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ENE Memo: July 8, 2013

From the Head: 7/8

Last week we celebrated the founding of this nation and reflected on what it means to be part of it. 

This coming academic year marks the 10th anniversary of the founding of the School of Engineering Education (ENE). As we know, ENE was formed by the coming together of Freshman Engineering (started in 1953) and the Interdisciplinary Engineering Program (started in 1969). To this combination was added the PhD program in Engineering Education in 2005.

To mark this anniversary, we are planning a series of events through the fall and spring culminating in the main celebration to mark the anniversary date of April 9, 2014. The focus will be not only on ENE, its first decade of accomplishments and future potential but also on celebrating the historical roots of our school—our shared history and manifest destiny, if you will. Accordingly the theme for the year will be Interdisciplinary Engineering Education: Then and Now.

The phrase Interdisciplinary Engineering Education was chosen to capture the essential unity across the many different programs we run and diverse work we do. Our bachelor programs in Multidisciplinary Engineering and the Interdisciplinary Engineering Studies interlink many disciplinary traditions from colleges across Purdue, including the arts. Our research and the graduate program explore the nature of engineering and engineering education using methodologies from the cognitive and social sciences and the humanities. While the first-year engineering program might be considered “pre-disciplinary,” as students have not declared a major, the emphasis is in fact on the similarities and differences across engineering disciplines. It is also interdisciplinary in terms of the backgrounds of instructional team members involved (instructors, GTAs and the peer teachers). So pretty much everything we do in our teaching and in our research is encapsulated in the phrase Interdisciplinary Engineering Education.    

On Homecoming weekend in September these celebrations will focus on 60 years of first-year engineering excellence, as the foundation for student success, with an emphasis on then and now. Our Interdisciplinary Engineering Colloquium in November will recognize 50+ years of interdisciplinary scholarship in engineering education and the pioneering work of people like Bill LeBold and Phil Wankat. This scholarship is the antecedent of our current educational research and PhD program. The ENE Outstanding Alumni Awards in February will focus on 40 years of educating ground-breaking, interdisciplinary engineers as well as the current generation undergraduates who follow a unique path in engineering.

We will recognize the dedicated work of our Industrial Advisory Council and our Academic Advisory Council in helping to shape our direction, in part by asking the difficult questions. The INSPIRE Board meeting in the fall will explore strategic directions for our P-12 research as we continue to build upon the excellent foundation laid during initial five years based on the Bechtel support. In all cases we will be asking how we might gain the maximum mutual benefit from these vital partnerships we have with our friends in industry, government and the academy.

The culminating celebration in April will be an Open House for the Purdue community at which we share our achievements and discuss the future potential for ENE to partner in transforming engineering education, at Purdue and beyond, based on educational research and scholarship. This celebration will continue in June when the ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition is held in Indianapolis. There we will recognize the first generation of engineering education PhDs from Purdue and hold several social events that bring the ENE family together with alums and friends. We will also lead the largest yet Engineering Education Research booth at ASEE. 

My hope is that this coming year of celebration will help each of us to appreciate more fully how the phrase Interdisciplinary Engineering Education captures the essence of our school: its past, its present and its future. The phrase encompasses those defining facets of being that we share with our antecedents; boundary crossing, open to diverse perspectives, questioning assumptions, risk taking, imagining new possibilities, and generally taking the road less traveled. I believe Interdisciplinary Engineering Education is a simple and effective way to describe the 60 years of doing things differently that brought us to this point. It would be an elegant and inclusive way to name who we are going forward.  


Calendar: 7/8

Summer 2013

  • LAST WEEK of STAR​ (Student Transition, Advising and Registration)

Fall 2013

  • Aug 13: ENE Faculty Advance
  • Aug 14: BGR lunch
  • Aug 14-16: ENE PhD orientation
  • Aug 19: Classes Begin
  • Sept 28: Homecoming & Family Weekend Celebrating 60 Years of FYE at Purdue
  • Oct 20-22: ABET Site Visit (Mon + Tues; most likely in Oct or Nov)
  • Oct 21-25: Green Week at Purdue (Think! No Impact)
  • Nov 8: Engineering Education Industrial Advisory Council (E2IAC) 
  • Nov 9: ENE Friends at the Football
  • Nov 14: Interdisciplinary Engineering Colloquium Celebrating 50 Years of Interdisciplinary Scholarship in Education Education at Purdue

Spring 2014

  • Feb 20: ENE Outstanding Alumni Awards Celebrating 45 Years of  Interdisciplinary Engineering Education
  • April 9: ENE Turns 10: Celebrating a Decade of ENE / Open House and Research Exhibition

