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ENE Memo: July 27, 2015

From the Head: 7/27

Research Priorities 2015/16

The third goal pointed to by our Strategic Compass is: Tackle the BIG research questions. The full version of this goal reads; "to create a world renowned interdisciplinary research concentration at Purdue that addresses the big questions and challenges facing STEM education with particular emphasis on engineering."

For the coming year, 2015/16, I believe there are three priorities linked to this goal;

  1. Diversify our funding sources
  2. Leverage the full potential of the new research facility
  3. Measure the impact of ENE research on the BIG questions

The need to diversify our sources of research funding has been a topic of several ENE Advances over the past two years. If anything the uncertainties over future funding from NSF have only increased in recent time, so this remains a critical issue for us. The danger is that while people are still able to get funding, the need to diversify never seems urgent.

Another issue related to research is our need to increase research expenditures. Various formulae used to allocate discretionary funds to ENE are based on research expenditure, not research awards. Each year I sign off a large number of no cost extensions on current grants. This is one indication that we are not spending the research funds at the rate we are receiving them.

At the retreat of the (Purdue) Engineering Leadership Team (ELT) last week, the Associate Dean for Research presented a series of goals for 2015 and beyond. These included;

  • On average, increase externally funded CoE research expenditures by 10%/year
  • On average, increase the number of large awards (>$1M) by 20%/year and win 2-3 awards/yr >$5M
  • On average, increase the number of patents/licenses by 15%/yr and leverage CoE activities in 2-3 new startups/yr
  • Increase engagement with Indiana by continued interaction with state and local government, direct engagement with industry, and participation in national consortia that focus on economic development
  • Collaborate with EVPRP and Development to double industrially funded research in upcoming 2 years

While these goals are "on average" and it is not expected that each academic unit will achieve each one to the extent listed, we should very be cognizant of this list as a set of broad performance expectations that we should factor into our local research funding goals.

A major asset we must leverage to the maximum extent possible over the coming year is our new research laboratory in Wang Hall. This is a one-of-a-kind facility and a unique opportunity. Having worked through the inevitable adjustments associated with adapting any new space, we should be ready to hit the road running this Fall. Several very successful programs have been run in the space over summer, so we have even more experience of how to make the most of the affordances of this very special facility.

As we do so, I invite this community to reflect upon and articulate examples of how our research thus far has made significant impacts on the BIG questions in engineering education. We might ask what new thinking, concepts, metaphors, methodologies, approaches, tools, findings and/or products have we generated that have influenced the field? Where and how have these contributions made a significant difference in engineering education practice, at Purdue, nationally or globally? Often we are so focused on the immediate things we are working on that we fail to step back and critically analyze the cumulative impact of all that we do. I challenge us to do so this year and to communicate these achievements to a variety of important stakeholder groups.

As the growth in Purdue Engineering enters its final two years, there is a major effort underway to ensure that this growth has benefits for Purdue as a whole, not just for engineering. The Dean is actively exploring ways to foster cross-campus, multidisciplinary collaborations. For example, a university-wide Systems Collaboratory is being launched early in Fall. Also the heads from the College of Liberal Arts and Engineering are meeting in September to explore opportunities for deeper collaboration.

In that spirit, I concluded my talk at the ELT retreat with a slide that positioned ENE as the natural bridge between what I termed the two STEM communities (as illustrated). I received some very positive feedback on this encapsulation of the deep interdependence between the traditional STEM disciplines (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and the "other" STEM disciplines of the social sciences, the arts, education and the humanities.

In summary, this academic year presents a unique confluence of circumstances that we can use strategically to meet many of the challenges we face in growing our research enterprise. Doing so will take thoughtful planning, skillful execution and a sustained, collective effort.


