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ENE Memo: March 14, 2016

From the Head: 03/14/2016

Unwritten Laws of Engineering - Part II

Last week I introduced the Unwritten Laws of Engineering by W. J. King was first published in 1944 and updated with revisions and additions by James Skakoon in 2004. The second part of this timeless advice is for engineers as they begin to take on responsibilities as a manager. However you do not have to have "manager" or equivalent in your job title for these simple truths to be applicable.  

Individual behaviour and technique:

  • Do not try to do it all yourself
  • Every manager must know what goes on in his or her domain
  • Cultivate the habit of "boiling matters down" to their simplest terms
  • Cultivate the habit of making brisk, clean-cut decisions

Managing design and development projects: 

  • Learn project management skills and techniques, then apply them to the activities that you manage
    • Define your objectives.
    • Plan the job by outlining the steps to be accomplished.
    • Define the required resources, including people, money, and facilities.
    • Prepare a definite schedule.
    • Follow up; check on the progress of the work.
    • Revise your schedule as required.
    • Watch for bottlenecks, log-jams, and missing links; hit lagging items hard by applying additional time, money, and people.
    • Drive to a finish on time.

On organizations and structures:

  • Make sure that everyone, managers and subordinates, has been assigned definite positions and responsibilities within the organization
  • Make sure that all activities and all individuals are supervised by someone competent in the subject matter involved

What all managers owe their employees:

  • Never misrepresent a subordinate's performance during performance appraisals
  • Make it unquestionably clear what is expected of employees
  • You owe it to your subordinates to keep them properly informed
  • Never miss a chance to commend or reward subordinates for a job well done
  • Always accept full responsibility for your group and the individuals in it

Similar to the summary of advice I shared last week from this source, you really need to read the full text to appreciate the subtle aspects of the wisdom being imparted. Taken in isolation, some of these bullet points can give a false impression. The full text can be found in Mechanical EngineeringNov 2010, Vol. 132 Issue 11, p36-40, available online via the Purdue Library web page. 


Kudos: 03/14/2016

... to Audeen Fentiman and her team for organizing another very successful Purdue Prospective Faculty Workshop and the various ENE faculty who gave talks as part of the workshop program, Brent Jesiek and David Radcliffe and those faculty who attended the welcome reception and/or meet with our two PPFW visitors, Allison Godwin, Jennifer DeBoer, Heidi Diefes-Dux, Michael Loui, Muhsin Menekse, Ed Berger,   

Fentiman's team

.. to all those who participated in the inaugural CAT-Purdue STEM Opportunity Fair at the Caterpillar Lafayette plant and Morgan Hynes for his presentation at the Lunch 'n Learn.  (see picture)



News and Information: 03/14/2016

Travel Restrictions: State Street /  River Rd Intersection

West Lafayette is undertaking a Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) Relief Interceptor Project along River Road, from approximately Quincy Street to Ahlers Drive, that will significantly affect travel adjacent to campus.

The project is to be completed in three phases, the first of which is scheduled to begin during the week of March 14, and the last of which is scheduled to end in May 2017.

Travel in the project area will be heavily affected. At various times over the course of the project, multiple complete road closures will occur, part of the intersection of State Street and River Road will be closed, the intersection of River Road and Williams Street/Tapawingo Drive will be closed, and access to Union Street will be modified.

Current construction schedules, maps and detours are available in the Project Status section of, which will be the best source of updated information throughout the duration of the project.

