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ENE Memo June 30, 2014

From the Head: 6/30

Higher Education Futures

Last week, I attended the 14th World Conference on Continuing Engineering Education at Stanford University. Keynote speakers included John Hennessy, President of Stanford, and Andrew Ng, co-founder of Coursera, the MOOC (Massively Open Online Course) that caught the world's attention in 2011.

Some of the interesting comments from President Hennessy included:  

  • The lecture as we knew it is dead

  • Cost is the major issue

  • MOOCs are not the silver bullet

  • In medieval universities, the cost of creating books was the cost driver; today it is faculty.

  • Half-life of an EdX courseware video is 6 minutes

  • We have not measured cost correctly; we should measure learning per student per dollar

  • Amplify the teacher; leverage the instructor

  • Courses becoming chunks that can be re-bundled to create customized learning

  • Expanding experiential learning is a “hard problem”; technology does not help much

  • Dependable peer grading offers potential; students are the only scalable resource

  • The value is in quality educational experiences and credentialing

He concluded with his now famous reference to a tsunami that is about to hit higher education in the US (quoted by our own President Daniels). Video link here.

Now that the initial hype around MOOCs has subsided, Andrew Ng was relatively low key and focused on the impact of the opening up of access to education on individual lives around the world.  It is clear that the low cost of certified Coursera courses at around $100 does not provide a sustainable business case for the future. Instead, he placed a lot of stress on the value proposition of brand recognition that universities and individual faculty gain by having their course on Coursera.

My take away from these talks, and several panel discussions, was that the real disruptive value of web-based course delivery is the fact that the learner is "instrumented." We know every keystroke they make and when, and thereby we can learn a lot about their learning habits. Just as social media sites and online retailers are learning about our habits as consumers and tailoring advertising to us individually, so we can begin to customize the learning experiences of our students based on what we learn about them as online learners, whether they are learning in our classroom, in a cafe or around the globe.


Calendar: 6/30

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
  • 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: 6/30

Applying Training to Help Society

ENE graduate student Xin (Cindy) Chen is working on two projects this summer, which are highlighted in a recent Data Science for Social Good (DSSG) blog.

FYE students receive full-ride Stamps Scholarships

The full-ride Stamps Scholarship is made possible by Purdue scholarship funds and the Stamps Family Charitable Foundation Inc. In addition to the monetary award, these scholars will each have access to a $10,000 enrichment fund to help cover expenses for study opportunities, such as conferences, seminars, study abroad programs, leadership training and research internships.

This year's recipients who will be studying engineering are:

  • Samuel Albert, Nashville, Tennessee
  • Emma Alexander, Columbus, Indiana
  • Beau DeLaet, Wausaukee, Wisconsin
  • Jana Mudrock, New Lenox, Illinois

Students receiving the scholarship are selected based on a pool of the highest achieving high school seniors who were admitted by mid-December. These students are identified by the Office of Admissions and are then invited to apply. Applications are reviewed by a committee and a representative from the Stamps Foundation interviews each nominee to select recipients.

FYE students receive full-ride with graduate school option

The full-ride Beering Scholarship covers full educational expenses for a bachelor's degree and the opportunity to pursue two other graduate degrees at the university. The program also covers related educational expenses and a one-semester study abroad opportunity.

The 2014 Beering Scholars studying engineering are:

  • Ana Carneiro, West Lafayette, Indiana
  • Katherine Ceglio, Indianapolis
  • Angela Collins, Fort Wayne, Indiana
  • Mark Gee, Jr. Johnston, Iowa
  • Aseem Jha, Lisle, Illinois
  • Abby Lemert, Fort Wayne, Indiana

The Beering Scholarship program was created by Purdue's ninth president, Dr. Steven C. Beering, who raised private funds for the endowment. An invitation to apply for the program is sent to the highest achieving high school seniors who are admitted by mid-December by the Office of Admissions. A committee reviews applications and determines the scholarship recipients.

Move-out sale scheduled for Grissom Hall

Purdue Surplus Store plans a two-phase move-out sale in Grissom Hall -- a department-only sale from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. July 8, and a public sale from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. July 9-10. Desks, tables, chairs, bulletin boards and more will be available at the sale. Shoppers should enter the building through the Grant Street entrance. Cash or checks will be accepted, and buyers are responsible for pickup of purchased items by 5 p.m. July 10. Dollies will not be available for moving purchases. For more information, contact Purdue Surplus Store at 765-742-4414.

