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ENE Memo: February 8, 2016

From the Head: 02/08/2016

Freshman Engineering: a program, a department and a new curriculum

The School of Engineering Education is a very young academic department yet we have deep roots going back to the middle of last century. A common curriculum for first-year engineering students attending Purdue was operating in the 1940s, some years before the Department of Freshman Engineering was established. So this concept is at least 70 years old.

"In order to give the student sufficient time to adjust himself and to choose the branch of engineering for which he is best adapted, the program of study during the freshman year is common for the curricula in aeronautical engineering, air transportation, agricultural engineering, chemical engineering, civil engineering, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, metallurgical engineering and engineering-law. Lectures and conferences will guide the student so that by the end of the second semester he may be in a position to make proper selection."  Source: The Bulletin of Purdue University, Catalogue Number for the sessions of 1946-1947. 

The Department of Freshman Engineering was announced in 1954 as follows.   

"A Department of Freshman Engineering has been established this year in a reorganization within the engineering schools with Dr. A. R. Spalding of the Mechanical Engineering department as its head. The educational objectives of this new department are extended academic counseling and related services, studying and planning the freshman curriculum and administering the common program carried by all freshman engineering students. Associate Dean W. A.  Knapp, who has had charge of the freshman engineering program for many years, will continue to be closely associated with it until his retirement next year". Source: Spalding to Head Freshman Engineering, The Purdue Alumnus, Vol XLII, No 1, Sept-Oct 1954, p16.

In the previous year, the new dean, George Hawkins, set up a faculty committee chaired by Dr. Spalding to revise this common first year curriculum.   

"The Faculty Committee on Freshman Engineering was established in December 1953, to develop and promote an effective program of preparedness and  competence for freshmen..... The purpose was to provide the students with a plan of study that will stimulate interest in their engineering career and to enable them to continue their course as upperclassmen at such level to provide the profession with the best prepared young engineers to be obtained anywhere. - G. A. Hawkins, Dean of Engineering". Source: Dick Trowbride, Prof. Spaulding Answers Your Questions About the Changes, The Purdue Engineer, December 1955, pp14-15, 29.

These curricula changes at Purdue were part of a broader national reform movement in engineering education exemplified by the Grinter Report published in 1955, but more on that next week.


Kudos: 02/08/2016 James Huff, Carla Zoltowski, and Bill Oakes on their research article Preparing Engineers for the Workplace through Service Learning: Perceptions of EPICS Alumni, published in the Journal of Engineering Education, Volume 105, Number 1, pp 43-69. Todd Fernandez (Ph.D. student) for successfully passing his readiness assessment. Congratulations, Todd! Jessica Menold, Kathryn Jablokow, Senay Purzer, Dan Ferguson and Matt Ohland for their recent article, A cognitive mapping of the characteristics of engineering innovativeness with a comparative review of instruments to inform their assessmentpublished in the International Journal of Engineering Education, Volume 32, Number 1A, pp 64-83. 

News and Information: 02/08/2016

2016 Awards for Excellence in Distance Learning

Please consider nominating an online learning activity (course, seminar, or workshop) for the 2016 Purdue University Awards for Excellence in Distance Learning. Two cash awards of $1,000 are funded by the Office of the Provost, one each for a credit and a noncredit distance learning activity conducted through Purdue. These awards will recognize faculty or staff members who demonstrate excellence in distance learning projects. Additionally, they are intended to publicize and promote creative and innovative approaches to developing online learning opportunities for on-campus students and students in online programs.

Purpose:  These awards recognize faculty, instructors, or staff members who demonstrate excellence in the development or teaching of a distance or online learning activity (course, workshop, or seminar). Awards are intended to recognize professional accomplishment and to publicize and promote creative and effective approaches to distance/online learning.

Awards:  Two cash awards of $1,000 are available; one each for credit-granting and noncredit-granting learning activities conducted through Purdue University (applicable taxes will be deducted). Award certificates will be presented at the Provost’s Faculty Awards Convocation in April.

Eligibility:  Awards are open to faculty, instructors, or staff members, as individuals or as a team, across all Purdue system campuses. In the event a team wins an award, the $1,000 award will be divided equally among team members. At least one of the nominees for each award must be a current faculty, instructor, or staff member at Purdue. The related distance/online learning activity must have been offered within the previous two years.

