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ENE Memo: July 28, 2014

From the Head: 7/28

Entrepreneurial ENE

Over the past two years, the Purdue administration has vigorously promoted entrepreneurship with a focus on commercialization of intellectual property. This move was signaled in early 2013 by the hiring of Dan Hasler to be the president of the Purdue Research Foundation and to hold the newly created role of Chief Entrepreneurship Officer. Subsequently it has been reinforced by the creation of the Purdue Foundry, the increase in hours for the Artisan and Fabrication Laboratory and numerous other initiatives. A recent article in Purdue today celebrating a record-breaking year in commercialization provides a list of these initiatives focused on fostering entrepreneurship at Purdue.

Our school has many very creative and imaginative individuals. Together we have brought into being numerous innovative courses, a first-of type graduate program, and facilities like the Ideas to Innovation Learning Laboratory. There is an entrepreneurial spirit within ENE. We have also studied entrepreneurship. Yet I am not sure we see ourselves collectively as being entrepreneurial.

In an environment that is encouraging research outcomes to be put to maximum effect in producing positive, transformative impacts in society we need to ask what this means for ENE. We have enormous potential to convert our educational research into tangible products and services that could help to tackle some of the really pressing questions of our time around the future of higher education, and education more generally and of the role of engineering in society.

Do we need to acknowledge our entrepreneurial nature more explicitly? Should identify as being entrepreneurial and make it a central element of our story; as a defining part of who we are and what we do? Should we pay more attention to celebrating our entrepreneurial accomplishments and to projecting this aspect of our being? Of course, being entrepreneurial and translating educational ideas into products or services does not necessarily imply commercialization in the narrow sense of turning research into dollars. We can choose to be social entrepreneurs.

There is growing interest amongst ENE faculty to learn how to become more entrepreneurial in converting their research into more tangible outcomes. For example, Monica Cox successfully completed the Purdue Entrepreneurial Leadership Academy program in 2013-14; Sean Brophy and Brent Jesiek have been accepted into the academy for 2014-15 and several other faculty have expressed interest in this program.

A number of faculty are taking products or services based on their research or proven teaching innovations to the “market place” in a variety of ways. Examples include Matt Ohland’s CATME team formation software, Monica Cox’s Global Real-time Assessment Tool for Teaching Enhancement (G-RATE) and Krishna Madhavan’s Deep Insights Anywhere, Anytime (DIA2). Other faculty and staff have been developing educational tools and techniques with significant potential.

Working with other educational groups at Purdue and beyond, ENE has the potential to make a significant impact in educational technology and learning analytics associated with the move to hybrid, online learning. As the initial hype surrounding Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) subsides, the real opportunities in this space are becoming clearer. They center on having access to enormous amounts of data about how students access and use online learning materials. Put crudely, it is about having instrumented learners whose every keystroke is known. Just as social media platforms and online retailers use what they learn about the online behavior of consumer to personalize advertising, so the opportunity exists to personalize learning through understanding how our students learn.

As an example, research conducted by ENE faculty and students over many years on a variety of aspects of learning and assessment combined with the data opportunity afforded by the “flipped lecture” offers a powerful platform from which to provide evidence on ways to transform learning for the individual student in large institutions. It also has the potential to make a significant contribution to the national policy conversation around the cost of higher education.

This raises a critical question around entrepreneurship. How do we most effectively manage the polarities between the needs of the focused individual academic entrepreneur or small research team in the near term and the potential to make much larger impacts collectively as ENE through aggregating research findings or designing larger more integrated studies over the longer term? This is a strategic, ENE 2.0 question we need to tackle.


Calendar: 7/28

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: 7/28

NSF providing $1.2 million to educators who want to bring their classroom innovations to a wider audience

Here's a recent post by Steve Blank about the NSF I-Corps L project. Karl Smith is the lead instructor.

Stadium Mall project affects pedestrian traffic, building access and egress

The Stadium Mall infrastructure project will focus on the areas around the southwest entrances/exits of Armstrong Hall, Hampton Hall and Forney Hall from July 29 to August 3.

Pedestrians should exercise caution in the area and obey all posted signs and fencing.

The work will utilize an epoxy product that has a strong odor. Building occupants in the area are encouraged to keep their windows closed.

Questions may be directed to Levi Evans, project manager, at (765) 412-0955.

Kudos: 7/28 Benjamin Ahn for successfully defending his dissertation. Upon graduation, he will be a Postdoctoral Associate in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology-Singapore University of Technology and Design (MIT-SUTD) Collaboration Office. Matt Ohland on publication of a paper "Assessing teamwork skills for assurance of learning using CATME Team Tools" in the Journal of Marketing Education.

