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ENE Memo: July 21, 2014

From the Head: 7/21

ENE 2.0

We have just completed a year of celebration to mark the tenth anniversary of the founding of the School of Engineering Education (ENE). In the process, we recognized the historical precursors of our school: Freshman Engineering (from1953), the Division of Interdisciplinary Engineering (from 1969) and decades of scholarly work in engineering education dating back to the 1950s. As we enter our second decade, it seems appropriate that we think about where we see the field of engineering education research and innovation heading and what role we want ENE to play in this evolution.

ENE was formed in response to a white paper titled “Toward the Future: Engineering Education at Purdue: A Vision for Preeminence”. During 2007-08, as the faculty numbers approached 15, we undertook a very thoughtful, highly iterative and stakeholder engaging process using Appreciative Inquiry to arrive at the ENE Strategic Plan for 2009-14. This plan has been our guide as we navigated the past five years, yet much has changed since its inception. For example, the kick-off meeting for the current plan took place in the Engineering Administration Building (ENAD) before we moved to Armstrong Hall and ENAD, where our precursor Freshman Engineering was housed for many years, is about to be demolished.

The question arises: What do we do now that the current Strategic Plan has reached its end date of 2014? Do we create a brand new strategic plan for say 2015-2020? Do we need a new plan? Can we simply extend the current plan? Last year, I proposed we take the immutable essence of the current plan – the vision, mission and espoused values - and think about these as our Strategic Compass. I had hoped to develop this proposal into a conversation last year about our strategic vision. However a lack of time and the pressures of dealing with growth and other changes simply did not permit this to happen.

One of the enduring metaphors that surfaced early in our strategic planning process was that of a balancing act. How do we achieve sustainable “ways of being” while trying to balance a series of apparently paradoxical extremes or tensions? We would now talk about these tensions in terms of polarities to be managed. So rather than seeing these extremes being alternatives, an either/or choice, using the language of polarities we strive to achieve both/an outcome. The goal is to capture the best of each pole while reducing the downsides of both.

The six polarities first identified in October 2007 remain relevant and potent in mid-2014. They are: 

  1. being visionary while also being pragmatic
  2. embracing the first-year legacy and also the new research identity
  3. individual achievement while also creating a vibrant group
  4. achieving the philosophical heart of tenure while also conforming with the norms of tenure
  5. working nationally and globally while also building a cohesive ENE community
  6. being an emergent environment while also being clear about who we are and what we do 

Many of the discussions during the strategic planning process were really about how do we create a community that is tolerant of ambiguity and which values the making of meaning, a concept that was canvassed in the July 14 ENE Memo. The desire was not so much to arrive at a plan per se, something that we would then follow step by step, as it was to create an environment, an ecosystem, within which we could each find meaning and purpose around this emergent field of engineering education. The ultimate polarity is between having a plan and creating shared meaning - we need both. 

The number and the composition of the members of ENE have changed considerably since we created the current strategic plan. Our individual and collective sense of identity as ENE is still evolving. We need to find an engaging, inclusive, effective and community building way to create ENE 2.0, a strategy for affirming who we are as a unit and what we hope to achieve over this phase of continued development of ENE.   


Calendar: 7/21

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: 7/21

Michael Loui joining ENE faculty in August

Dr. Michael C. Loui will become the inaugural Dale and Suzi Gallagher Professor of Engineering Education at Purdue.

Currently a University Distinguished Teacher-Scholar at the Urbana-Champaign campus, his interests include computational complexity theory, professional ethics and, for the past decade, engineering education research. He spent the 2012-2013 academic year on sabbatical at the School of Engineering Education (ENE).

Initially, Dr. Loui will have a 75%-time appointment at Purdue. During the 2014-15 academic year, he plans to spend one day per week in Urbana advising his continuing graduate students, participating in ongoing projects, and meeting the assistant editor of the Journal of Engineering Education (JEE). Loui serves as editor of JEE, which will continue to be based at the U of I.

The Carnegie Scholar and IEEE Fellow served as associate dean of the Graduate College at Illinois from 1996 to 2000. Dr. Loui earned his Ph.D. at M.I.T. in 1980.

