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ENE Memo: August 4, 2014

From the Head: 8/4

Expanded ENE

Since its formation a decade ago, ENE has grown in unprecedented ways and exceeded expectations in many dimensions of scope and scale. The number of faculty has expanded fourfold with the prospect of still further growth. The number of staff has grown with many new types of roles being created. First-year engineering numbers have increased about 30% and the operation to support their learning has expanded considerably from the time when there were just four lecture sections of ENGR 126 and only in fall. The prospect of Engineering Growth 2.0 looms large. Our graduate program has grown from just a handful of students to be more than 80 with the prospect of getting even larger. We have activated the M.S. degree. With undergraduate numbers in engineering growing overall, the opportunity exists to increase the size of the B.S. in Multidisciplinary Engineering.

This rapid and sustained expansion has strained our community in terms of finding sufficient and suitable space, having coherent processes and operating systems and sufficient and appropriate resources. The oral culture that worked fine in the early years when there were just 5 or 6 faculty and a similar number of graduate students does not scale to our current size. While the bulk of ENE resides in Armstrong Hall, our operations are distributed across campus. This spatial dispersion is set to continue and even expand over coming years with several ENE faculty having their permanent offices in Wang Hall level 4 commencing this fall and our graduate students and research activities moving to Wang Hall level 3 by early spring.

As we continue to expand and spend time apart in physically separate locations, we need to be very intentional about building community and fostering a sense of common purpose and shared pride in all aspects of what we do as ENE. 

This is even more critical as we are a community formed out of three distinct programmatic components: First-year engineering, the B.S. in multidisciplinary engineering (MDE) and interdisciplinary engineering studies (IDES) and the graduate program. Each program has its own unique history. Each serves a community of students who don’t necessarily relate to the other programs. Unlike a traditional engineering department where all the academic programs have a name that is identical to the department’s name, only our graduate program shares the name of our school. Even where a school has two programs, like ABE or ECE, the departmental name is an amalgam of the two program names. Not so with ENE.

Since becoming head in 2009, I have very intentionally tried to foster a sense of the school as a single, cohesive entity with a shared destiny and a rich history of which we can all be proud, built upon our multiple and distinct programmatic missions. ENE is a start-up organization with a 50 year legacy. My hope is that during this present expansion phase that we will grow together as a community; that we can build upon our celebration of the first decade of achievements to envisage an even brighter future.

Interdisciplinarity is a unifying theme for ENE. Our faculty, staff and students come from very diverse educational and professional backgrounds, individually and collectively. Our educational programs are interdisciplinary. The first-year is interdisciplinary in the sense that it spans all engineering disciplines as well as the non-engineering courses. By definition our MDE and IDES degrees are interdisciplinary including strong links to the liberal arts, especially theater and design. Also, by definition, our graduate program is interdisciplinary, drawing on diverse knowledge domains from across many intellectual traditions. We are a confluence of disciplines; a meeting place where different ways of understanding the world collide and where new thinking emerges.

So the challenge before us is: How do we strengthen the ties that bind by leveraging our disciplinary and programmatic plurality in order to continue to grow this as a vibrant, dynamic community with a shared purpose and singular identity?


Calendar: 8/4

Summer 2014

Fall 2014

  • August 18: Faculty return
  • August 20: ENE Strategic Advance
  • August 25: Classes begin
  • August 28: American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Student Chapter Callout (ME 1015), 6pm
  • Sept. 6: Family Day (Purdue Mall near MSEE)
  • Sept. 27: Homecoming (Armstrong Atrium), 9-11am
  • Oct. 22-25: FIE Madrid
  • Oct. 29-30: ENE Graduate Program Open House, Armstrong Hall
  • Nov. 6-7: ENE Industrial Advisory Council
  • Nov. 13: ENE Interdisciplinary Colloquium
  • Nov. 26-28: Thanksgiving
  • Dec. 21: Commencement
  • Late Fall: ENE Research Facility Opens, Wang Hall

News and Information: 8/4

SURF Research Symposium

The Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) is pleased to announce its annual Research Symposium to be held on Thursday, Aug. 7 from 9am-5pm, in Armstrong Hall.

The 143 SURF undergraduate students will present their summer research by attending sessions throughout the day. The morning and afternoon sessions will include both an oral session (5 tracks each) (9:30am and 1:30pm) and a poster session (11:00am and 3:45pm). Read more about the symposium.

We are in need of professional judges for both oral and poster sessions, and we have a wide range of disciplines. Hence we would like to extend an invitation to volunteer as a judge in our symposium. Your help is very much needed and appreciate it.

If you would like to volunteer, please click here to complete the survey as soon as possible.

CSSAC accepting nominations for Excellence Award

The Clerical and Service Staff Advisory Committee is now accepting nominations for the CSSAC Excellence Award, which recognizes clerical and service staff members who perform at outstanding levels.

Nominations will be accepted until 5 p.m. Aug. 8. The award is sponsored by the Office of the Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer, and the Office of the Provost. It was created as a campus-wide way of recognizing and honoring clerical and service staff members (operations/technical staff are not eligible). It will recognize a full-time clerical staff member and a full-time service staff member from the West Lafayette campus who:

  • Consistently goes above and beyond their job requirements.
  • Demonstrates exemplary conduct and leadership skills.
  • Provides exemplary customer service.
  • Shows initiative.

Nominees must have completed at least three years of continuous service to the University. Each winner will receive a plaque and $1,500 that is subject to tax withholdings. CSSAC representatives cannot be nominated, but anyone at Purdue can submit nominations.

