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ENE Memo: August 3, 2015

From the Head: 8/3

Community Priorities 2015/16 

The fourth of the four goals indicated by our Strategic Compass is: Grow the Community, nationally and globally. Stated in full from the original Strategic Plan this goal is "to identify and build strategic global partnerships and collaborations to elevate our research capabilities and those of the wider engineering education community, while simultaneously, facilitating the sharing of experiences across the global community of engineering education scholars."

For the coming year, 2015/16, I believe there are three priorities linked to this goal;  

  1. Expand intra-College collaborations  
  2. Appraise the place of ENE in the changing national scene
  3. Establish broader ownership of global key partnerships

The time is right to ramp up the number and depth of collaboration we have with colleagues across the College around discipline-based educational research and innovation. The recent NSF grant for Revolutionizing Engineering Departments to Mechanical Engineering at Purdue with Ed Berger as the bridge to ENE and engineering education research is an excellent example of this. I know there are other things happening between ENE and several schools and various programs across the college. It is imperative that we fully capture the extent of such collaborations and measure the impact that these are having on the learning and teaching practices at Purdue. 

The landscape of engineering education in the USA as a field of scholarly endeavor is beginning to expand and develop in significant ways. The University of Michigan and the Ohio State University are in the process of creating academic units centered on engineering education. Having two other Big Ten schools move in this direction is an exciting prospect.  There are more and more faculty and director positions opening up across the country focused engineering education. There is also movement in other discipline-based educational research areas. These developments mean we need to carefully appraise the emerging place of ENE as an ongoing leader helping to catalyze the expansion and maturation of engineering education research and innovation.  

Four years ago, ENE initiated the Engineering Education Research and Innovation (EER&I) cluster at the annual ASEE conference. Prior to then each school involved in EER&I organized its own booth and these were scattered at random around the exhibition hall. Now each year we provide the leadership and logistics in organizing a collective space for the whole group. ENE also provides financial support for smaller programs to participate. At the Indianapolis conference in 2014, we enhanced the original cluster concept by creating and funding a "community space" where folks could gather informally. This addition was extremely well received; so much so that for the 2016 conference in New Orleans,  VentureWell has stepped up to fund this community space. It is a very gratifying to see new partners joining in like this.    

I challenge us to imagine and create an intensive, immersive and innovative research "happening" centered on our new research facility, sometime during 2015/16. This would be designed to bring together people from across the EER&I community nationally and maybe also non-engineering colleagues at Purdue for a multi-day event where we undertake a project together. The primary purpose would be strengthen existing networks and connections and to build new ones. Such an event would also expose our new facility to others in the community, provide a "stress test" for the facility, give us valuable insights and feedback on its function and features, be energizing for ENE and hopefully inspire the creation of other new research facilities around the country.

Individually and collectively we have many connections and collaborations with colleagues in engineering education globally. There is a seemingly endless stream of people who want to visit ENE. Most recently this demand has been from South America. A challenge we continue to face is how do we focus our finite resources on a limited number of deeper partnerships that yield significant outcomes over a sustained period and which involve a number of our faculty, not just one or two. This need for a more focused, whole of school approach to global partnerships is a manifestation of a more systemic issue we face.

In mature academic units, in well-established disciplines, the need to project a collective presence is not so critical for individual achievement. Under these circumstance, individual faculty or small groups of faculty can operate in their natural role as intellectual entrepreneurs and rely (tacitly) on the established, socio-political disciplinary infrastructure, in their home school and in the field more generally. This is not the case for us. In collaboration with our colleagues globally, ENE continues to play a critical leadership role in helping to establish such a robust disciplinary infrastructure. Since our formation in 2004, this need for leadership-at-large has continued to place an additional load on ENE faculty, as compared with our peers in the established engineering disciplines. This is not about to change.  

As we consider how we can best fulfill our ongoing leadership role in the EER&I community, nationally and globally, we should have a conversation about how our individual efforts can be better coordinated so that the collective value of these is increased. Individually we make an exceedingly large number of important contributions to the community at large. However it seems we undertake these in relative isolation one from the other. How can we be more collectively strategic about the external roles we take on to ensure that, as ENE, we make the very most of the opportunities to serve the EER&I community?