Call for Nominations: Awards of Excellence for Engineering Staff

The call for nominations for the thirteenth annual Awards of Excellence for Engineering Staff is announced at:  

Please review the nomination categories and selection criteria, then send ideas for nominations to Steve Hoffman, Chair of the ENE Staff Awards Committee. 

Official nominations are due by September 3, 2014. Past nominations may be carried over for one year following the initial submission. Nominators will be contacted the second year and will be provided the option of putting the nominee forward a second time, as well as an opportunity to update.

The recipients will be recognized at the Staff Awards Banquet which will take place at 6:30 p.m. on November 7, 2014, so be sure to mark your calendars.

Passing of Duncan Fraser

Sadly our friend and colleague Duncan Fraser passed away on July 19.

Duncan Fraser was a Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Cape Town (UCT). He was very active in international groups including REEN and IFESS and he has published widely and attended many international conferences on engineering education. In all this he was a strong voice for Africa in general and South Africa in particular in our community. He co-chaired the ASEE Global Colloquium on Engineering Education in Cape Town in 2008. He also presented a number of workshops on engineering education, mainly in developing countries.

In this day job, Duncan introduced a wide range of innovations into the chemical engineering program at UCT, including collaborative study groups, the freshman engineering course, and problem-based learning, as well as being involved in curriculum development and accreditation across the whole program. In 1996, he co-founded the Centre for Research in Engineering Education (CREE) at UCT, and from 2000-2005 he directed this center.

We will miss Duncan’s unique perspective and plain speaking. His passing is a big loss to the global engineering education community. We have lost a major voice and a critical friend from the global south.  

Safety Committee

The most recent meeting minutes of the Safety Committe are available HERE. One of the Departmental Action Items from the 2014 REM Recertification is for everyone to review the biweekly meeting minutes.

Kudos: 7/21 Velvet Fitzpatrick for successfully defending her dissertation.

Funding Opportunities: 7/21

Selected Funding Opportunities:

NSF Interdisciplinary Research in Hazards and Disasters (Hazard SEES) This program seeks to: (1) advance understanding of the fundamental processes associated with specific natural hazards and technological hazards linked to natural phenomena, and their interactions; (2) better understand the causes, interdependences, impacts, and cumulative effects of these hazards on individuals, the natural and built environment, and society as a whole; and (3) improve capabilities for forecasting or predicting hazards, mitigating their effects, and enhancing the capacity to respond to and recover from resultant disasters. The overarching goal of Hazards SEES is to catalyze well-integrated interdisciplinary research efforts in hazards-related science and engineering in order to reduce the impact of hazards, enhance the safety of society, and contribute to sustainability. Deadlines: September 26 – LOI (required); November 28 – Proposal.

USDA-NIFA Military Families Learning Network NIFA requests applications to develop an efficient and effective platform to 1) accomplish workforce development including professional development and 2) build capacity at the local level to meet the needs of military families and the individuals who serve them. The Military Families Learning Network will build new and/or enhance existing engaged communities that connect military family service professionals with unbiased, research and evidence-based programming using online and digital technologies and innovations. Deadline: August 8.

NASA Human Exploration Research Opportunities This program solicits applied research in support of NASA's Human Research Program. The HRP contains six Elements: Space Radiation, Human Health and Countermeasures, Exploration Medical Capability, Behavioral Health and Performance, Space Human Factors and Habitability, and International Space Station Medical Project. Fourteen disciplines or areas support the Program: Behavioral Health and Performance, Bone, Cardiovascular, Extravehicular Activity, Immunology, Medical Capabilities, Muscle, Nutrition, Pharmacology, Radiation, Sensorimotor, Advanced Food Technology, Advanced Environmental Health, and Space Human Factors Engineering. Awards generally range from under $100K per year for focused, limited efforts (e.g., data analysis) to $450K per year for extensive activities (e.g., development of scientific hardware). Deadline: varies.

DOE Alternative Fuel Vehicle Deployment Initiatives The objective of this FOA is to create and implement high impact and highly innovative approaches to increase the acceptance and deployment of Alternative Fuel Vehicles (AFVs). This will be accomplished in part by funding three different Areas of Interest (AOI) which focus on: AFV-use demonstrations via hands-on experiences, safety-related training, and emergency preparedness. Cost share is required although the amount varies depending the AOI. Deadlines: August 1 – Concept paper; October 1 – Full application.

