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ENE Memo: May 16, 2016

From the Head: 05/16/2016

No Bad Days

The Strategic Plan of the School of Engineering Education includes the following under the section on Our Values. 

As members of the School, we are committed to fostering a collegial, cooperative and supportive work environment where ideally we have "no bad days."

The quote marks around "no bad days" reflects the fact that these words were spoken at our Strategic Advance held in early January 2008 as this community was developing our Plan. They were spoken to express a powerful aspiration for what this community might be like to work in. They may also reflect a reality that we have all experienced "bad days," maybe too many of them, and this is no fun. There has to be a better way. The question is what can we do to ensure we have "no bad days"?

In March 2010, when I was Interim Head of ENE, I organized an ENE Advance called 'Working Together." It featured an external speaker Steve Kirkpatrick, an educational psychologist recommended by Purdue HR. He facilitated the event around a social styles inventory as a framework "to learn about ourselves as a group and thereby become more effective in how we work together." There was a considerable amount of skepticism from a significant number of the faculty about this approach centered on the question; "Where is the science behind all this?" As you can imagine, this skepticism had a deleterious effect on the hoped for outcomes. It was very disheartening - certainly not a good day.  

In spite of that early set back, I have continued to share many ideas on numerous occasions from diverse sources on how we might improve our working environment. As I wrap-up seven years as head of ENE, I offer one final resource that I hope you find helpful. It is evidence-based.     

How to Have a Good Day tackles the question of "no bad days" by synthesizing a few easy to follow strategies we can apply in our daily interactions based on the cumulative evidence drawn from the behavioral sciences (psychology, behavioral economics and neuroscience). The author, Caroline Webb, does a skillful job of pulling together some familiar and some not so familiar ways to be more effective, individually and in groups, based on the scientific research about how we function and operate as social beings.     

The opening chapter sets out the essential behavioral science underpinnings for what follows. The next two chapters, on priorities and making the most of every hour, provide a firm foundation of a good day. There are then three chapters on strategies for tackling daily tasks so as to get the most from every interaction, how to be your smartest, wisest and most creative self and how to maximize the impact of all you say and do. The final two chapters are on being resilient and maintaining energy, enthusiasm and enjoyment throughout the day. Each chapter includes concepts, stories and practical advice including easy to access tables or bullets.  

There are three appendices on how to be good at meetings, how to be good at emails and how reinvigorate your routine. Caroline also offers a helpful guide to how you can facilitate a group discussion on implementing the strategies in practice.

To get a sense of her approach (and some helpful advice), watch one of YouTube videos or podcasts of Caroline presenting her ideas; I recommend her Google (London) talk

I believe the strategies she presents can help each of us, and thereby all of us, as we strive to achieve our ideal of "no bad days".


Kudos: 05/16/2016

…to Tasha Zephirin on passing her preliminary exam / proposal defense.

…to Matt Ohland and Jaqi McNeil (ENE Alum) on publication of a paper entitled, "The influence of ABET accreditation practices on faculty approaches to teaching" in the International Journal of Engineering Education, 32(3A), pp 1151-1159.

Calendar: 05/16/2016

Spring 2016 

Summer 2016

  • June 6-10: INSPIRE Summer Academy (for K-2nd grade teachers), Wang Hall.
  • June 13- July 8: STAR (Summer Transition, Advising and Registration)
  • June 26-29: ASEE 2016, New Orleans
  • July 11-Aug 12: Early Start Engineering program
  • Aug 11-13:  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

News and Information: 05/16/2016

Spring Fling

With spring just around the corner, the coordinating committee is preparing for Spring Fling 2016!  This year's event will be held on May 25, 2016 on Purdue's Memorial Mall.

Funding Opportunities: 05/16/2016

Selected Funding Opportunities:

NIH BD2K Mentored Career Development Award in Biomedical Big Data Science for Intramural Investigators (K22)  This BD2K FOA solicits K22 applications for a NIH Career Transition Award to provide support for outstanding basic or clinical investigators in the NIH Intramural Program to transition to independent, faculty level academic positions in the area of Big Data Science. The initiative is a two phase program which includes a mentored one year phase in an intramural appointment at NIH, and a second phase of up to three years of support at an extramural institution. The aim of the initiative is to support the additional training and transition of intramural scientists at any level of experience to be independent researchers as well as to work in a team environment to develop new Big Data technologies, methods, and tools applicable to basic and clinical research.  Deadline: August 1.