Calendar: 7/27


  • Aug 7: ENGR 132, 8 week module ends 
  • Aug 8: Commencement
  • Aug 15: ENE End-of-Summer Potluck, Happy Hollow Park, Shelter #1, 4-9pm


  • Aug 19: ENE Faculty Advance (incl. visit by Provost) , WANG 3501, 9:00am-3:30pm
  • Aug 24: Classes commence
  • Aug 27: ENE Research Seminar ARMS BO71 3:30pm (Weekly) 
  • Aug 28: ENE Staff Meeting, 8:30-9:30, TBD
  • Sept 2: ENE Faculty Meeting, 9:30-10:30am, WANG 3501
  • Sept 2: Assistant Professor meet with Head, 10:30-11:30am, WANG 3501  
  • Sept 7: Labor Day
  • Sept 9: Faculty Meeting, 9:30-11:30am, WANG 3501
  • Sept 16: ENE Advance Follow-Up, 9:30-11:30am, WANG 3501
  • Sept 19: Family Day
  • Sept 30: ENE Faculty Meeting, 9:30-10:30am, WANG 3501
  • Sept 30: Associate Professors meet with Head, 10:30-11:30, WANG 3501
  • Oct 4/5: Big Ten + Grad Expo
  • Oct 12/13: Fall Break
  • Oct 16: ENE Staff Meeting, 8:30-9:30am, TBD 
  • Oct 28: ENE Faculty Meeting, 9:30-11:30am, WANG 3501
  • Oct 28/29: ENE Grad Program Open House
  • Nov 4: ENE Advance Follow-Up, 9:30-11:30, WANG 3501
  • Nov 7: Homecoming
  • Nov 13: ENE Industrial Advisory Council, 8:00am-3pm, WANG 3501
  • Nov 18: Faculty-PhD Student Matching, 9:30-11:30, WANG 3501
  • Nov 26/27: Thanksgiving
  • Dec 2: ENE Faculty Meeting, 9:30-11:30am, WANG 3501

News and Information: 7/27

Long Distance Calls
Long Distance dialing update: Beginning July 1, 2015 long distance calls in the United States (all 50 states), Canada, most of Mexico and some areas in the Caribbean will no longer require an authorization code. After dialing the number you will not hear the tone prompt to enter your authorization code. Calls to any areas requiring 011+ dialing will continue to prompt for an authorization code.
Please note that long distance dialing on Purdue phones MUST only be for official Purdue business.
New Phone System

The entire Campus is progressively converting to the new CISCO phones.  The First Building is Grissom and the Second Building in WANG…there is a timeline for the remaining buildings on campus, but not sure yet about ARMS. Grissom goes live on August 3rd.

These phones will allow you to answer from an actual phone, your computer via the Jabber Client/application, from your tablet via the Jabber Application or you can answer and make calls from your smartphone using a Jabber Client App.

The new voicemail allows for the same features as the current call pilot, however there are some advanced features such as call handling that will allow people to be able to apply a press1, press 2 option within their own voicemail when needed.

They are planning on bringing a phone over for demonstration, if people want to go over any options before implementation. If you would like that, just let me know when a time would work best for you and your group and I will work with Shelly for her to come over and demonstrate.


Kudos: 7/27

.. to Corey Schimpf on successfully defending his dissertation titled, "Exploring the Scaffolding Early Engineers' Design Learning with a Videogame: Influence of Minecraft as a Platform for Design Ideation.”  Dr. Schimpf is on the lookout for jobs in industry particularly related to game-based learning.  

.. to Nichole Ramirez on successfully passing her preliminary examination. Her dissertation research will be on the motivative of students who change majors from engineering to engineering technology.

Funding Opportunities: 7/27

Selected Funding Opportunities:

DOD-AFRL Armament Technology BAA  For purposes of this announcement, research is defined to be scientific study and experimentation directed at increasing knowledge and understanding in relation to long term national security needs. It is an enhancement to related exploratory and advanced development programs. There are three divisions within the Munitions Directorate that conduct research and development (R&D). They are the Ordnance Division, the Strategic Planning and Integration Division, and the Weapon Engagement Sciences Division. White papers may be submitted through 3/12/17 or until BAA is superseded. 

DOE Traineeship in Power Engineering (Leveraging Wide Bandgap Power Electronics) The purpose of this FOA is to create a DOE funded Graduate Power Engineering Traineeship Program that supports university‐led traineeships that strategically addresses workforce training needs in the area of power engineering (leveraging wide bandgap power electronics). Letter of Intent due August 7; Application due September 3.

