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ENE Memo: February 25, 2013

From the Head: 2/25

Last Wednesday we celebrated the 5th annual School of Engineering Education Outstanding Alumni Awards. The honorees were Stan Jones, Eric Schmidt, and Mike Wells, all of whom graduated from the Interdisciplinary Engineering program in the 1970s, a time of ferment and protest at the peak of the Vietnam War. We also hosted a previous honoree, Paul Cloyd, who received his award in 2001, at a time when that recognition was called the Outstanding Interdisciplinary Engineering Alumni Award. The name change in 2009 to ENE Outstanding Alumni foreshadows the time when awardees will include graduates of our PhD program and other future programs.

This awards ceremony is intergenerational, as we also recognize current BS students. The IDE Award for Outstanding Junior Academic Achievement was presented jointly to Christopher Bosma, whose self-designed plan of study is Global Humanitarian Aid Engineering, and Trenton Marshall, whose plan of study is Acoustical Engineering. The IDE Award for Outstanding Senior Academic Achievement was given jointly to Chloe Morrical, who is in Pre-medical Engineering Studies, and Lourdes Urena, whose plan of study is Integrated Engineering

Stan Jones served in the Indiana State House and for the Bayh administration and was Indiana’s Commissioner for Higher Education. He founded and heads a not-for-profit Complete College America, a network of states that enables more students to finish college. Currently, 32 states have joined Complete College America’s Alliance of States. The organization uses an evidence-based approach to promoting effective policies and practices to improve higher education. This work parallels the mission of the School to transform engineering education based on scholarship and research and data.

Eric Schmidt arrived at Purdue intending to major in electrical engineering, but the first Earth Day change all that. He switched to environmental engineering, part of the Interdisciplinary Engineering program. He is now the Corporate Director of Environmental Engineering for RockTenn Corporation, a paper and packaging manufacturer. The company’s goal is: Limit the environmental footprint. Be good neighbors. Be good citizens. This aligns with a deeply held value of many of the faculty, students and staff of ENE for engineering that is socially and environmentally responsible.

Mike Wells, who subsequently trained as a lawyer and has spent his entire professional life in commerce, graduated in Interdisciplinary Engineering with a focus on people and management. He observes that “engineering is a good background for a lawyer” and that when you deal with people in business on technical issues and they try to put one over on you, being able to say “I got an A in thermodynamics at Purdue” gives you the upper hand. His many accomplishments demonstrate how the discipline of engineering thinking can guide a multifaceted career that has made a major impact on the community. One of the key insights he took from his engineering studies was, “the biggest problem is to identify the right problem,” something we stress in our FYE courses today.

Everything we do in the School of Engineering Education crosses traditional discipline boundaries; it is the essence of who we are as a school. Our First-Year Engineering program brings together instructors, graduate TAs and peer teachers from many disciplinary and professional backgrounds who help new students acquire transferable engineering habits of mind and learn about the many disciplines within it. By definition, our bachelor degrees in Multidisciplinary Engineering and Interdisciplinary Engineering Studies cut across many disciplines, not only in engineering but also across the most colleges in Purdue. Our PhD program is also inherently interdisciplinary.

Perhaps the title of our school should be changed to the School of Multidisciplinary and Interdisciplinary Engineering Education (MIEE)? 


 “Just don’t give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there is love and inspiration, I don’t think you can go wrong.” Ella Fitzgerald


Calendar: 2/25

Spring 2013

  • March 5:  Future of the American Research University- Professor Jim Duderstadt  3:30-4:30, pm Kurz Atrium, Armstrong Hall
  • March 6:   Faculty Meeting (8:30-9:20)
  • Mar 26: What's Coming;  Whether We Like It or Not  - Professor Dan Mote  3:30-4:30 pm, Kurz Atrium, Armstrong Hall
  • March 27: Faculty Meeting (8:30-9:20)
  • April 4: Increasing Diversity in Engineering - Maria Klawe, President, Harvey Mudd - 3:00-4:00 pm, Kurz Atrium, Armstrong Hall 
  • April 5:  Faculty Excellence Awards
  • April 8-9: Engineering Education Industrial Advisory Council (E2IAC) - Theme: ENE's Second Decade
  • April 9: Engineering Engineering Education - Norm Augustine  10:30-11:30 am, Kurz Atrium, Armstrong Hall 
  • April 24: Faculty Meeting (8:30-9:20)
  • May 8-9: ENE Advance (9-4) ENE's Second Decade

Summer 2013

  • June 17 - July 11:  STAR​ (Student Transition, Advising and Registration)

Fall 2013

  • Aug 14: ENE Faculty Advance 
  • Aug 19: Classes Begin
  • Sept 27: 2nd Annual First-Year Engineering Friday
  • Sept 28 Homecoming & Family Weekend
  • TBD:   ABET Site Visit (Mon + Tues; most likely in Oct or Nov
  • Nov 8: Engineering Education Industrial Advisory Council (E2IAC) 
  • Nov 9: ENE Friends at the Football
  • Nov 14: 3rd Annual Interdisciplinary Engineering Colloquium


Kudos: 2/25 Qu Jin--make that *Dr.* Qu Jin--on passing her final exam last Friday. Noah Salzman on his selection for the Magoon Award, recognizing his outstanding work as a TA in Mechanical Engineering.

News and Information: 2/25

Forum on Promotion and Tenure Report

Faculty are being invited to provide feedback on four topics addressed in the Promotion and Tenure Task Force Report during a forum from noon to 2 p.m. Feb. 25 in Purdue Memorial Union, North Ballroom.

A copy of the task force recommendations can be found at Task Force Report.pdf.

Tim Sands, executive vice president for academic affairs and provost, will open the session, and box lunches will be provided as faculty select one of four breakout sessions: collegiality, interdisciplinarity and joint appointments, how to measure scholarly impact, and post-tenure review.

"This is an opportunity for our faculty to be included in the promotion and tenure policy review process," says Beverly Davenport Sypher, vice provost for faculty affairs. "We look forward to their insights and suggestions."

A second forum is scheduled for 9:30-11:30 a.m. March 6. Topics addressed at that forum will include engagement and service, excellence and distribution of effort, evaluating teaching and learning, and the tenure clock. More information regarding the second forum is forthcoming

Child Care : Input Sought

The Child Care Task Force needs your input on current and future child care needs and resources at Purdue University.   

This survey will assist the task force in its efforts to make recommendations to the Provost’s office, with the goal of improving recruitment, retention and work/life balance.

All faculty and staff are encouraged to participate. Input from those who have children and those who do not is equally welcomed.

Please take a few minutes to complete the online survey at Child Care Task Force Survey . Participation is voluntary, and individual responses and feedback are anonymous.

Center for Healthy Living Opens Feb 27

Learn more about the Center for Healthy Living here.

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