Definitions:  Distance and online learning activities are defined as an organized set of instructional objectives, content, and processes presented to learners who are separated from the instructor – in space or time – and from the traditional on-campus classroom. Examples of learning activities include, but are not limited to, credit courses, short training sessions, workshops, and seminars.

Nomination criteria:  To qualify for the Award for Excellence in Distance Learning, the nominee must have developed or taught a credit or noncredit learning activity that clearly demonstrates each of the following:

-      A well-designed approach to instruction, including elements such as needs assessment, learner
       analyses, instructional strategies, evidence of timely content, and appropriate use of technology.

-      Effective application of distance learning methods and best practices which enable student learning.

-      Positive impact on the learners served, as reflected by program evaluations or other documentation
       of appropriate measures.

All documents must be submitted electronically from the nomination site at . If you have questions, please contact Maricel Lawrence at or 765-494-1664.

Deadline to receive applications or nominations is end of the day, Monday, February 29, 2016. 


Calendar: 02/08/2016

Spring 2016 

  • Feb 5: ENE Friday Noon-Thirty Lunch, 12:30-1:30 pm, WANG Kitchen
  • Feb 11: Associate Professors meet with Head, 9:30-10:30 am, WANG 3501
  • Feb 11: ENE Research Seminar, 3:30-4:30pm, ARMS BO71 (Weekly)
  • Feb 12: ENE Friday Noon-Thirty Lunch, 12:30-1:30 pm, WANG Kitchen
  • Feb 18: Faculty Meeting, 9:30-11:20 am, WANG 3501
  • Feb 19: ENE Friday Noon-Thirty Lunch, 12:30-1:30 pm, WANG Kitchen
  • Feb 25: Faculty Meeting 9:30-11:20 am, WANG 3501
  • Feb 26: ENE Friday Noon-Thirty Lunch, 12:30-1:30 pm, WANG Kitchen
  • March 4: ENE Friday Noon-Thirty Lunch, 12:30-1:30 pm, WANG Kitchen
  • March 10: Faculty Meeting, 9:30-11:20 am, WANG 3501
  • March 11: ENE Friday Noon-Thirty Lunch, 12:30-1:30 pm, WANG Kitchen
  • March 14/19: Spring Break 
  • March 24: ENE Primary Committee (Assistant cases), 9:30-11:20am, WANG 3501
  • March 25: Staff Meeting, 8:30-9:30am, Wang 3501  
  • March 25: ENE Friday Noon-Thirty Lunch, 12:30-1:30 pm, WANG Kitchen
  • March 31: Faculty Meeting, 9:30-11:20 am, WANG 3501
  • April 1: ENE Friday Noon-Thirty Lunch, 12:30-1:30 pm, WANG Kitchen
  • April 4: ENE Primary Committee (Associate cases), 2:00-5:00pm, WANG 3501
  • April 8: ENE Friday Noon-Thirty Lunch, 12:30-1:30 pm, WANG Kitchen
  • April 11/12: ENE Industrial Advisory Council  
  • April 14: Faculty Career Colloquium (Dr. Radcliffe), 3:30-4:20pm
  • April 15: ENE Friday Noon-Thirty Lunch, 12:30-1:30 pm, WANG Kitchen
  • April 20: ENE Outstanding Alumni Awards (note change of date)
  • April 21: Faculty Meeting, 9:30-11:20 am, WANG 3501
  • April 22: ENE Friday Noon-Thirty Lunch, 12:30-1:30 pm, WANG Kitchen
  • April 29: ENE Friday Noon-Thirty Lunch, 12:30-1:30 pm, WANG Kitchen
  • April 30: Classes end
  • May 5: Faculty Meeting, 9:30-11:20 am, WANG 3501
  • May 10: Grades Due
  • May 11/12: ENE Strategic Advance
  • May 13: Engineering Commencement, 8pm, Elliot Hall of Music

Summer 2016

  • June 26-29: ASEE 2016, New Orleans
  • Aug 13-15: 3rd P-12 Engineering and Design Education Research Summit, Chicago

Fall 2016

  • Aug 15: Faculty return  
  • Aug 22: Classes begin

Funding Opportunities: 02/08/2016

Selected Funding Opportunities:

NSF Expeditions in Computing The Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) has created the Expeditions program to provide the CISE research and education community with the opportunity to pursue ambitious, fundamental research agendas that promise to define the future of computing and information. In planning Expeditions projects, investigators are encouraged to come together within or across departments or institutions to combine their creative talents in the identification of compelling, transformative research agendas that promise disruptive innovations in computing and information for many years to come. Preliminary proposal due May 2; Full proposal due January 18, 2017.