Calendar: 8/3


  • Aug 7: ENGR 132, 8 week module ends, ARMS
  • Aug 8: Commencement
  • Aug 15: ENE End-of-Summer Potluck, Happy Hollow Park, Shelter #1, 4-9pm


  • Aug 19: ENE Faculty Advance (incl. visit by Provost) , WANG 3501, 9:00am-3:30pm
  • Aug 24: Classes commence
  • Aug 27: ENE Research Seminar ARMS BO71 3:30pm (Weekly) 
  • Aug 28: ENE Staff Meeting, 8:30-9:30, TBD
  • Sept 2: ENE Faculty Meeting, 9:30-10:30am, WANG 3501
  • Sept 2: Assistant Professor meet with Head, 10:30-11:30am, WANG 3501  
  • Sept 7: Labor Day
  • Sept 9: Faculty Meeting, 9:30-11:30am, WANG 3501
  • Sept 16: ENE Advance Follow-Up, 9:30-11:30am, WANG 3501
  • Sept 19: Family Day
  • Sept 30: ENE Faculty Meeting, 9:30-10:30am, WANG 3501
  • Sept 30: Associate Professors meet with Head, 10:30-11:30, WANG 3501
  • Oct 4/5: Big Ten + Grad Expo
  • Oct 12/13: Fall Break
  • Oct 16: ENE Staff Meeting, 8:30-9:30am, TBD 
  • Oct 28: ENE Faculty Meeting, 9:30-11:30am, WANG 3501
  • Oct 28/29: ENE Grad Program Open House
  • Nov 4: ENE Advance Follow-Up, 9:30-11:30, WANG 3501
  • Nov 7: Homecoming
  • Nov 13: ENE Industrial Advisory Council, 8:00am-3pm, WANG 3501
  • Nov 18: Faculty-PhD Student Matching, 9:30-11:30, WANG 3501
  • Nov 26/27: Thanksgiving
  • Dec 2: ENE Faculty Meeting, 9:30-11:30am, WANG 3501

News and Information: 8/3

Wang Hall certified as Green

Purdue University's Seng-Liang Wang Hall received a gold level certification from the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, organization, recognizing Wang Hall's best-in-class "green" building strategies and practices. …more

Kudos: 8/3

to Michele Yatchmeneff on successfully defending her dissertation, A Qualitative Study of Motivation in Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program (ANSEP) Precollege Students. Michele is starting as a tenure-track faculty member in the College of Engineering at the University of Alaska Anchorage in the fall. She will be one of the first 2 Alaska Native faculty members in the college, and the other is a colleague also starting this fall. She will join only 4 other Alaska Native faculty members in the university as a whole, to make 6 total.

to Corey Mathis on passing her preliminary examination. Her dissertation research will be on STEM Integration: An exploration of K-12 science and mathematics teachers' implementation strategies.

Funding Opportunities: 8/3

Selected Funding Opportunities:

NSF Gen-3 Engineering Research Centers (ERC): Partnerships in Transformational Research, Education, and Technology  The goal of the Engineering Research Centers (ERC) Program is to integrate engineering research and education with technological innovation to transform national prosperity, health, and security. It links scientific discovery to technological innovation and supports engineering graduates who can be leaders in industrial practice and creative pioneers in a global economy. Successful ERCs will demonstrate an infrastructure that integrates and implements research, workforce development, and innovation ecosystem development to address existing gaps and barriers. Awards are for five years with a possible five year renewal. Funding start at $3.5M for year 1 and increases yearly to $4.25M for years 4 and 5.

Proposals are solicited in two tracks: (1) Open Topic ERCs and (2) Nanosystems ERCs (NERCs).  A proposed ERC must be multi-institutional, with a lead university and no more than four additional domestic university partners.  The Lead PI (Center Director) must be a tenured faculty member in an engineering department/school of engineering at the lead university. The Director's doctoral degree must be in engineering or an associated field of science. 

If you plan a submission to this program, please contact Melba Crawford ( as soon as possible for planning purposes.

Letter of Intent due September 25; Preliminary Proposal due October 23; Invited Full Proposals due 6/16/16.

