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ENE Memo: March 28, 2016

From the Head: 03/28/2016

Challenging Engineering Education

Last week the Chronicle of Higher Education published an article with the provocative title "Does Engineering Education Breed Terrorists?"  Some of the initial responses have been somewhat simplistic and disappointingly grounded in the tired stereotypical views of engineering and of the liberal arts.

Whatever your perspective, this article raises a legitimate series of questions that deserve thoughtful consideration. Beyond the immediate question that is the title of the article, there are a broader range of questions around the epistemological foundations that shape engineering education and how these manifest in the ways we teach engineering. More fundamental than conversations around how much general education there should be in an engineering program or the current controversies surrounding the proposed changes to the ABET criteria, we should examine closely how we frame the technical engineering we teach and what impact this may be having on the intellectual development of our students.

Do our engineering courses foster the development of global citizens, critical thinkers prepared to engage the socio-political complexities of the practice of engineering, tackling "wicked problems" in a pluralistic society? Do we confront the superficial allure of apparent scientific certainty amidst the value-laden reality of technological choices and technology development and the ethical and moral dimensions of engineering decisions? Do we educate for open minds?

These are not new questions, but perhaps they have a heightened urgency in our troubled times. Over the years many have wondered aloud about the impact on the intellectual growth of engineering students as critical thinkers and as engaged citizens of the traditional approaches used to educate engineers. As a community of scholars focused on transforming engineering education it behooves us to devote some of our research capability to actively pursue the sorts of questions raised by the article in the Chronicle. We should also ensure that research and scholarship on such questions inform, and when appropriate are an integral part of, our teaching programs, graduate and undergraduate.


Kudos: 03/28/2016

... to Joyce Main on receiving the 2016 ENE Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching 

... to Brent Jesiek on being appointed as co-editor for the Online Journal of Global Engineering Education

... to Juan Ortega-Alvarez on passing his Readiness Assessment  

... to Larry Nies (member of our ENGR131 instructional team) on receiving the Murphy Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Anastasia Rynearson on being awarded an apprentice faculty grant from the ERM division of ASEE.

News and Information: 03/28/2016

Mental Health Symposium hosted by NAMI on Campus Purdue

NAMI is the National Alliance on Mental Illness and NAMI on Campus Purdue is a student-led affiliate aimed at reducing the stigma against mental illness and supporting positive mental health.

The Mental Health Symposium will be held Wednesday, March 30th, from 4:00- 7:30pm, in the Krannert Auditorium The kick off will begin at 4:00 pm, and then there will be panel discussions about various mental health issues starting every hour. “Debunking Myths” at 4:30, “Diversity Issues” at 5:30, and “Campus Voices” at 6:30. Drop in for one, or stay for them all! Snacks, information, and giveaways will be provided. The event is free and open to everyone.

To learn more about NAMI and important mental health information, please visit

Contacts: Nichole Ramirez, (205) 310-1994, and Katie Ceglio, Symposium Chair, or


Calendar: 03/28/2016

Spring 2016 

  • March 31: Faculty Meeting, 9:30-11:20 am, WANG 3501
  • March 31: ENE Research Seminar, 3:30-4:30pm, ARMS BO71 (Weekly)
  • April 1: Staff Meeting, 8:30-9:30am, ARMS 3115 (Note change)
  • 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, ARMS 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: 03/28/2016

Selected Funding Opportunities:

NSF Methodology, Measurement, and Statistics (MMS) MMS seeks proposals that are methodologically innovative, grounded in theory, and have potential utility for multiple fields within the social and behavioral sciences. As part of its larger portfolio, the MMS Program partners with a consortium of federal statistical agencies to support research proposals that further the development of new and innovative approaches to surveys and to the analysis of survey data. MMS provides support through various mechanisms including: regular research awards, awards for conference, workshops, and community-development activities, Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement (DDRI) grants, and Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) supplements. Deadline: August 25.