Calendar: 03/14/2016

Spring 2016 

  • March 14/19: Spring Break 
  • March 24: ENE Primary Committee (Assistant cases), 9:30-11:20am, WANG 3501
  • March 25: Staff Meeting, 8:30-9:30am, Wang 3501  
  • March 25: ENE Friday Noon-Thirty Lunch, 12:30-1:30 pm, WANG Kitchen
  • March 31: Faculty Meeting, 9:30-11:20 am, WANG 3501
  • April 1: ENE Friday Noon-Thirty Lunch, 12:30-1:30 pm, WANG Kitchen
  • April 4: ENE Primary Committee (Associate cases), 2:00-5:00pm, WANG 3501
  • April 8: ENE Friday Noon-Thirty Lunch, 12:30-1:30 pm, WANG Kitchen
  • April 11/12: ENE Industrial Advisory Council  
  • April 14: Faculty Career Colloquium (Dr. Radcliffe), 3:30-4:20pm, BO71
  • April 15: ENE Friday Noon-Thirty Lunch, 12:30-1:30 pm, WANG Kitchen
  • April 20: ENE Outstanding Alumni Awards  
  • April 21: Faculty Meeting, 9:30-11:20 am, WANG 3501
  • April 22: ENE Friday Noon-Thirty Lunch, 12:30-1:30 pm, WANG Kitchen
  • April 29: ENE Friday Noon-Thirty Lunch, 12:30-1:30 pm, WANG Kitchen
  • April 30: Classes end
  • May 5: Faculty Meeting, 9:30-11:20 am, WANG 3501
  • May 10: Grades Due
  • May 11/12: ENE Strategic Advance
  • May 13: Engineering Commencement, 8pm, Elliot Hall of Music
  • May 25: Spring Fling, 11:30am-4pm, Memorial Mall 

Summer 2016

  • June 26-29: ASEE 2016, New Orleans
  • Aug 13-15: 3rd P-12 Engineering and Design Education Research Summit, Chicago

Fall 2016

  • Aug 14: End-of-Summer Potluck, 5-8pm, Happy Hollow Park
  • Aug 15: Faculty return  
  • Aug 17: ENE Advance (TBD)
  • Aug 22: Classes begin

Funding Opportunities: 03/14/2016

Selected Funding Opportunities: 

NSF/DHS/DOT/NASA/NIH/USDA Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) The goal of the CPS program is to develop the core system science needed to engineer complex cyber-physical systems that people can use or interact with and depend upon. By abstracting from the particulars of specific systems and application domains, the CPS program seeks to reveal cross-cutting fundamental scientific and engineering principles that underpin the integration of cyber and physical elements across all application sectors. Three classes of research and education projects will be considered: Breakthrough, Synergy, and Frontier Projects.  Deadline: June 7

NSF Dear Colleague Letter: NSF/SBE Partnering in Round 4 of the Digging into Data Challenge The purpose of this Dear Colleague Letter is to announce that the NSF’s Directorate for Social, Behavioral & Economic Sciences is partnering in the Trans-Atlantic Platform 2016 Digging into Data Challenge (T-AP DiD). Digging into Data is a grant competition open to international, collaborative projects that address research questions in humanities and/or social science disciplines by using new, large-scale, digital data analysis techniques.

NSF Dear Colleague Letter: Research Opportunities in Europe for NSF CAREER Awardees This letter invites current CAREER awardees to apply for research visits to any identified, appropriate European research group.  Deadline: April 11

NIH Bioengineering Research Partnerships (U01) This FOA encourages bioengineering applications that will accelerate the development and adoption of promising tools and technologies that can address important biomedical problems.  The objectives are to establish these tools and technologies as robust, well-characterized solutions that fulfill an unmet need and are capable of enhancing our understanding of life science processes or the practice of medicine.  Awards will focus on supporting multidisciplinary teams that apply an integrative, quantitative bioengineering approach to developing technologies, and engage biomedical researchers or clinicians throughout the project. Deadline: May 18

NIH Learning Disabilities Innovation Hubs (P20) This FOA invites exploratory grant applications, Learning Disabilities Innovation Hubs (LD Hubs), addressing the etiology, manifestation, prevention and remediation of reading, writing and/or mathematics learning disabilities. The constitution of an LD Hub includes a single research project and an Administration Core that support the goals and aims of the LD Hub. The FOA seeks to address nascent or under-researched topics and populations, as well as some of the most challenging research topics in the area of learning disabilities impacting reading, writing and mathematics, and provides opportunities to support planning and building of a body of research and corresponding intellectual infrastructure to enable P20 grantees to compete for large research and program project opportunities in the future. Deadline: May 13

DOD FY17 Defense University Research Instrumentation Program (DURIP) This announcement seeks proposals from universities to purchase equipment and instrumentation in support of research in areas of interest to the DoD. DoD interests include the areas of research supported by the Army Research Office (ARO), the Office of Naval Research (ONR), and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR).  Deadline: August 26

DOD-NRL Wide BAA NRL conducts basic and applied research for the Navy in a variety of scientific and technical disciplines. The basic research program is driven by perceptions about future requirements of the Navy. White papers accepted continuously.

