ENE Memo: October 3, 2011

From the Head: 10/3

Realizing Our Full Potential

Last week was a BIG news week: Demetra Evangelou was awarded a very prestigious Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, or PECASE. This is awarded to people who have received a much sought-after NSF-CAREER grant and are selected on the basis of the CAREER research proposal for its potential to impact areas of national priority, in this case increasing the number and diversity of young people pursuing studies in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) disciplines. Demetra received her CAREER in 2009, but it takes a couple of years before the choice of the PECASE award recipients works its way through various decision levels and is approved and announced by the White House. The award will be made at the White House at a date to be determined.                                                 

To add to this exciting news, our other PECASE award winner, announced in fall 2009, Monica Cox, was invited to be on a select panel at the White House last Monday as part of the announcement of the new policy of the National Science Foundation (NSF) workplace flexibility for researchers and their families.

The PECASE is a big deal! Beyond the obvious recognition it gives to the awardee, it puts the spotlight on our school. In total, Purdue has received just four PECASE awards since its inception in 1996 - and two of these four have gone to faculty in ENE! Our school also has a disproportionately large number of CAREER awardees for our faculty size – Robin Adams, Monica Cardella, Krishna Madhavan, Alice Pawley, Senay Purzer - as well as Demetra and Monica Cox.

Based on feedback I have received since the announcement, influential people in Purdue and beyond are paying attention to what we are doing. They wonder what is going on in our place. This wider recognition also raises expectations on us to deliver to our full potential and promise.  In a parallel development, other engineering schools around the country – including some very prominent ones – are beginning to explore the possibility of employing engineering education PhDs and/or commencing engineering education PhD programs. They are asking some probing questions of us as leaders in helping transform engineering education based on research and scholarship.

ENE is at a critical point its short history – where our potential and early achievements are being recognized yet we have much more hard work ahead if we are to convert this outstanding start to realize our full potential – to achieve our stated mission.

As we celebrate this PECASE award, our challenge is to draw strength from this and other achievements of our faculty, staff and students and work together to enable us to be the very best that we can be as we deliver on the promise of ENE as a special place over the long haul.


News and Information: 10/3

ENE Research Seminar

There is no seminar this week 

SPECIAL INVITATION - ENE Graduate Student Association (ENE-GSA) Fundraiser

Join the graduate students at Noodles & Co. on Chauncey Hill for an ENEGSA benefit night this Tuesday, October 4th, from 5 pm - 9 pm. 

ENEGSA will get 25% of all sales that bring in our flier. Please bring the flier with you tomorrow evening, or just mention ENEGSA when you arrive. Thank you for your continued support!

Please stay tuned for upcoming events and announcements, including the launch of our new website! For current ENEGSA details visit our Facebook page.

ASEE 2012 Abstract Submission Phase Closing Friday Oct 7

The abstract submission for the 2012 Annual Conference and Exposition being held in San Antonio, Texas on June 10-13, 2012 will be closing on Friday, October 7, 2011! The Call for Papers for the various divisions is now available on our website at http://www.asee.org/conferences-and-events/conferences/annual-conference/2012/program-schedule/call-for-papers.


Judith S. Anderson, who was the assistant for several heads of Freshman Engineering over 32 years, including Dr. Wankat and Dr. Haghighi, passed away on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2011. Born April 30, 1949, in Lafayette, she graduated with the first class from Benton Central High School in 1967, attended Ray Vogue Art School in Chicago and Purdue University, doing course work and supervision courses. After retiring in 2002, she worked for Comfort Keepers as a care giver and for Angels Senior Home Solutions.

We all benefit in ways that we may never know from the dedication and service of those who came before us.

Independence or National Days around the World

If you know someone from any of these countries, wish them all the best for the celebrations of their national day.  