Summer 2014

  • June 14: ENE Alums & Friends Reception, Indianapolis Interdisciplinary Engineering Education
  • June 15-18: ASEE Conference, Indianapolis Engineering Education Futures

Kudos: 7/8 Senay Purzer (PI), Michael Fosmire (co-PI), and Amy Van Epps (co-PI) on receiving a $200,000 NSF grant for the project Information Literacy Skill Development & Assessment in Engineering. Project team members include Ruth Wertz (senior grad student in ENE), Vivian Alexander (grad student in educational psychology), Margot Keimig (undergrad researcher/SURF student in agricultural and biological engineering). The project's goal is to develop useful assessment tools that will provide a better understanding of engineering students' self-directed learning skills and a valid measure of how these skills improve. While there are assessment instruments that address these skills, most of them focus on information search skills rather than information literacy. Prior efforts to measure information literacy skills of engineering majors have employed self-report measures rather than direct measures of student skills. This project is developing direct measures. A partnership between the engineering and library science faculties, the project has developed promising pilot data, supported by a seed grant from the Purdue Engineer of 2020 program.

News and Information: 7/8

Updated Graduate Staff Employment Manual (Faculty and Graduate Students please note)

An updated Graduate Staff Employment Manual has now been published on the Graduate School’s Web site and is available for your use.

Most updates were minor tweaks.  However, I want to call your attention to a couple of  changes:

  1. Under Termination of graduate staff members, language was added to recommend that terminations of graduate staff (before the expiration of the stated employment) should include consultation with Human Resources. (Note: In ENE there is the clear expectation that unless there are extraordinary circumstances, a student will not be terminated during the course of a semester. Consequently a request to terminate in ENE MUST include a consultation with HR). 
  2. Appendix C, which reflects minimum salaries for 2013-14, has been included.

A committee from the Graduate School, business office, and Human Resources meets a couple of times each year to review the Graduate Staff Employment Manual and to make sure that it is up-to-date with University and Graduate School policies.  We will do this again in October.


Funding Opportunities: 7/8

Selected Funding Opportunities

DOD-ONR Lightweight and Modern Metals Manufacturing Innovation (LM3I) Institute The Government intends for this solicitation to support the establishment of an Institute that will advance the state of processing and fabrication technologies for lightweight and modern metals by facilitating the transition between basic/early research and full-scale production of associated materials, components and systems.  The purpose of the Institute is to accelerate advances in lightweight and modern metals processing and fabrication technologies (in the target range of MRL 4-7) and facilitate technology transition to U.S. manufacturing enterprises.  Concept papers due August 9; Invited full proposals due October 15.

NIH Resource-Related Research Projects for Development of Animal Models and Related Materials (R24)  This FOA encourages applications aimed at developing, characterizing or improving animal models of human diseases or improving diagnosis and control of diseases of laboratory animals.  The animal models and related materials to be developed must address the research interests of two or more of the categorical NIH Institutes and Centers. Deadline: September 25

NIH Revolutionary Genome Sequencing Technologies – The $1000 Genome The National Human Genome Research Institute solicits applications to develop novel technologies that will enable extremely low-cost, high quality DNA sequencing.  The goal of this initiative is to reduce the cost of sequencing a mammalian-sized genome to approximately $1000.  Applicants may propose to develop full-scale sequencing systems or to investigate challenges underlying key system components.  High-risk/high-payoff applications are appropriate to achieve the goals of this FOA.

  • R01  Deadline: October 17
  • R21  Deadline: October 17

NIH Large Scale T Cell Epitope Discovery  The primary purpose of this initiative is to establish multiple highly interactive, multi-disciplinary teams to support large scale discovery of human T cell epitopes associated with protection against microorganisms responsible for emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases and potential agents of bioterrorism and their toxins.  Pathogens from the NIAID Emerging and Re-Emerging Infectious Diseases list should account for at least 50% of the pathogens in the proposed studies.  Deadline: October 1.

NASA Planetary Instrument Concepts for the Advancement of Solar System Observations (PICASSO)  The goal of the program is to conduct planetary and astrobiology science instrument feasibility studies, concept formation, proof of concept instruments, and advanced component technology development to the point where they may be proposed in response to the Maturation of Instruments for Solar System Exploration (MatISSE) Program. Therefore, the proposed instrument system or advanced components must address specific scientific objectives of likely future planetary science missions.  Notice of Intent due July 19; Proposals due September 13.