EPA Training and Technical Assistance to Improve Water Quality and Enable Small Public Water Systems to Provide Safe Drinking Water The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is soliciting applications to provide training and technical assistance for small public water systems to help such systems achieve and maintain compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), and to provide training and technical assistance for small publicly-owned wastewater systems, communities served by onsite/decentralized wastewater systems, and private well owners to improve water quality under the Clean Water Act (CWA). Training and technical assistance activities provided to these systems, communities and private well owners should be made available nationally in rural and urban communities and to personnel of tribally-owned and operated systems. Deadline: September 2.

John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation The Foundation offers Fellowships to further the development of scholars and artists by assisting them to engage in research in any field of knowledge and creation in any of the arts, under the freest possible conditions and irrespective of race, color, or creed. Often characterized as "midcareer" awards, Guggenheim Fellowships are intended for men and women who have already demonstrated exceptional capacity for productive scholarship or exceptional creative ability in the arts. Deadline: September 19.

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.

Limited Submission: NIST Community Resilience Center of Excellence Program Through this center, NIST researchers collaborate with interdisciplinary researchers from academia and industry on development of tools and standardized methods that will enhance the disaster resilience of communities and their built environment through innovations in measurement science and in new modeling, simulation, data, and informatics tools coupled with field studies of multiple hazard events. Funding is approximately $4M/year for up to five years, with a possible five year renewal.

Applicants may proposal a single institution center or a consortium. Purdue can submit only one proposal as lead of a center.

  • Internal deadlines:
  • July 28 – Preproposal due to EVPRP

Limited Submission: Greenwall Faculty Scholars Program in Bioethics The Greenwall Faculty Scholars Program in Bioethics is a career development award to enable junior faculty members to carry out innovative bioethics research. The Greenwall Faculty Scholars Program in Bioethics supports research that goes beyond current work in bioethics to help resolve pressing ethical issues in clinical care, biomedical research, and public policy. Applicants must be junior faculty members holding at least a 60% appointment in a tenure series in the U.S. Priority will be given to applicants who have not yet been considered for tenure, who have not received a comparable career development award, and whose work will have an impact on public policy, biomedical research, or clinical practice. Only two applicants from Purdue will be considered.

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.


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NSF FAQs for Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM)

NASA Request for Information Centennial Challenges Program The Centennial Challenges program is seeking input on several potential challenges being considered for start in 2015. The purposes of this RFI are: (1) to gather feedback on the potential competitions, (2) to determine the level of interest in potentially competing in these challenges, and (3) to understand the applicability of the challenge capabilities for other non-government applications. Responses to this RFI are due by August 8. A summary of the proposed changes follows:

NASA is considering initiation of a new Centennial Challenge competition structure for use in some of its future challenges. New challenges using the existing format would still occur. This new challenge structure would couple the traditional "unfunded open track" challenge competitions with a parallel "funded track" of competitors. Domestic institutions of higher education would be able to submit proposals for funded support of their participation in the challenge under the funded track. Unsuccessful proposers to the funded track could still participate in the unfunded open track.

NSF Grants Conference NSF will host the first of its fiscal year 2015 Grants Conferences on October 6 – 7. The event, hosted by George Washington University in Arlington, VA, will feature officials from each program directorate, administrative office, Office of General Counsel, and the Office of the Inspector General.

NSF Dear Colleague Letter – Stimulating Innovation in STEM Education The Committee on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education (CoSTEM) under the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) has developed a five-year strategic plan in support of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. Among the strategic objectives identified in the plan is a call for broader implementation of effective instructional practices and advances in education.

OVPR Workshop Overview of Services of the EVPRP (Research Integrity and Regulatory Affairs) and SPS The workshop will provide an excellent opportunity for new faculty to learn more about Purdue's policies and processes related to the development, submission, and management of research proposals. Topics to be covered include: electronic submission and tracking systems, budget preparation and review, facilities and administration rate (F&A), industrial contracts, award management, project reporting, and research compliance, including human research subjects, animals, rDNA, financial conflicts of interest, export controls, and grant to protocol reviews. Lunch is provided so registration is required by August 14.

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.