Calendar: 10/3

  • Tuesday,  Oct. 4: Faculty Meeting 1:30-2:30 (ARMS 1021)
  • Tuesday, Oct. 4: ENEGSA fundraiser at Noodles & Co., 5-9pm
  • Thursday, Oct. 6: No ENE seminar this week.
  • Wed/Thurs, Oct. 19-20: Grad Recruitment Open House
  • Thursday, Oct. 20: ENE seminar: Learning From Authentic Mathematical Modeling Experiences for First-Year Engineering Students. Dr. Heidi Diefes-Dux. (FRNY G124)
  • Thursday, Oct. 20: Science on Tap: 50th Anniversary of Spaceflight: Lessons for Tomorrow
  • Saturday, Oct. 22:  Homecoming (booth in ARMS atrium); tours and refreshments in i2i
  • Saturday, Oct. 22: Homecoming tailgate, ENEGSA
  • Tuesday, Oct. 25: Faculty Meeting 1:30-2:30  (POTR 234 - Fu Room)
  • Thursday, Oct. 27: ENE seminar: Blocks and Stickers: Rethinking the where and how of Learning to Program. Dr. Michael Horn. (FRNY G124)
  • Thursday, Oct. 27: ENEGSA brownbag--Thank you! (directly after seminar)
  • Tuesday, Nov. 1: ENEGSA fundraiser at Qdoba, 7am-9pm
  • Thursday, Nov. 3: ENE seminar: Dr. Robin Adams. (FRNY G124)
  • Thursday, Nov. 10: It Takes A Team: Reflections at the 50th Anniversary of Human Spaceflight. 3:30-5:00pm. This event is a prelude to the ENE Industrial Advisory Board meeting.
  • Thursday, Nov. 10: ENEGSA happy hour, 5:30pm, location TBD
  • Friday, Nov 11: ENE Industrial Advisory Council Meeting  
  • Thursday, Nov. 17: ENE seminar: Expertise and Adoption: Preliminary Classification of Elementary Teachers' Integration of Engineering. Dr. Johannes Strobel. (FRNY G124)
  • Mon/Tues, Nov. 21-22: Site Visit by External Review Committee
  • Wednesday, November 30: ENEGSA brownbag: Research Collaboration Workshop
  • Thursday, Dec. 1: ENE seminar:  Dr. Larry Shuman (FRNY G124), hosted by ENEGSA

Kudos: 10/3

...to Demetra Evangelou on being named a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). This is very prestigious award that recognizes her 1999 CAREER grant entitled Developmental Engineering: An Examination of Early Learning Experiences as Antecedents of Engineering Education, for "outstanding research into how early experiences can lead children to pursue engineering later in life and for working with teachers from diverse schools to develop new teaching materials and methods that can help students become innovative and more technologically literate.”  

...to Monica Cox on her participation, last Monday at the White House, in the NSF panel on "Workplace Flexibility Policies for American Scientists and Their Families." (Monica is a PECASE winner from 2009)

...to Alice Pawley on being quoted in Inside Science's story "Making Research Careers More Family-Friendly: White House and NSF Announce New Policies."

...to Yuxiang Wang on his co-editorship of the newly published book Minority Students in East Asia: Government Policies, School Practices, and Teacher Responses.

...to Becky Fry and all the helpers on the Alumni Weekend (Sept 16-17) on the recognition by very impressed visitors who deeply appreciated our hospitality.

"My wife Nancy and I were on one of the tours of the Neil Armstrong Hall of Engineering on the Friday of the recent Alumni Weekend. We wanted to thank you for spending time with us and for coordinating the tours. The tour gave us an insight into the first year engineering classes.  I am a mechanical engineering graduate and my wife spent her entire career in education.  We both found the tour extremely informative.  I can honestly say that when I left I almost wished I was starting as a Freshman at Purdue once again (50 years later).  I’m not sure I could keep up with the students of today but the classrooms and instruction methods sure were interesting.  I LOVE the teaming concepts you incorporate today. 

My wife and I both speak with high school juniors and seniors via the Dallas/Fort Worth Alumni Association and high school college fairs.  The tour gave us much insight into the curriculum and instructional methods for first year engineering students so we will be better prepared to speak with the prospective Purdue students.

Thank you again for taking the time away from your busy schedule to spend time with us.  We greatly appreciate it."

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