USDA-NIFA Children, Youth and Families at Risk Professional Development and Technical Assistance Program (CYFAR-PDTA)  NIFA initially announced its intention to issue a new continuation award and requested applications for the CYFAR-PDTA Program for FYs 2013 through 2016 be submitted through funding opportunity number USDA-NIFA-SLBCD-004190.  That funding opportunity closed and NIFA received minimal applications, therefore, NIFA is once again requesting applications via this modified solicitation.  CYFAR-PDTA provides for professional development and technical assistance to Sustainable Community Projects to ensure continued development and implementation of the CYFAR Sustainable Community program.  NIFA has identified the following societal challenge areas as a focus and all applications must address at least one of the Challenge Areas: Childhood Obesity Prevention; Climate Change; Food Safety; Food Security; or Sustainable Bioenergy.  Deadline: July 31.

Intel RFP: Academic research on enabling energy-smart system-on-a-chip (SOC) device prototyping through hardware and software co-design (See attached)  Intel Labs University Research Office invites proposals for novel research on techniques to enable “energy-smart” solutions for SOC device prototyping.  Intel requests proposals for non-incremental research, leading to compelling techniques and technologies, that will make future SOC-based devices significantly more energy efficient than the current state-of-the-art device.  Deadline: July 15  Interested researchers MUST contact Mandy Pant ( before submitting to be considered eligible.

Intel RFP: Academic research to develop sensors for incidental detection, via breath, of biomarkers (See attached)  Intel Labs University Research Office seeks to fund research groups focusing on the development of sensing devices, which are aimed at real-time incidental analysis of breath, for consumer applications or, in second priority, for medical applications.  The sensors architecture can be either embedded or connected with Intel platforms.  Deadline: August 1  Interested researchers MUST contact Kimberly Cawthorne ( before submitting to be considered eligible.

Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation/New York Academy of Sciences Challenge Grant to Accelerate Drug Development for Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia  Priority areas for this Request for Proposals include: Biomarkers of early-disease progression; Biomarkers related to neurovascular dysfunction; Biomarkers relevant to disease cell-to-cell transmission and spread of tau pathology; and Dynamic biomarkers with sensitivity to detect short term or immediate changes.  Letter of Intent due July 25; Proposal due August 1.

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: DOC-NIST Advanced Materials Center of Excellence  This program supports the establishment of an Advanced Materials Center of Excellence whereby NIST and interdisciplinary researchers from academia and industry collaborate on advanced materials development through innovations in measurement science and in new modeling, simulation, data, and informatics tools. NIST anticipates making one award of approximately $5M/year up to five years with a possible five year renewal. An eligible organization may work individually or include proposed sub-awardees, contractors or other collaborators in a project proposal, effectively forming a team or consortium. For this opportunity, Purdue may submit one application as lead. Those interested should also consider participating in the webinar to be held on July 15 at 2:00 ET. Registration is available at:

Internal deadlines:

  • Wednesday, July 10:  Letters of intent due to the OVPR.
  • Monday, July 22:  Preproposals due to the OVPR.
  • Thursday, July 25:  Rankings due to the OVPR.
  • Agency Deadline: August 12

Limited Submission: USDA-NIFA Rural Health and Safety Education Competitive Grants Program  NIFA announces the availability of funding and requests applications for the Rural Health and Safety Education Competitive Grants Program for FY13 to address the needs of rural Americans by providing health promotion activities.  In order to achieve these program goals, the Rural Health and Safety Education Program will focus on supporting: A) Rural Health and Safety Education projects at state and regional levels; and B) One project addressing National Common Measures for Rural Health and Safety Education projects. The primary function of the National Common Measures project is to identify common measures for individual and family health education programs from a Family and Consumer Sciences/Human Sciences perspective.  For this opportunity, Purdue can submit only one application to the state/regionally-focused program and one application to the nationally-focused program. 

  • Internal Deadlines: Contact by July 10 (Please specify to which program you intend to apply)
  • Agency Deadline: July 26

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 Grantwriting News are available at:

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


DOE-ARPA-E Notice of Intent to Issue a FOA titled Full-Spectrum Optimized Collection and Utilization of Sunlight (FOCUS) in July 2013

NASA Notice of Intent to Issue to release FY13 “Research Opportunities in Aeronautics (ROA)” Research Announcement

As always, we appreciate your sharing this information with your faculty.  Please contact Sue Grimes (, Kristyn Jewell (, or Perry Kirkham ( with any questions or comments.

To suggest content for future issues of ENE Memo, contact David Radcliffe or Lisa Tally by midday Friday for the following week's issue.