Nominations must include:

  • A concise summary statement that is two pages or less in length. The summary must outline the nominee's ability to consistently go above and beyond his or her job requirements, demonstrate exemplary conduct and leadership skills, provide exemplary customer service and show initiative.
  • Only two letters of support from any faculty members, staff members or students. Letters of support must be two pages or less in length.

Nominations can be forwarded as hard copies or electronically to Carrie Hanson at Human Resources in FREH or For more information, contact Hanson at 49-47397 or

Webb appointed faculty ombudsperson

Ralph Webb, professor of communication, will become faculty ombudsperson effective Aug. 18. The position of faculty ombudsperson is a half-time appointment.

In this newly created position, Webb will act as an independent and neutral agent in disputes that involve faculty members. He will listen confidentially to faculty members' concerns and will assist in informal efforts to address them, and he will facilitate dialogue between faculty and University offices and administrators. As faculty ombudsperson, Webb also will provide faculty members with information about policies and services, and he will recommend appropriate changes as necessary to policy and/or work procedures.

Webb's guidance, suggestions or recommendations as ombudsperson will be designed to encourage mutual understanding, identify possible common ground, and create potential solutions with the intent of avoiding the need for an informal or formal grievance. Webb's two-year term as ombudsperson will be independent from the University's formal administrative structure. The ombudsperson will report directly to the provost and the University Senate's chair.

Associate dean of students candidates to make presentations

Members of the Purdue community are invited to attend presentations and open question and answer time with four individuals interviewing for the position of associate dean of students. The associate dean will direct the operations of the Student Assistance Center and will be responsible for providing leadership and oversight to support services including crisis response, intervention and case management processes for the Office of the Dean of Students.

Candidates have been asked to present on their vision for a comprehensive student support and advocacy program within the complex University. After the presentation, candidates will be available for questions from session attendees. Candidate presentations will take place from 3:30 to 4:15 p.m. in Lawson Computer Science Building Room 1142 on the following dates:

  • Wednesday (Aug. 6): Elizabeth Kozik, interim associate dean of students-Student Assistance Center, Purdue.
  • Thursday (Aug. 7): Julie Talz Cox, director, Residential Life, Purdue.
  • Friday (Aug. 8): Stacy Vander Velde, associate director, Office of Student Conflict Resolution, University of Michigan.
  • Monday (Aug. 11): Rose Viau, director, Residential Life, Northwest Missouri State University.


Kudos: 8/4 Krishna Madhavan on an award from EPA/NSF via Arizona State University. Krishna serves as co-PI with Gerhard Klimeck (ECE) as PI. The title of the project is “NCCLC: Life cycle of nano-materials (LCNano)," which is designed to help with the cyber-environment and associated analytics.

Funding Opportunities: 8/4

Selected Funding Opportunities

NSF Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE: EHR) The IUSE program invites proposals that address immediate challenges and opportunities that are facing undergraduate STEM education, as well as those that anticipate new structures (e.g. organizational changes, new methods for certification or credentialing, course re-conception, cyberlearning, etc.) and new functions of the undergraduate learning and teaching enterprise. The program features two tracks: (1) Engaged Student Learning and (2) Institutional and Community Transformation. Two tiers of projects exist within each track: (i) Exploration and (ii) Design and Development. These tracks will entertain research studies in all areas. Deadlines begin in October and vary by track.

NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) The Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program supports active research participation by undergraduate students in any of the areas of research funded by the National Science Foundation. This solicitation features two mechanisms for support of student research: (1) REU Sites and (2) REU Supplements. Deadline: August 27.

NIH Transformative Research Awards (R01) This award complements NIH’s traditional, investigator-initiated grant programs by supporting individual scientists or groups of scientists proposing groundbreaking, exceptionally innovative, original and/or unconventional research with the potential to create new scientific paradigms, establish entirely new and improved clinical approaches, or develop transformative technologies. Little or no preliminary data are expected. Projects must clearly demonstrate the potential to produce a major impact in a broad area of biomedical or behavioral research. Deadline: October 10

Advanced Imaging Center Visitor Program at Janelia Farm Research Campus The mission of the HHMI/Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation-funded AIC is to make cutting-edge, pre-commercial microscopes developed at Janelia available to visiting scientists, maximizing the impact of the latest developments in optical instruments and emerging microscopy technologies. Under the Janelia Visitor Program, visiting scientists will spend 1-2 weeks at Janelia to conduct experiments on the scope with the support of the AIC team. The goal of this program is to facilitate access to a range of microscopy methods that are not generally available. Deadline: August 15

Limited Submissions

Letters of intent, preproposals, and rankings to the EVPRP should be e-mailed to Purdue's open limited submission competitions, limited submission policy, and template for letters of intent may be found at For any case in which the number of internal letters of intent received is no more than the number of proposals allowed by the sponsor, the EVPRP will notify the PI that an internal preproposal will be unnecessary.

Funding Resources

The EVPRP website includes a link entitled Funding Resources. This link includes sections containing Internal and External Funding Resources. Additionally, there is a link for Search Tools and Alerts. Those who would like assistance in setting up their Pivot E-mail funding alerts may want to take advantage of our tutorial, which may be found on the Search Tools and Alerts link.

The newest issues of Research Development and Grantwriting News are available at:

Another resource for corporate and foundation funding opportunities is the University Development Office.


NIH Director’s Blog Article – Formula for Innovation: People + Ideas + Time The article highlights new funding mechanisms being developed at the NIH for sustained investigator support.

NIH Notice of Intent to Publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement for Drug Abuse Prevention Intervention Research (RO1)

NSF FAQs for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) Research Initiation Initiative (CRII)

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As always, we appreciate your sharing this information with your faculty. Please contact Sue Grimes (, Kristyn Jewell (, or Perry Kirkham ( with any questions.

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