NSF Discovery Research PreK-12 (DRK-12) The DRK-12 program seeks to significantly enhance the learning and teaching of STEM by PreK-12 students and teachers, through research and development of STEM education innovations and approaches. DRK-12 invites proposals that address immediate challenges that are facing preK-12 STEM education as well as those that anticipate radically different structures and functions of preK-12 teaching and learning. The DRK-12 program has three major research and development strands: (1) Assessment; (2) Learning; and (3) Teaching. Deadline: December 7

NSF CISE Research Infrastructure (CRI) The CRI program drives discovery and learning in the core CISE disciplines of the three participating CISE divisions by supporting the creation and enhancement of world-class research infrastructure that will support focused research agendas in computer and information science and engineering. The CRI program supports two classes of awards: 1) Institutional Infrastructure (II) awards support the creation of new (II-NEW) CISE research infrastructure or the enhancement (II-EN) of existing CISE research infrastructure to enable world-class CISE research opportunities at the awardee and collaborating institutions; 2) Community Infrastructure (CI) awards support the planning (CI-P) for new CISE community research infrastructure, the creation of new (CI-NEW) CISE research infrastructure, the enhancement (CI-EN) of existing CISE infrastructure, or the sustainment (CI-SUSTAIN) of existing CISE community infrastructure to enable world-class CISE research opportunities for broad-based communities of CISE researchers that extend well beyond the awardee institutions. Preliminary proposal due November 10; Full proposal due January 20.

USDA-NIFA Cost Benefit/Effectiveness Analysis of Army Community Service (AACS) NIFA requests applications for the AACS Program for FY15 to conduct a thorough, independent, and impartial cost benefit analysis and/or cost effectiveness analysis of Army Community Service Programs. Deadline: August 17

ED Rehabilitation Services Administration Disability Innovation Fund – Automated Personalization Computing Project (APCP) The purpose of this priority is to enter into a cooperative agreement to implement a pilot project that would improve outcomes for individuals with disabilities by increasing access to information and communication technologies (ICT) through automatic personalization of needed assistive technology (AT). Under the APCP, an information technology infrastructure would be created to allow users of ICT to store preferences in the cloud or other technology, which then would allow supported Internet-capable devices they are using to automatically run their preferred AT solutions. Deadline: September 8

North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (NCR-SARE) Partnership Grants This program is intended to foster cooperation between agriculture professionals and small groups of farmers and ranchers to catalyze on-farm research, demonstration, and education activities related to sustainable agriculture. The project must be led by an agriculture/natural resource professional.  These professionals include university educators and extensions agents and specialists. Deadline: October 29

Limited Submissions:

Preproposals and rankings to the EVPRP should be e-mailed to Purdue’s open limited submission competitions, limited submission policy, and templates for preproposals may be found at For any case in which the number of preproposals received is no more than the number of proposals allowed by the sponsor, the EVPRP will notify the PI(s) that an internal competition will be unnecessary.

Limited Submission: HHS-CDC-NIOSH Occupational Safety and Health Education and Research Centers (T42) The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) invites applications for funding Education and Research Centers (ERCs) that are focused on occupational safety and health training, research training, education and outreach. ERCs are academic institutions that provide high-quality interdisciplinary graduate training, research training, continuing education, and outreach in the core occupational safety and health disciplines of industrial hygiene, occupational health nursing, occupational medicine residency, and occupational safety, as well as closely related allied disciplines. Research and research training are integral components of ERCs, with ERC faculty and NIOSH trainees conducting research on issues related to the NIOSH National Occupational Research Agenda. The ERCs also serve as regional resources for industry, labor, government, and the public. For this opportunity, Purdue is limited to one application.

  • Internal deadline: Contact by August 17.

  • Sponsor deadlines: Letter of Intent due October 2; Application due December 3

Anticipated Funding Opportunities:

These solicitations are anticipated to be released soon based on the timing of previous solicitations for the program or notices of intent to publish. We are posting this information to help with proposal planning efforts but please keep in mind that the release dates and/or scope of a solicitation can change from year-to-year so be sure to read the solicitation carefully once it is released.

DOA/DOI Joint Fire Science Program (JFSP) Pre-funding notice – Potential Topics JFSP intends to request proposals through one or more formal Funding Opportunity Notice (FON) announcements beginning approximately September 15 and remaining open through November 13.


NIH ASSIST Now an Option for Institutional Training and Career Development (Ts and K12), Other Training Grants (Ds) and Various Research Applications

Please contact Sue Grimes (, Kristyn Jewell (, or Perry Kirkham ( with any questions.

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