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ENE Memo: October 21, 2013

From the Head: 10/21

This past weekend, the ABET site visit team arrived in town as part of an 18-month-long process to re-accredit all the B.S. degrees in engineering at Purdue, including our own bachelor's degree in Multidisciplinary Engineering. Monday and Tuesday the team will be on campus to review documents and to speak to key individuals, including faculty, staff, the Dean and the Provost. The visitor charged with examining our MDE degree is Professor Al Rosa. He will be housed in ARMS 1301 during the visit.

As Director of UG Studies in ENE, Phil Wankat has put an enormous effort into generating a very detailed self-study of the MDE degree, which was forwarded to ABET in the late spring. Subsequently, he has assembled a comprehensive collection of materials on the various courses in the program, plus examples of students' work. As part of the visit, the Chair of our Industrial Advisory Council, Rick Zadoks, and several alumni of the program will be in attendance.  

As FYE is an integral part of all UG engineering programs at Purdue, ENE staff and faculty have also assembled an exhaustive amount of information on first-year, especially on our core courses, ENGR 131/141/132/142. This work commenced last fall, with Eric Holloway taking the lead and then with help from Steve Hoffmann in the spring, plus input from a variety of faculty and other staff. 

I want to acknowledge and thank all who have helped us prepare for the accreditation visit. This is a MAJOR undertaking and is not for the faint of heart. 

Accreditation is a BIG deal. Without it, our engineering programs would not attract students. The published purpose of accreditation is to assure parents and prospective students that 
  • the institution is committed to improving their education experience
  • the program is committed to using best practices and innovation in education
  • the program is guided by its industry, government and academic constituents through formal feedback and
  • the program considers the students’ perspective as part of its continuous quality improvement process

One thing to remember is that ABET visitors are faculty just like us from other engineering schools. Indeed some of our faculty are ABET visitors on the accreditations of other schools. So the implicit assumption is that we are trusted to be competent to make wise decisions in our own program design and operation. A visitor is just that. Ultimately they do not have day-to-day responsibility for running our programs, so their views need to embody collegial respect for our unique circumstances and operating culture of the school they visit and evaluate.

Mercifully, accreditation visits and all the preparation work that they entail occur only every five years. However, the process of regularly reflecting on and examining what we do, getting feedback from our students and external stakeholders and continuously improving our educational processes happens year round, every year. We must always be striving to do better in all we do, directly or indirectly as it relates to the educational experiences we offer.


Calendar: 10/21

Fall 2013

  • Oct 20-22: ABET Site Visit
  • Oct 21-25: Green Week at Purdue (Think! No Impact)
  • Oct 28: TULIP - Cultural Diversity in the Classroom (FYE advisor Pouneh Eftekhari, who specializes in international students, will be joining us), ARMS 3001, 1:30-3pm
  • Oct 30:  Faculty Meeting, ARMS 1021 9:30-10:20am
  • Nov 8: Engineering Education Industrial Advisory Council (E2IAC) 
  • Nov 9: ENE Friends at the Football
  • Nov 13: Faculty Discussion: FYE Research, ARMS BO98B Innovation Studio 9:30-12:30 
  • Nov 14: Interdisciplinary Engineering Colloquium: Indomitable Innovators: Pioneers of Engineering Education Research at Purdue
  • Nov 18: TULIP - Problem Solving, ARMS 3001, 1:30-3pm
  • Nov 20: Advisor-PhD Student matching, ARMS BO98B Innovation Studio 9:30-12:30 
  • Nov 28-29: Thanksgiving
  • Dec 2: TULIP - Messaging FYE Outside FYE, ARMS 3001, 1:30-3pm
  • Dec 4: Faculty Meeting, ARMS 1021 9:30-10:20am

Spring 2014

  • Feb 19: 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 12-13: SAVE THE DATE. Purdue, Engineering Education Futures: Hearing Global Perspectives   
  • June 14: ENE Alums & Friends Reception, Indianapolis Interdisciplinary Engineering Education
  • June 15-18: ASEE Conference, Indianapolis Engineering Education Futures

Kudos: 10/21 Monica Cox, who has agreed to serve as Co-PI on the NSF ADVANCE initiative. She has served on the Implementation and Oversight Committee as well as the Steering Committee, and her leadership and insight have been instrumental to the success of the ADVANCE initiative.  She continues to provide invaluable mentorship to women faculty.

News and Information: 10/21

AFL Open House on October 23

An open house for the Purdue Artisan and Fabrication Lab  is being held on Wednesday, Oct 23, from 10:30 to noon to celebrate the expansion of operating hours to 60 hrs/week and access to all students at Purdue. Dr. Radcliffe, Dean Jamieson, Dean Bertoline and many others will be in attendance for parts of the open house. Read the Purdue News Service story on the lab here.

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