NSF 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. Some of these may require high-confidence or provable behaviors. The program aims to foster a research community committed to advancing research and education in CPS and to transitioning CPS science and technology into engineering practice. Deadline: June 7

NSF US Ignite: Networking Research and Application Prototypes Leading to Smart & Connected Communities U.S. Ignite is an initiative that seeks to promote US leadership in the development and deployment of next-generation gigabit applications with the potential for significant societal impact. This solicitation has two focus areas: 1) development of application ideas and prototypes addressing national priority areas that explore new uses for high-speed networks and give rise to the Smart & Connected Communities of the future, as well as novel networking and application paradigms; and 2) fundamental research advances in networking technology and protocols that will further both the capabilities and our understanding of gigabit networking infrastructure to meet current and future application demands. Deadline: June 14

DOD-AF Young Investigator Research Program (YIP) The Air Force YIP supports scientists and engineers who have received Ph.D. or equivalent degrees in the last five years and show exceptional ability and promise for conducting basic research. The objective of this program is to foster creative basic research in science and engineering; enhance early career development of outstanding young investigators; and increase opportunities for the young investigator to recognize the Air Force mission and related challenges in science and engineering. Deadline: June 1

DOD Defense University Research Instrumentation Program (DURIP) DURIP is a multi-agency DOD program designed to improve the capabilities of United States institutions of higher education to conduct research and to educate scientists and engineers in areas important to national defense by providing funds for the acquisition of research equipment. DURIP funds will be used for the acquisition of major equipment to augment current or develop new research capabilities to support research in the technical areas of interest to the sponsoring agencies. Deadline: August 26

ED-IES Special Education Research The Institute's purpose in awarding these grants is to provide national leadership in expanding fundamental knowledge and understanding of (1) developmental and school readiness outcomes for infants and toddlers with or at risk for disability, and (2) education outcomes for all students from early childhood education through postsecondary and adult education. Deadline: August 4

NEH Museums, Libraries, and Cultural Organizations This grant program supports projects for general audiences that encourage active engagement with humanities ideas in creative and appealing ways. All projects must be grounded in humanities scholarship in disciplines such as history, art history, film studies, literature, religious studies, philosophy, or anthropology. Projects must also demonstrate an approach that is thoughtful, balanced, and analytical (rather than celebratory).

  • Implementation Grants are for projects in the final stages of preparation to "go live" before the public. Deadline: August 10
  • Planning Grants are used to refine the content, format, and interpretive approach of a humanities project; develop the project's preliminary design; test project components; and conduct audience evaluation. Deadline: August 10

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: EPA Environmental Education Training Program The purpose of this program is to provide environmental education training and long-term support to education professionals across the U.S. to enable them to effectively teach about environmental issues. The intermediate outcome is better trained educators and the long-term outcome is a more environmentally literate public. Limit of one application as lead but no limit if member of a consortium.

Limited Submission: NEA Military Healing Arts Partnership The NEA Military Healing Arts Partnership supports creative art therapies and arts engagement activities to help the nation's wounded, ill, and injured service members and their families in their processes of recovery, reintegration, or transition to civilian life. The purpose of this Program Solicitation is to select an organization to provide management support for the NEA Military Healing Arts Partnership in support of this expansion. Limit of one application per institution.

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:


EVPRP Workshop: Overview of the NSF CAREER Program EVPRP is hosting a workshop for faculty in all disciplines who are interested in writing a proposal for the NSF CAREER program. CAREER eligible faculty are untenured, assistant professors who have not submitted more than two previous, unsuccessful NSF CAREER proposals. Sally Bond and Sue Grimes, co-assistant directors in Research Development Services, will present an overview of the program and provide guidance on how to write a competitive CAREER proposal. The workshop will be held on Tuesday, April 19 from 11:30AM to 1:00PM in Stewart Center, room 202. Lunch is provided so registration is required by April 13 at

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