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 18.

Simons Foundation Simons Fellows Program in Mathematics and Physical Sciences   The Simons Foundation Division for Mathematics and the Physical Sciences invites applications for the Simons Fellows Programs in both Mathematics and Theoretical Physics. The Fellows Programs provide funds to faculty for up to a semester long research leave from classroom teaching and administrative obligations. Grants awarded will be restricted to sabbatical-eligible faculty who wish to use the grant for the purpose of extending a single term sabbatical leave to a full academic year.  Deadline:  September 30.

Simons Foundation Targeted Grants to Institutions  The program is intended to support centers of excellence in the mathematics and physical sciences through funding to help establish scientific culture and strengthen contacts within the international scientific community.  There is no limit to the number of applications per institution.  Deadline:  October 15.

Kresge Foundation Arts & Culture Programs The foundation seeks to make arts and culture as central to discussions of rebuilding and reinvigorating metropolitan areas as land use, housing, transportation, economic development and other more traditional disciplines. Kresge uses the term creative placemaking to refer simply to the deliberate integration of arts and culture in revitalization work; our grantmaking and investments focus on interdisciplinary approaches to the broad field of community revitalization. There are two programs currently open: Pioneering New Approaches and Harvesting Leading Practices.  Applications accepted on a continuous basis.

Kauffman Foundation Seeking New Insights and Potential Sources of New Entrepreneurial Growth The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is seeking research proposals that generate knowledge and expertise that can feed joint learning, innovative practices, and evidence-based policymaking for successful entrepreneurship and the financing of entrepreneurial ventures by women and minorities.

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:  Simons Foundation Simons Investigators in Mathematics, Physics, and Computer Sciences (see attached)  This program aims to provide a stable base of support for outstanding scientists, enabling them to undertake long-term investigations of the fundamental questions in their fields. The intent of the program is to support these scientists in their most productive years, when they are establishing creative new research directions, providing leadership to the field, and effectively mentoring junior scientists. A scientist must be engaged in theoretical research in mathematics, physics, or computer science, must not have previously been a Simons Investigator, and must have a primary appointment as a faculty member (note that the appointment need not be in a mathematics, physics, or computer science department). At the time of the appointment start date, an Investigator should be tenured. Purdue can nominate up to two candidates for each of the following areas:  Mathematics, Physics, and Computer Science.  A nominee cannot submit his/her own nomination.

  • Internal Deadline:  Contact by August 10 if you wish to nominate a candidate(s).
  • Sponsor Deadline:  October 28.

Limited Submission:  Simons Foundation M+X Investigators (see attached) This program is designed to encourage novel collaborations between mathematics and other fields in science or engineering by providing funds to professors at U.S. and Canadian universities to establish programs at the interface between mathematics and other fields of science or engineering. The Math+X Investigator must be a current tenured faculty member with a primary appointment in the mathematics department (not statistics) at a U.S. or Canadian institution. The X partner should be a department of science or engineering at the Investigator’s university that will engage in significant collaboration with the mathematics department in an area where such collaboration is not the norm. Purdue can nominate one candidate for this program. A nominee cannot submit his/her own nomination.

  • Internal Deadline:  Contact by August 10 if you wish to nominate a candidate(s).
  • Sponsor Deadline:  October 28.

Anticipated Funding Opportunities:

These solicitations are anticipated to be released soon based on the timing of previous solicitations for the program or notices of intent to publish. We are posting this information to help with proposal planning efforts but please keep in mind that the release dates and/or scope of a solicitation can change from year-to-year so be sure to read the solicitation carefully once it is released.

FAA Notice of Intent to Establish a Center of Excellence for Technical Training and Human Performance  In FY16, the FAA will form a COE for Technical Training and Human Performance. The COE will be a consortium of the FAA, university partners, and private industry affiliates selected by the FAA Administrator to work collectively on issues of mutual interest and concern.  The FAA will discuss COE and technical requirements at the Public Meeting to be conducted on October 21-22, 2015 in Arlington, VA. Prior to the Public Meeting, a draft Solicitation will be made available.


July issue of Research Development and Grantwriting News now available

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