Grissom Hall is undergoing renovations that are scheduled for completion August 2015.

Business Office Personnel

Suzanne Kennedy will be moving upstairs to take Ethan Chitty’s spot as purchasing clerk for the Armstrong Business office. She has been working in the AFL since October and we are more than excited to have her join our team. Ethan is moving on to the next step in his career, which is graduate school. He will assist in training Suzanne for the month of July and his last day will be sometime in early August.

Kudos: 6/30 ENE alumni Joe Lin and Ken Reid, along with PK Imbrie and So Yoon Yoon, for receiving the Best Paper Award from the Educational Research and Methods Division at the ASEE Annual Conference.

Funding Opportunities: 6/30

Selected Funding Opportunities:

NSF Sensors, Dynamics, and Control (SDC) The SDC program supports fundamental research on the analysis, measurement, monitoring and control of complex dynamical and structural systems, including development of new analytical, computational and experimental tools, and novel applications to engineered and natural systems. Deadline: September 15

NSF Advanced Technological Education (ATE) With an emphasis on two-year colleges, the ATE program focuses on the education of technicians for the high-technology fields that drive our nation's economy. The program involves partnerships between academic institutions and industry to promote improvement in the education of science and engineering technicians at the undergraduate and secondary school levels. The ATE program supports curriculum development; professional development of college faculty and secondary school teachers; career pathways to two-year colleges from secondary schools and from two-year colleges to four-year institutions; and other activities. Another goal is articulation between two-year and four-year programs for K-12 prospective STEM teachers that focus on technological education. The program invites research proposals that advance the knowledge base related to technician education. Deadline: October 9

NIH Center of Excellence for Natural Product Drug Interaction Research (U54) The purpose of this FOA is to solicit applications for a center to provide leadership in the study of natural product drug interactions. The ultimate goal of this program is to develop a definitive approach to determining the clinical relevance of pharmacokinetic interactions between natural products and medications.Deadline: December 4

DHS BAA: Exploratory Research in Preventing Nuclear and Radiological Terrorism DHS is interested in technologies or methodologies that can dramatically improve the national capability to detect and report attempts to import or transport a nuclear device, SNM, or radiological material outside of regulatory control. For this BAA, the Research Topic Areas are as follows: 1) Detector Materials Development for Active Interrogation Techniques; 2) Shielding Anomaly Detection; 3) Reduction in Cost of Existing and Near-Term Nuclear/Radiological Threat Detection Systems; and 4) Model-driven Analysis Tool Research and Development. White papers due July 25; Full proposals due October 31.

DOD-AFRL Manufacturing Technology Open BAA Manufacturing technologies that focus on strengthening defense manufacturing capabilities through the discovery of new manufacturing capabilities and efficiencies and transitioning capability to the factory floor are of interest. Descriptors of Manufacturing Technology interests are presented in two contexts; that of manufacturing technology competencies and that of Air Force application area needs. White papers accepted until 6/24/19.

DOE FY15 Research Opportunities in Accelerator Stewardship This call for applications is focused on two distinct activities: (1) applied R&D that is focused on developing a prototype in response to a specific technical challenge, and (2) basic research that broadly impacts many accelerator applications. Letter of Intent due July 3; Invited Application due September 4.

DOT-FHWA Connected Vehicle – Next Stage Certification Environment The USDOT’s Connected Vehicle Program aims to improve safety, enhance mobility, and reduce the environmental footprint of our transportation systems through the use of connected vehicle technology. The Federal Highway Administration requests applications for assistance to award a new cooperative agreement to establish a future certification environment for connected vehicle devices and applications. Deadline: July 18

EPA Systems-Based Strategies to Improve the Nation’s Ability to Plan and Respond to Water Scarcity and Drought Due to Climate Change EPA is seeking applications that take a systems view to investigate how drought (seasonal and prolonged), exacerbated by climate change, may impact surface water and groundwater quality and availability. EPA is interested in characterizing and predicting water quality as it relates to drought and subsequent drought-related events, such as changes in surface runoff and wildfire. The goal of this RFA is to provide information on these complex interactions and devise innovative and sustainable management strategies for communities, municipalities, water managers, natural resource managers, and other stakeholders to protect our nation’s ground and surface water resources from potential decrease in water quality and availability. Deadline: August 5