Funding Opportunities: 7/28

Selected Funding Opportunities:

NSF Centers for Chemical Innovation (CCI): Chemistry as the Driver for Transformative Research and Innovation The CCI Program supports research centers focused on major, long-term fundamental chemical research challenges. CCIs that address these challenges will produce transformative research, lead to innovation, and attract broad scientific and public interest. CCIs may partner with researchers from industry, government laboratories and international organizations. CCIs integrate research, innovation, education, and informal science communication and include a plan to broaden participation of underrepresented groups. Deadline: October 21

NSF CyberCorps®: Scholarship for Service (SFS) This program seeks proposals that address cybersecurity education and workforce development. The Scholarship Track provides funding to award scholarships to students in cybersecurity. In return for their scholarships, recipients will work after graduation for a Federal, State, Local, or Tribal Government organization in a position related to cybersecurity for a period equal to the length of the scholarship. The Capacity Track seeks innovative proposals leading to an increase in the ability of the United States higher education enterprise to produce cybersecurity professionals. Scholarship Track proposals due October 21; Capacity Track proposals due November 14.

NSF Research Training Groups in the Mathematical Sciences (RTG) The RTG program supports efforts to improve research training by involving undergraduate students, graduate students, postdoctoral associates, and faculty members in structured research groups centered on a common research theme. Research groups supported by RTG must include vertically-integrated activities that span the entire spectrum of educational levels from undergraduates through postdoctoral associates. Deadline: October 14

NIH Connectomes Related to Human Disease (U01) This FOA invites applications to build on the data collected using the very well defined experimental protocols of the Human Connectome Project. Applications are sought that will apply the Human Connectome data collection protocol to disease/disorder cohorts of interest to the Institutes and Centers that are participating in this FOA. These cohorts will be defined by the applicant and can include subjects with specific symptoms or conditions, with comorbid conditions, with a specific genetic profile, or other applicant defined criteria. Deadline: November 14

IMLS Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program The Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program supports projects to recruit and educate the next generation of librarians, faculty, and library leaders; and to support early career research. It also assists in the professional development of librarians and library staff. There are three agency priorities for LB21 for FY15: National digital platform; Learning spaces in libraries; and STEM learning in libraries. Deadline: September 15

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: NSF Partnerships for International Research and Education (PIRE) PIRE is an NSF-wide program that supports fundamental, international research and education in physical, living, human, and engineered systems. PIRE awards enable research at the leading edge of science and engineering by facilitating partnerships with others nationally and internationally, by educating and preparing a diverse, world-class STEM workforce, and by fostering institutional capacity for international collaboration. This agenda is designed to encourage high-risk/high-reward activities and the pursuit of potentially transformative ideas. PIRE projects must include collaboration with foreign research partners and international research experiences for students to promote a diverse internationally competitive science and engineering workforce. NSF is committed to the principle of diversity and expects PIRE projects to involve groups traditionally underrepresented in science and engineering at all levels (faculty, students and postdoctoral researchers). Awards are expected to be approximately $4 million over five years. Funding for international collaborators on PIRE projects may be available from agencies such as USAID, PEER Science, and counterpart agencies abroad. For this competition, Purdue may submit one proposal as lead, but there is no limit on the number of proposals in which an institution can participate as a partner.

Internal deadlines:

  • Monday, August 11: Preproposals due to the OVPR.
  • Monday, August 18: Reviewer rankings due to the OVPR.

Sponsor deadlines: October 21 – Preliminary proposal; May 15, 2015 – Invited full proposal

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.


NIH Request for Information: Shared Instrumentation Grant Program (S10) The Office of Research Infrastructure Programs is soliciting comments from the community on the Shared Instrumentation Grant (SIG) Program. Specifically, they are soliciting comments on the following issues: Budget, Eligibility Requirements, Instrumentation, Research Projects, Instrument Administration and Institutional Support, and Any Other Comments. Purdue has had enough experience with the SIG program, both good and bad, that a unified response from Purdue could be useful for the future direction of the S10 program. Please consider submitting brief comments on the topics above to your department head so that a cohesive response can be submitted on behalf of Purdue. Please note that a campus-wide response does not preclude individual responses. Please submit your responses to your department head by August 17th so that they can be forwarded to the Office of the EVPRP.

NIH Request for Information: Soliciting Comments on a Potential New Program for Research Funding by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences This RFI is directed at obtaining input to assist NIGMS in its planning for a potential new program tentatively named Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award. This award would be a grant in support of all of the research supported by NIGMS in an investigator’s laboratory. Deadline: August 15

NSF Dear Colleague Letter – International Activities within the Physics Division – Potential International Co-Review This DCL provides more information regarding the process for anyone who wishes to pursue an international activity that might be a candidate for a co-review.

NSF Dear Colleague Letter – International Collaboration in the Division of Materials Research DMR plans to suspend the Materials World Network Program and instead pilot alternative mechanisms for supporting the international objectives of the materials research community. In the interim, DMR has established a website to provide the community with additional information about priorities and opportunities for funding of international research and education.

NSF FAQ for Hazard SEES 2014/2015 Competition

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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.