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ENE Memo: April 2, 2012

From the Head: 4/2

A Safety Culture and a Culture of Safety

An earlier ENE Memo extolled the truism that “our school should be a safe place to be” and that “every person should expect to be able to come to work and return home safely each day.” Being a “safe” place is fundamentally an issue of workplace culture. We can only shape culture by indirect means, such as modifying behavior.

In industry, discussions and actions that foster a “safety culture” around how people work are often the first item on any agenda, from the boardroom to the shop floor. At the most recent meeting of the College Leadership Team, a compelling video was shown on deaths and injuries resulting from accidents in the university. I strongly recommend that you watch it. In the academy we tend to think safety is an issue only in dangerous places like chemistry labs. Lest the above safety video reinforce this complacent assumption, I want to stress that accidents that impact lives can happen anytime and anywhere, even in benign office environments.

So the College of Engineering has now implemented a “Lessons Learned” program. A “Lessons Learned” (also known as a “near miss” in the corporate setting) is an event that may have resulted in personal injury, equipment damage, or reduction in system integrity — but DID NOT occur. If you are involved in or witness a “Lessons Learned” event, you are encouraged to anonymously report the event on the on-line form available here for ENE and College of Engineering's other units. The lessons learned form is designed to help Schools and the College of Engineering prevent accidents by alerting safety committee members to potential issues.

In terms of being a tolerant work environment, where all persons feel safe in all aspects of their being, a new program called “See it, hear it, report it” has been launched. The goal is to affirm Purdue University as a community where diversity is valued and incidents of hate and bias are not acceptable. Blatant signs or acts of hatred are easy to see, report and act on. We must also be alert for the much more subtle, insidious, and often more toxic and difficult-to-surface acts of bias, bullying and hate that can eat away at the work environment.

Actively building a safe place to work in should be "job one" for each of us.


The safety-related links cited above are also available on ENE's safety page— is a Quick Link off the ENE home page.

News and Information: 4/2

LEED for Existing Buildings and Rawls Hall

Come hear what the LEED for Existing Buildings Rating System is all about and how it could be applied to Rawls Hall with the potential for interdisciplinary student and faculty involvement. The LEED for Existing Buildings Rating System helps building owners and operators measure operations improvements and maintenance on a consistent scale, with the goal of maximizing operational efficiency while minimizing environmental impacts.

 Three sessions are scheduled, all on April 11 at Rawls Hall, Room 3082: 9:30-10:10am, 11am-noon, 2-3pm.


Cold Stone fundraisers will take place on Tuesday, April 3, from 10:00am-4:30pm and Tuesday, April 17, from 10:00am-4:30pm. (Note that the location is TBA!) Let's meet our fundraising goal for 2013!  E-mail Nichole Ramirez if you are interested in lending a hand.

Please send baby pics to by Monday, April 16th. (This is a surprise project Velvet is taking on that is supposed to be fun.  From Velvet: “You will wish you were a part of the project.”)

The ENEGSA Town Hall Meeting will take place Wednesday, April 11, from 12-1 p.m. in ARMS 3326. The meeting will include (1) wrap-up from last meeting comments, (2) elections for 2012-2013 officers, and (3) brainstorming about how to change to change the first-year research office to serve multiple purposes (research, meeting, collaboration, relaxation, home to first-year students, etc.). Look for an e-mail detailing officer positions and instructions for elections.

This week is grad appreciation week! Do not forget to pick up your grad student pin from your mailboxes. Events start Monday, April 2nd, at the Memorial Mall at 11am.

The ENE "Person of the Week" or "People of the Month" have been updated by Julia. Mariana, Justin, Velvet, Joi, and Dan are featured. The ENEGSA now has a "quick link" on the ENE school's main page; just click on "ENE Graduate Student Association" and you will be sent to the website and the link to the "Student of the Month". The URL for the ENEGSA page is:

For those who ordered one, t-shirts will cost $10 and are expected to arrive mid-April. We’ll start collecting shirt payments before or after seminar on Thursday, April 3rd.  Please try to pay in advance to Velvet. People can pay after the shirts arrive as well, but we appreciate the payments in advance. Everyone that participated in the ENEGSA t-shirt design competition will receive 1 free shirt (Francesca, Mary Pilotte, Justin, and Jaqi). Thank you for your enthusiasm. Without your submissions there wouldn't have been a t-shirt design contest, so thank you! "

"Online Learning Interaction: Perceptions of Experienced Online Instructors"
Dr. Cindy York, Northern Illinois University
4/5/12 • 3:30pm • Forney Hall, G124

Calendar: 4/2

Spring 2012

National and Independence Days around the World

  • April 4 – Senegal – Independence Day
  • April 17 - Syria – National Day
  • April 18 – Zimbabwe – National Day

Kudos: 4/2 doctoral student Emily Dringenberg on being named a recipient of a 2012 NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) Fellowship. Her selection was based on "outstanding abilities and accomplishments, as well as...potential to contribute to strengthening the vitality of the US science and engineering enterprise." doctoral student Noah Salzman on receivng Purdue's College of Engineering Magoon Excellence in Teaching Award from the School of Mechanical Engineering.

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