NIH Neural Mechanisms of Multi-Dimensional Emotional and Social Representation These FOAs encourage grant applications that incorporate a multi-dimensional perspective into studies of the neural mechanisms underlying emotional and/or social representations. The ability to integrate a broad array of emotional and social cues is impaired in many mental disorders, yet the neural mechanisms underlying these processes are not well understood. These FOAs encourage investigators to take on the challenge of investigating how diverse multi-dimensional emotional and/or social cues are represented across integrated and temporally dynamic brain circuits. Deadline: June 3

DoD Army Corps of Engineers Research and Development Center (ERDC) The ERDC is responsible for conducting research in the broad fields of hydraulics, dredging, coastal engineering, instrumentation, oceanography, remote sensing, geotechnical engineering, earthquake engineering, soil effects, vehicle mobility, self-contained munitions, military engineering, geophysics, pavements, protective structures, aquatic plants, water quality, dredged material, treatment of hazardous waste, wetlands, physical/mechanical/chemical properties of snow and other frozen precipitation, infrastructure and environmental issues for installations, computer science, telecommunications management, energy, facilities maintenance, materials and structures, engineering processes, environmental processes, land and heritage conservation, and ecological processes. Proposals accepted through 1/31/17.

DOC-NIST National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC) Privacy Pilots Cooperative Agreement Program NIST is soliciting applications from eligible applicants to pilot online identity solutions that embrace the Identity Ecosystem Steering Group’s Identity Ecosystem Framework (IDEF). Abbreviated applications due February 18; Invited full applications due May 25.

NEA Creative Writing Fellowships in Poetry The NEA Literature Fellowships program offers $25,000 grants in poetry to published creative writers that enable recipients to set aside time for writing, research, travel, and general career advancement. Deadline: March 9

IMLS STEM Expert Facilitation of Family Learning in Libraries and Museums (STEMEX) This joint NLG-Libraries and NLG-Museums special initiative invites proposals for research on informal educational approaches that leverage community STEM professionals in the broadest sense. We are interested in proposals for design-based research projects that develop and explore models for inquiry-based STEM programs delivered by scientists, engineers, and related technical practitioners (STEM experts) to children ages 6-10 and their families. In particular, proposals should address the role of expert oral narratives (e.g., storytelling, personal histories, and analogies) as part of object-based science inquiry. Deadline: May 1

SIA Foundation Grant The SIA Foundation is committed to making gifts to qualifying organizations, institutions or entities within Indiana that will improve the quality of life and help to meet the needs of the residents of the State of Indiana. The SIA Foundation achieves this mission through grants, which are used to support the funding of specific capital projects in the areas of Arts and Culture, Education, and Health and Welfare. Deadline: March 31

Great Plains Center for Agricultural Health Pilot Grant Program The goal of the scholarly research grant program is to create new agricultural safety and health knowledge and to assess and promote best safety and health practices. Basic and applied research projects will be judged for scientific merit. Deadline: April 3

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: UDSA-NIFA Children, Youth, and Families At-Risk Sustainable Community Projects (CYFAR SCP) The purpose of SCP funding is to improve the quality and quantity of comprehensive community-based programs for at-risk children, youth, and families supported by the Cooperative Extension System. Collaboration across disciplines, program areas, and geographic lines, as well a holistic approach that views the individual in the context of the family and community, are central to Sustainable Community Projects. For this opportunity, Purdue can submit one proposal.

Internal deadlines:

  • Monday, February 15: Preproposals due.
  • Monday, February 22: Rankings due.

Sponsor Deadline: March 14


Meeting NSF’s Technical Reporting Requirements

NIH Budget Highlights for 2016

Registration is Now Open for the Spring and Fall 2016 NIH Regional Seminars

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 Teresa Morris or David Radcliffe by midday Friday for the following week's issue.