NIH BD2K Mentored Career Development Award in Biomedical Big Data Science for Clinicians and Doctorally Prepared Scientists (K01)  This BD2K FOA solicits applications for a mentored career development award in the area of Big Data Science. The aim of the initiative is to support additional training of scientists who will gain the knowledge and skills necessary to be independent researchers as well as to work in a team environment to develop new Big Data technologies, methods, and tools applicable to basic and clinical research. The objective of the K01 is to provide salary and research support for a sustained period of “protected time” (3-5 years) for intensive research career development under the guidance of an experienced mentor, or sponsor, in the biomedical, behavioral or clinical sciences leading to research independence.  Deadline:  August 1.

NIH BD2K Postdoctoral Training in Biomedical Big Data Science (T32)  The purpose of this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is to solicit applications for graduate training programs in Big Data Science, for the expressed purpose of training the next generation of scientists who will develop computational and quantitative approaches and tools needed by the biomedical research community to work with Big Data in the biomedical sciences. The proposed training programs should prepare qualified individuals for careers in developing new technologies and methods that will allow biomedical researchers to maximize the value of the growing volume and complexity of biomedical data. Deadline:  July 25.

NSF Software Infrastructure for Sustained Innovation - SSE & SSI (SI2 - SSE&SSI)  The goal of the SI² program is to create a software ecosystem that includes all levels of the software stack and scales from individual or small groups of software innovators to large hubs of software excellence. The program addresses all aspects of cyberinfrastructure, from embedded sensor systems and instruments, to desktops and high-end data and computing systems, to major instruments and facilities. The SI² program includes three classes of awards:  1. Scientific Software Elements (SSE); 2. Scientific Software Integration (SSI); and 3. Scientific Software Innovation Institutes (S²I²).  Deadline:  September 19.

NSF Computational and Data-Enabled Science and Engineering in Mathematical and Statistical Sciences (CDS&E-MSS)  The goal of the program is to promote the creation and development of the next generation of mathematical and statistical theories and tools that will be essential for addressing such issues.  Proposals of interest to the program will include a Principal Investigator or co-Principal Investigator who is a researcher in the mathematical or statistical sciences in an area supported by the Division of Mathematical Sciences. The program encourages submission of proposals that include multidisciplinary collaborations or the training of mathematicians and statisticians in CDS&E. Deadline:  December 9.

NSF Computational and Data-Enabled Science and Engineering (CDS&E)  The goal of the CDS&E program is to identify and capitalize on opportunities for major scientific and engineering breakthroughs through new computational and data analysis approaches. The intellectual drivers may be in an individual discipline or they may cut across more than one discipline in various Directorates. The key identifying factor is that the outcome relies on the development, adaptation, and utilization of one or more of the capabilities offered by advancement of both research and infrastructure in computation and data, either through cross-cutting or disciplinary programs.  Deadline:  varies by directorate.

NSF Prediction of and Resilience against Extreme Events (PREEVENTS)    PREEVENTS seeks projects that will (1) enhance understanding of the fundamental processes underlying natural hazards and extreme events on various spatial and temporal scales, as well as the variability inherent in such hazards and events, and (2) improve our capability to model and forecast such hazards and events.  All projects requesting PREEVENTS support must be primarily focused on these two targets.  Deadlines:  July 29 – LOI; January 4 – Track one proposal; September 19 – Track 2 proposals.

DOD-DARPA Accelerated Computation for Efficient Scientific Simulation (ACCESS)   The ACCESS Program seeks innovative ideas for computational architectures that will achieve the equivalent of petaflops performance in a benchtop form-factor and be capable of what traditional architectures would define as strong scaling for predictive scientific simulations of interest. DARPA expects achieving these goals will require the parallel development of non-traditional component technologies exploiting novel hybrid analog/digital techniques, algorithms, instruction sets, controllers, and the integration and optimization of these components within prototype systems. Specifically excluded is research that primarily results in evolutionary improvements to the existing state of practice. Deadline:  June 28.