DOS-PAS American Cultural Centers and Cultural Programming in the People’s Republic of China PAS invites U.S. institutions of higher learning and not-for-profit organizations to submit proposals for the establishment of an American Cultural Center through an existing partnership with a Chinese institution and/or comprehensive U.S. cultural-related programming at space provided by a Chinese partner institution as needed. Deadline: August 11

NEH Museums, Libraries, and Cultural Organizations Museums, Libraries, and Cultural Organizations grants provide support for museums, libraries, historic places, and other organizations that produce public programs in the humanities. Deadline: August 13

  • Planning Grants
  • Implementation Grants

Dreyfus Foundation Postdoctoral Program in Environmental Chemistry Applications are accepted from principal investigators who have well-established research efforts in environmental science or engineering. The postdoctoral fellow is usually not already identified nor in the PI’s lab at the time of application. Applications most likely to be of interest should describe innovative fundamental research in the chemical sciences or engineering related to the environment. Deadline: August 11

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: HHS-HRSA Reproductive and Environmental Health Network This FOA seeks to administer a cooperative agreement that will improve maternal and fetal health outcomes through providing education, individualized counseling, improved access to resources, and advancing the knowledge base related to the safety of exposures to medication and environmental agents before, during, and after pregnancy. For this opportunity, Purdue may submit only one application.

Limited Submission: Conrad N. Hilton Foundation: Marilyn Hilton Award for Innovation in MS Research The goal is to stimulate innovative and potentially paradigm-shifting research on Progressive Multiple Sclerosis, which may otherwise go unfunded in times of fiscal restraint. The Foundation is particularly interested in supporting projects that address the development of biomarkers for Progressive MS; other areas that could impact the field, such as new animal models, surveillance systems or investment into possible new therapeutics for Progressive MS; and the encouragement of young researchers into the field. For this opportunity, Purdue may submit only one application.

  • Internal deadline: Contact by July 7.
  • Sponsor deadlines: Preproposals due July 28; Invited full proposals due August 15.

Limited Submission: Simons Foundation Simons Investigators in Mathematics, Physics, and Theoretical Computer Science (See attached) The Foundation invites nominations for the Simons Investigators in Mathematics, Physics, and Theoretical Computer Science program. The Simons Investigators 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. To be an investigator, a scientist must be engaged in theoretical research in mathematics, physics or computer science and must have a primary appointment as a faculty member and not have previously been a Simons Investigator. At the time of the appointment start date, an investigator should be tenured. For this opportunity, Purdue may nominate only two investigators per field listed above.

Limited Submission: Simons Foundation Simons Investigators in the Mathematical Modeling of Living Systems (See attached) The Foundation invites nominations for Simons Investigators in the Mathematical Modeling of Living Systems (MMLS). These Investigators are outstanding scientists, often with mathematics or theoretical physics backgrounds, who are now engaged in mathematical-model-based research in the life sciences and to whom the Simons Foundation is dedicated to providing long-term support for their work. To be an investigator in MMLS, a scientist must be engaged in research related to the program, must have a primary appointment as a faculty member and not previously have been a Simons Investigator. At the time of appointment, an investigator should be in the early stages of an academic career (within five years of the start of his/her first faculty position) and, typically, be holding an assistant professorship or equivalent position. For this opportunity, Purdue may nominate only one investigator.

Limited Submission: Simons Foundation Math+X Investigators (See attached) This program is designed to encourage novel collaborations between mathematics and other fields in science or engineering by providing research funds to professors to establish programs at the interface between mathematics and another field of science or engineering. The Math+X Investigator must be a current tenured faculty member, with a primary appointment in the mathematics department. The Investigator will be expected to teach in both the mathematics and the X departments and be appointed in both departments by the award start date (courtesy appointments will be allowed). The X partner should be a department of science or engineering that will engage in significant collaboration with the mathematics department in an area where such collaboration is not the norm. Both departments must have doctoral programs. X partners in finance and business will not be considered. Areas where there are already well-established links with mathematics, such as economics, string theory or computational complexity, will also not be considered unless the proposal involves particularly unusual collaborations. For this opportunity, Purdue may nominate only one investigator.

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.


NSF Dear Colleague Letter – Announcement of Change to the Division of Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental, and Transport Systems Unsolicited Proposal Submission Window The Division of CBET within the Directorate for Engineering has changed the unsolicited proposal submission window for all 17 programs to one single submission window, October 1 through November 5.

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