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ENE Memo: January 20, 2014

From the Head: 1/20

Time to Change?

Last week Presidential Daniels published his second Open Letter to the Purdue community. The main themes are Accountability, Affordability and Innovation. One year ago he released his first Open Letter;  which I summarized in the Memo on February 4 2013. At the time I observed that “There are several underlying themes: with freedom comes responsibility; the greater good trumps parochial or individual interest; an expectation of measurable outcomes that have social or economic impact in the near term.”

It is instructive to compare the two letters. Both place a major emphasis on affordabilityAccountability appears in both although in 2013 it was expressed in terms of shared governance. Excellence and engagement that were featured in 2013 are embodied in the Purdue Moves and implied in the current Open Letter. Interestingly, neither open inquiry nor common purpose, both of which featured in the 2013 letter, appear explicitly in 2014.

One interesting challenge put forward in the second Open Letter is that of competency-based degrees.

“Two of the new questions posed to higher education these days are 1) Why does it take so long for students to fulfill their graduation requirements? and 2) Why can't students progress at their own rate instead of being tied to an historic semester calendar? Often, the matter is put more directly: Why can't at least some degrees be completed in less than the traditional four years, and why can't students move ahead as soon as they have demonstrated their mastery, or "competency" of a subject, rather than wait for an arbitrary testing date?”

In theory, engineering accreditation moved to an outcomes-basis following the adoption of EC 2000 by ABET. The operational reality is something more of a hybrid of inputs, processes and measuring outcomes. So in principle engineering education should be in a good position to take up the competency-based degree challenge, if we chose to do so.

The competency-based degree idea is currently getting lots of air-play. Close to home the Lumina Foundation in Indianapolis has released a degree qualifications profile that is competency-based. Amongst other sources, this work draws upon the Australian Qualifications Framework that had its origins back in the 1990s. The online degree programs of the Western Governor’s University, which the then Governor Daniels brought to Indiana, are competency-based.

The Center for American Progress in association with the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning recently released a report called Meeting Students Where They Are which makes the case for competency rather than time-based higher education. This is a move towards personalized learningThe challenge to a lock step, time-based model of progression at every level (K-16) echoes the arguments by Sir Ken Robinson against our out-outmoded industrial model of education.  

Of course moving to a competency-based degree comes with its challenges, not least around adequately defining and then measuring the attainment of the competencies.  Some of you know of the work that Jo Walther and I initiated on “accidental competencies” and education as a complex system. This  research grew out of the development of the Site Based Learning  program, introduced the early 2000s at U.Q., where engineering seniors spent a semester in industry working on company-based projects and gained full academic  credit for the semester. It is not as simple as it first seems but it is feasible.

Perhaps the competency-based degree is an idea whose time has come.


