented the address "Advancing the Practice of Engineering Education" at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology's Academic Opening Symposium on August 26. Karl also will be the inaugural speaker for the Frontiers of Engineering Education-Educational Innovation Seminar Series (Worcester Polytechnic Institute, September 7).

To suggest content for future issues of ENE Memo, contact David Radcliffe or Lisa Tally by midday Friday for the following week's issue.