DOC-NIST Measurement Science and Engineering (MSE) Research Grant Programs NIST is soliciting applications for financial assistance for FY16 within the following NIST Laboratory grant programs: the Material Measurement Laboratory (MML) Grant Program; the Physical Measurement Laboratory (PML) Grant Program; the Engineering Laboratory (EL) Grant Program; the Fire Research (FR) Grant Program; the Information Technology Laboratory (ITL) Grant Program; the Communications Technology Laboratory (CTL) Grant Program; the NIST Center for Neutron Research (NCNR) Grant Program; the Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology (CNST) Grant Program; the Special Programs Office (SPO) Grant Program; the Standards Coordination Office (SCO) Grant Program; the International and Academic Affairs Office (IAAO) Grant Program; and the Associate Director for Laboratory Programs (ADLP) Grant Program. Applications will be accepted and considered on a rolling basis.

Environmental Research & Education Foundation Request for Proposals Research in Sustainable Solid Waste Management The program supports research projects related to sustainable solid waste management practices, including waste minimization; recycling; waste conversion to energy, biofuels, chemicals, or other useful products; strategies to promote diversion to higher and better uses (e.g., organics diversion, market analysis, optimized material management, logistics, etc.); and landfilling. Desirable aspects of the above topics, in addition to or as part of hypothesis driven applied research, also include economic or cost/benefit analyses; feasibility studies for untested technologies or management strategies; life-cycle analysis or inventory; and analyses of policies that relate to the above. Pre-proposals due June 1.

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Global Ideas for U.S. Solutions  RWJF is looking globally for ideas to help build a Culture of Health in the United States, where everyone has the opportunity to live healthier lives, no matter who they are, where they live, or how much money they make. this year, we have a particular interest in ideas that: Build healthy places; Build social connection across the lifespan; Get and keep children healthy; Integrate health and social services; and Increase the health care system’s focus on the root causes of poor health. Deadline: May 31

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: USDA-NIFA Women and Minorities in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Fields Programs (WAMS) The purpose of this program is to support research and extension projects that increase participation by women and underrepresented minorities from rural areas in STEM. NIFA intends this program to address educational needs, as determined by each institution, within broadly defined areas of food and agricultural sciences and related disciplines. WAMS-funded projects should improve the economic health and viability of rural communities by developing research and extension initiatives that focus on new and emerging employment opportunities in STEM occupations. Projects that integrate social and biological sciences to provide experiential learning opportunities for students in applied research, and related community development programs are encouraged. For this opportunity, Purdue is limited to one application as lead organization.

Limited Submission: DOE Commercial Buildings and Energy Code Field Studies This FOA is targeted specifically at research to increase energy savings and reduce consumer bills through improved compliance with building energy codes. The opportunity supports projects under the following topic areas: Commercial Field Study, Low-Rise Multifamily Field Studies, and Exploration of Life-Cycle Energy Code Impacts. For this opportunity, Purdue is limited to one application as lead organization under each topic.  We may submit multiple applications as collaborator.

  • Internal deadlines:  Contact by March 14 stating to which topic you plan to apply.
  • Sponsor deadlines:  April 11


NSF Dear Colleague Letter: Change in Eligibility to the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP)

NSF Frequently Asked  Questions (FAQs) for DCL NSF16-050, Change in Eligibility to the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) 

NSF Dear Colleague Letter: Data Management and Data Reporting Requirements for Research Awards Supported by the Division of Polar Programs

Please contact Sue Grimes (, Kristyn Jewell (, or Perry Kirkham ( with any questions.

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