Calendar: 1/20

Spring 2014

  • Jan 21: Faculty Candidate Research Seminar, ARMS 1028, 9:30-10:20am. 
  • Jan 22: Faculty Meeting, ARMS BO98B, Innovation Studio, 9:30-11:20am.
  • Jan 23: Faculty Candidate Research Seminar, ARMS 1028, 9:30-10:20am. 
  • Jan 27: TULIP (Teaching Undergraduates for Learning), ARMS 3001, 2:30-4:00pm. 
  • Jan 28: Faculty Candidate Research Seminar, ARMS 1028, 9:30-10:20am. 
  • Jan 29: Assistant Professors meet with Head, Innovation Studio, 9:30-10:20am.
  • Jan 30: Faculty Candidate Research Seminar, ARMS 1028, 9:30-10:20am. 
  • Feb 4: Faculty Candidate Research Seminar, ARMS 1028, 9:30-10:20am. 
  • Feb 5: Faculty Meeting, ARMS BO98B, Innovation Studio, 9:30-11:20am.
  • Feb 6:  Faculty Candidate Research Seminar, ARMS 1028, 9:30-10:20am. 
  • Feb 10: TULIP (Teaching Undergraduates for Learning), ARMS 3001, 2:30-4:00pm. 
  • Feb 12: Associate Professors meet with Head, Innovation Studio, 9:30-10:20am
  • Feb 13: ENE Research Seminar, ARMS BO71, 3:30-4:20pm. 
  • Feb 19: Faculty Mentoring Conversation, ARMS BO98B, Innovation Studio, 9:30-11:20am.
  • Feb 19: ENE Outstanding Alumni Awards Celebrating 45 Years of  Interdisciplinary Engineering Education.
  • Feb 20: ENE Research Seminar, ARMS BO71, 3:30-4:20pm.
  • Feb 26: Faculty Meeting, ARMS BO98B, Innovation Studio, 9:30-11:20am
  • Feb 27: ENE Research Seminar, ARMS BO71, 3:30-4:20pm.
  • Mar 3: Graduate Students meet with Head, TBD, 9:30-10:20am.
  • Mar 3: TULIP (Teaching Undergraduates for Learning), ARMS 3001, 2:30-4:00pm. 
  • Mar 6: ENE Research Seminar, ARMS BO71, 3:30-4:20pm.
  • Mar 12: Faculty Meeting, ARMS BO98B, Innovation Studio, 9:30-11:20am
  • Mar 13: ENE Research Seminar, ARMS BO71, 3:30-4:20pm.
  • Mar 17-21: Spring Break
  • Mar 27: ENE Research Seminar, ARMS BO71, 3:30-4:20pm.
  • Mar 28: Staff Meeting, ARMS 1109 8:30-9:20am. 
  • Mar 31: TULIP (Teaching Undergraduates for Learning), ARMS 3001, 2:30-4:00pm. 
  • April 2: Faculty Meeting, ARMS BO98B, Innovation Studio, 9:30-11:20am.
  • April 3: ENE GSA Town Hall, ARMS BO71, 3:30-4:20pm. 
  • April 8: Engineering Education Industrial Advisory Board meeting.
  • April 9: ENE Turns 10: Celebrating a Decade of ENE/ Open House and Research Exhibition
  • April 10: ENE Research Seminar, ARMS BO71, 3:30-4:20pm.
  • April 14: TULIP (Teaching Undergraduates for Learning), ARMS 3001, 2:30-4:00pm. 
  • April 16: Faculty FYE Research Conversation, ARMS BO98B, Innovation Studio, 9:30-11:20am.
  • April 17: ENE Research Seminar, ARMS BO71, 3:30-4:20pm.
  • April 23: Faculty Meeting, ARMS BO98B, Innovation Studio, 9:30-11:20am.
  • April 24: ENE Research Seminar, ARMS BO71, 3:30-4:20pm.
  • May 2: Classes End
  • May 7: Faculty Meeting, ARMS BO98B, Innovation Studio, 9:30-11:20am.
  • May 14-15: ENE Advance, ARMS BO98, Ideas to Innovation Learning Laboratory, 9:30am-3:30pm.
  • May 17-18 Commencement

Summer 2014

  • June 12-13: Purdue, Engineering Education Futures: Hearing Global Perspectives
  • June 14: ENE Alums & Friends Reception, Indianapolis Interdisciplinary Engineering Education
  • June 15-18: ASEE Conference, Indianapolis Engineering Education Futures

News and Information: 1/20

Safety Matters

1. Departmental Action Items from 2014 REM Recertification

a)      Review the bi-weekly Safety Committee meeting minutes

b)      Attend shooter-in-place/workplace violence training later this Spring (more details coming soon…)

2. Right To Know Training

If you have not already completed Right To Know (HazCom) Training, you must complete the online training this Spring. Training is relatively brief, and goes over the main hazard communication policies at Purdue.  If you have not attended a Right To Know training session, please contact Patrick La Petina at or 494-1503.

3. General Safety Reminders

There are two ways to report safety issues/concerns:

New ENE Staff: Review the Office Safety & ARMS Emergency Procedures sections on the ENE Safety website (


Library Office Hours: Every Monday 1:30-3:30 pm in ARMS 1314 

As most of you know we have “librarian office hours” once a week to help you with ALL your information needs related to research or whatever. You can just drop in. With Amy van Epps away this semester, we have the services of Megan Sapp Nelson from the Engineering Library. 

If your research group needs to get up to speed on current tools and best approaches for planning, gathering, curating and generally managing your information she can help or even set up a workshop as part of the office hours.

Please be proactive in making the very best use of this partnership with the library.

Interviews for ENE and STEM Cluster Faculty Positions

Over the next month a series of individuals will be visiting campus to interview for one of the open faculty positions.

Each candidate will arrive on the first date indicated (e.g. Jan 20), be shown around campus with a faculty host then have dinner with a small group of faculty and graduate students. The second date indicated (e.g. Jan 21) is the main interview day. Candidates will have breakfast, tour our facilities, present a seminar at 9:30am (see Calendar), have meetings with various faculty and staff, visit a FYE and graduate class and then have a formal interview with the search committee late in the afternoon. Candidates will be staying in town on the evening of the second day. 

Funding Opportunities: 1/20

Selected Funding Opportunities:

NSF Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program  The CAREER Program is a Foundation-wide activity that offers the National Science Foundation's most prestigious awards in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations.  Deadlines are as follows.  BIO, CISE, EHR: July 21. ENG: July 22. GEO, MPS, SBE: July 23.