NEH Humanities Collections and Reference Resources (HCRR) Program  Funding from this program strengthens efforts to extend the life of important collections (books, manuscripts, photographs, sound recordings and moving images, archaeological and ethnographic artifacts, art and material culture, and digital objects) and make their intellectual content widely accessible, often through the use of digital technology. HCRR offers two kinds of awards: 1) for implementation and 2) for planning, assessment, and pilot efforts (HCRR Foundations grants).  Deadline: July 19.

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:  NIH Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) (R25)   The goal of the Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) program is to invest in educational activities that enhance the training of a workforce to meet the nation's biomedical, behavioral and clinical research needs. To this end, this funding opportunity announcement (FOA) encourages the development of innovative educational activities for pre-kindergarten to grade 12 (P-12), teachers and students from underserved communities with a focus on Courses for Skills Development, Research Experiences, Mentoring Activities, Curriculum or Methods Development or Informal science Education (ISE) exhibits, and Outreach activities.  Only one application is allowed per institution.

  • Internal Deadlines:
  • Monday, May 23:  Contact if interested in submitting
  • Sponsor Deadline:  June 22

Limited Submission:  NSF Physics Frontiers Centers   This program is designed to foster major breakthroughs at the intellectual frontiers of physics by providing needed resources such as combinations of talents, skills, disciplines, and/or specialized infrastructure, not usually available to individual investigators or small groups, in an environment in which the collective efforts of the larger group can be shown to be seminal to promoting significant progress in the science and the education of students. Activities supported through the program are in all sub-fields of physics within the purview of the Division of Physics: atomic, molecular, optical, plasma, elementary particle, nuclear, particle astro-, gravitational, and biological physics. Interdisciplinary projects at the interface between these physics areas and other disciplines and physics sub-fields may also be considered, although the bulk of the effort must fall within one of those areas within the purview of the Division of Physics. For this competition, Purdue may submit two proposals. A PI or Co-PI can participate on only one proposal; however, investigators may participate on more than one proposal.

  • Internal Deadlines:
  • Monday, May 23:  Preproposal due to EVPRP
  • Monday, May 30:  Reviewer rankings due to EVPRP 
  • Sponsor Deadlines:  August 1 – Preliminary proposal; January 30 – Full proposal (by invite)

Limited Submission:  NEH Summer Stipends  Summer Stipends support individuals pursuing advanced research that is of value to humanities scholars, general audiences, or both. Eligible projects usually result in articles, monographs, books, digital materials and publications, archaeological site reports, translations, editions, or other scholarly resources. Summer Stipends support projects at any stage of development. Purdue is limited to two submissions.

  • Internal Deadlines:
  • Monday, September 5:  Contact if interested  
  • Sponsor deadline:  September 29.

Limited Submission:  NEA Art Works II  NEA welcomes projects that:  1) Are likely to prove transformative with the potential for meaningful change, whether in the development or enhancement of new or existing art forms, new approaches to the creation or presentation of art, or new ways of engaging the public with art; 2) Are distinctive, offering fresh insights and new value for their fields and/or the public through unconventional solutions; and 3) Have the potential to be shared and/or emulated, or are likely to lead to other advances in the field. Only one application can be submitted per organization.

  • Internal Deadlines:
  • Monday, May 30:  Contact if interested  
  • Sponsor deadline:  July 28.

Limited Submission:  NEA Our Town   The Our Town grant program supports creative placemaking projects that help to transform communities into lively, beautiful, and resilient places with the arts at their core. Our Town offers support for projects in two areas:  1) Arts Engagement, Cultural Planning, and Design Projects, and 2) Projects that Build Knowledge about Creative Placemaking.  Only two application may be submitted per organization.

  • Internal Deadlines:
  • Monday, May 30:  Contact if interested  
  • Sponsor deadline:  September 12.


DOE’s fifth NNMI topic will be Reducing Embodied Energy and Emissions of Manufactured Materials with an announcement expected by the end of May.

NSF Dear Colleague Letter:  Call for Submission of Conference Proposals to Inform the Design and Success of the Alliances and National Network for NSF INCLUDES

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