NSF Cyber-Innovation for Sustainability Science and Engineering (CyberSEES)  The CyberSEES program aims to advance interdisciplinary research in which the science and engineering of sustainability are enabled by new advances in computing, and where computational innovation is grounded in the context of sustainability problems. CyberSEES supports research on all sustainability topics that depend on advances in computational areas including optimization, modeling, simulation, prediction, and inference; large-scale data management and analytics; advanced sensing techniques; human computer interaction and social computing; infrastructure design, control and management; and intelligent systems and decision-making.  Deadline: April 8

NIH Shared Instrumentation Grant Program (S10)  The program encourages applications from groups of NIH-supported investigators to purchase or upgrade a single item of expensive, specialized, commercially available instrumentation or an integrated system that costs at least $100,000. The maximum award is $600,000. This program is designed to provide funding for the acquisition or updating of expensive shared-use instrumentation not generally available through other NIH mechanisms, such as the regular research project, program project, or center grant programs.  Applications for research on advancing the design or for the development of new instrumentation are not appropriate for this FOA.  Deadline: March 21

NIH Centers of Excellence in Self-Management Research The purpose of the program is to enhance interdisciplinary, bio-behavioral research for scientists conducting self-management research by enabling development of a sustainable research infrastructure and centralized resources in support of research programs in various science areas.  The program will support 2-3 awards for Exploratory/Developmental Centers (P20s) and 2-3 awards for Centers of Excellence (P30s).

  • P20  Deadline: March 11
  • P30  Deadline: March 11

NIH Fundamental Mechanisms of Affective and Decisional Processes in Cancer Control (U01)  The purpose of this FOA is to encourage projects to generate fundamental knowledge of affective processes. Basic affective science projects should have key downstream consequences for single (e.g., genetic testing consent) and multiple (e.g., adherence to oral chemotherapy regimen) event decisions and behaviors across the cancer prevention and control continuum. The FOA is expected to encourage scientific disciplines that have not traditionally conducted cancer research – such as affective and cognitive neuroscience, decision science, and consumer science – to elucidate perplexing and understudied problems in basic affective and decision sciences with promise of having downstream implications for cancer prevention and control science.  Deadline: June 10

Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division BAA The requirement for R&D conducted under this BAA is to explore unique training techniques incorporating innovative behavioral and engineering technologies, which are needed for more effective and/or less expensive training systems. Technology products may include empirical research, software and computer models, test beds and proof of concept demonstrations.  Research Topics fall under the following areas: Training Technology and Methodology; Simulation Systems; Computer Applications; and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education.  White papers accepted until December 31, 2015.

EPA National Center for Sustainable Water Infrastructure Modeling Research Under this solicitation, the EPA is seeking to provide the initial five years of funding to establish a Center that i) facilitates the technology transfer and public water modeling community ownership of open source water infrastructure models and ii) shares green infrastructure tools and research advancements with local communities and stakeholders.  Deadline: March 10

ED Personnel Development to Improve Services and Results for Children with Disabilities: Preparation of Special Education, Early Intervention, and Related Services Leadership Personnel  The purpose of this program is to support preexisting degree programs that prepare special education, early intervention, and related services personnel at the graduate level who are well-qualified for, and can act effectively in, leadership positions in universities, SEAs, LAs, LEAs, EIS programs, or Schools. Deadline: February 24

FDA Tobacco Regulatory Science Fellowship  This program is designed for mid-career professionals to gain experience and expertise to further define and develop the field of regulatory science as it relates to the regulation of tobacco products and FDA's new authorities under the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act.  Deadline: March 3

FDA Use of Polyethylene Glycol in the Pediatric Population (R01)  The purpose of the proposed study is to better understand the extent of pediatric absorption of low molecular weight species that may be found in PEG 3350 products (e.g., ethylene and diethylene glycol). This is an important first step needed to begin to understand if PEG 3350 use contributes to adverse events in children due to the absorption of these species. Deadline: February 28

NEA Creative Writing Fellowships: Poetry  The NEA Literature Fellowships program offers grants in poetry to published creative writers that enable the recipients to set aside time for writing, research, travel, and general career advancement.  Deadline: March 12

Indiana Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Research Fund Grant Program  The Indiana Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Research Fund is accepting applications to support research related to treatment and cure of spinal cord and brain injuries.  This includes research related to the prevention, treatment and cure of spinal cord and brain injuries, including acute management, medical complications, rehabilitative techniques and neuronal recovery.  Deadline: February 17

Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission Creative Artists Program The Japan U.S. Friendship Commission offers leading contemporary and traditional artists from the U.S. the opportunity to spend three months in Japan. Cultural understanding is at the heart of this program.  Artists go as seekers, as cultural visionaries, and as living liaisons to the traditional and contemporary cultural life of Japan. The Program accepts applications in all disciplines including, Architecture or Design; Choreography; Music Composition; Filmmaking/Media Art; Folk/Traditional Art; Playwright/Theater Art; Visual Art; Writing; Multidisciplinary; and Other Disciplines.  Deadline: February 1

Avon Foundation for Women Breast Cancer Research Program  The Foundation continues its search for new preventive strategies to address the growing number of breast cancer cases around the globe. To develop new strategies to prevent breast cancer, we need to understand the causes of breast cancer in people; changes in breast cells that give rise to cancer, markers for disease, and how breast cancer progresses.  Letters of intent due January 31; Invited full proposals due March 28

Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network Young Investigator Award  This Award is intended to support the development of outstanding research scientists and clinical cancer research investigators who have demonstrated a commitment to improving the understanding and treatment of bladder cancer. Investigators may be working in basic, translational, clinical, epidemiological, bioengineering or any other field.  Applicant should be within six years following completion of a professional degree.  Deadline: March 5

Spencer Foundation The New Civics Initiative Through its New Civics initiative, the foundation is accepting research proposals that ask critical questions about how education can more effectively contribute to the civic development of young people. Of special interest are projects designed to improve understanding of the avenues for and impediments to civic learning and civic action among young people who do not attend college, who reside in marginalized communities, who are recent immigrants or immigrants of different legal statuses, or who are less economically privileged.  For requests under $50,000, proposals must be received by February 6.  For higher level requests, preliminary proposals are due April 29 with invited full proposals due June 30.

Fred C. Gloeckner Foundation Grants The Gloeckner Foundation awards grants for research and educational projects in floriculture and in the supporting and allied fields, such as agricultural economics, agricultural engineering, entomology, plant breeding, plant pathology, and plant physiology related to floriculture. The proposed research and educational projects must be of substantial importance, and the results made available to the interested public.  Deadline: April 1

James S. McDonnell Foundation Studying Complex Systems Program Scholar Award The program's emphasis is furthering the science of complex systems via the continued development of the theory and tools used in the study of complex research questions and not on particular fields of research per se.   JSMF is particularly interested in projects attempting to apply complex systems approaches to coherently articulated questions.  Deadline: March 12

Morris Animal Foundation Small Companion Animal Studies Proposals on research topics relevant to small companion (dogs and cats) animal health and welfare are due March 19.

Limited Submissions:

Letters of intent, preproposals, and rankings to the OVPR 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 OVPR will notify the PI that an internal preproposal will be unnecessary.

Limited Submission: American Honda Foundation The American Honda Foundation engages in grant making that reflects the basic tenets, beliefs and philosophies of Honda companies, which are characterized by the following qualities: imaginative, creative, youthful, forward-thinking, scientific, humanistic and innovative. They support youth education with a specific focus on the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects in addition to the environment.  The grant range is from $20,000 to $75,000 over a one-year period.  For this opportunity, Purdue may submit only one application per year. 

Funding Resources:

The OVPR 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 Grant writing News are available at:

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


CANCELED: OVPR Workshop: How to Use NIH Data for your Strategic Advantage The workshop, which was scheduled for January 21st in STEW 310, has been canceled.  We will be combining this workshop with the Feb. 11th workshop entitled NIH Wrap-Up: Updates and Frequently Asked Questions.  See Below.

OVPR Workshop: NIH Wrap-Up: Data Information, Updates, and Frequently Asked Questions The OVPR is hosting a luncheon workshop on February 11th, from 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM in STEW 314. This NIH workshop is the final in a series in which we will revisit institute missions, submission strategies, review and summary statement implications, and grantsmanship issues. We will focus on commonly asked questions and misconceptions about the NIH, and give updates on budget and scientific program changes.  The How to Use NIH Data for your Strategic Advantage workshop, which was canceled, will also be presented briefly to cover strategies for analyzing and utilizing NIH award data and advisory council information.  As lunch is provided, registration is required.  Please click the link above to register. Registration will close on Thursday, February 6th.

NIH Notice of Intent to Publish a FOA for Children’s Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Research Centers (P01)  The FOA is expected to be published in Spring 2014 with an expected application due date in Summer 2014.

DOE Opportunities at open user facilities:

  • Oak Ridge National Laboratory Neutron Scattering Science Call for Proposals Proposals for beam time at ORNL’s High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) and Spallation Neutron Source (SNS) are being accepted through February 26.
  • Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory Calls for Proposals Science Theme Research proposals are due March 3.  JGI-EMSL Collaborative Science Initiative proposals are due April 7.
  • Argonne National Laboratory Beam Time at the Advanced Photon Source  Proposals for beam time at the APS must be submitted by March 7.

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.