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ENE Memo: October 6, 2014

From the Head: 10/6

Priorities 2014-15: Community

The fourth goal in the ENE Strategic Plan (or Compass) is to grow the community. This goal refers to the engineering education research and innovation (EER&I) community nationally and globally. The aim is to identify and build strategic global partnerships and collaborations to elevate our research capabilities and those of the wider engineering education community, while simultaneously, facilitating the sharing of experiences across the global community of engineering education scholars.

The specific priorities for this year being:

  • lobby / influence NSF regarding funding
  • increase intra-college research collaborations
  • consolidate global partnerships & academic exchanges

To ensure there is a pool of federal funding for this type of research in the future, we all need to be proactive in communicating a clear message about the value to the country of engineering education research. This is about securing or even growing the size of research funding pie for all researchers in this field; it is not about ENE and our share of the pie. In particular, all faculty member should take every opportunity they can to deliver this message, with supporting evidence, to anyone who might be able to influence decisions about the future direction of funding priorities in NSF. We also should make opportunities to deliver this message to thought leaders in engineering. This is a message about how investments in engineering education research have and will continue to make a significant positive impact on the nation through answering difficult questions and tackling persistent problems that currently hold us back related to (a) developing a diverse pool of potential engineering talent pre-college and communicating the criticality of engineering in society; (b) attracting and retaining many from this pool into engineering education programs and developing the next generation of engineering faculty and (c) retaining and retooling current engineers to meet the grand challenges. To be effective in this endeavor, we need simple, direct, compelling, evidence-based arguments that are easy to deliver and readily understood by non-experts.

As a school we have had many significant collaborations with colleagues in other engineering schools and other parts of Purdue. These have included research, research to practice and professional development activities. We have had a major influence through the transformation of the FYE courses and the impact this has had, not only on the FYE students but critically on the many graduate TAs from other schools, the future faculty fellows and the hundreds of peer teachers from all engineering disciplines who have served in these course over the past five years. We probably need to do a much better job of communicating these successes to people within and beyond Purdue. Given that our faculty count has been 12 to 18 (most of whom were junior, non-tenured) over the past five or so, in a college composed of around 350 faculty (now over 400), there are some inherent limits to how many major collaborations we can support. That said we are at a point of inflection in our history where we need to be imaginative about how we can leverage our expertise and interdisciplinarity to be a major catalyst for educational transformation within the college and be recognized by most faculty in the college to be such a catalyst.  

Over the past decade, many individuals and some groups of faculty in ENE have initiated and developed, to varying degrees, research and educational collaborations with many colleagues globally. To be sustainable such collaborations require significant ongoing effort. If collaborations are between individuals, rather than between teams of faculty, then there is the danger that the relationships will only last as long as the two individuals maintain it. As a matter of some urgency we need to decide which of these and future collaborations are ENE level partnerships and need to be maintained as such. Many colleagues globally want to have partnerships between their academic unit / institution and ENE; not simply a partnership with individual(s) faculty in each. Such unit-to-unit partnerships need to be thought through carefully to ensure there is a depth of commitment in each unit; the number of people collaborating from each unit and the extent of this collaboration is a primary indicator of the level of commitment. Such partnerships must have a designated relationship manager in each partner unit who is accountable for the relationship. As we know faculty come and faculty go, so we need to be very intentional about establishing, developing and managing unit-to-unit partnerships. One question is which of the many potential partnerships do we pursue formally? How do we resource these to be successful and sustainable? Who will step up to be the relationship managers?

As the largest academic unit of its type, we have an obligation to the broader EER&I community - locally, nationally and globally - to be a partner in helping to grow and diversify this community. We are at a point in our history where we are capable of making greater contributions in this regard. The challenge we face is how to be more coordinated, efficient and even systematic in doing this important work at a collective and not just an individual level.


Calendar: 10/6

Fall 2014

  • Oct. 9: Preeminent Teams Round 2 Presentations, PMU West Faculty Lounge, 9:00am-approx. 2:30pm. ENE's LEAD team pitch is scheduled for 11:20-11:40am.
  • Oct. 9: ENE Research Seminar, ARMS B071, 3:30-4:20pm
  • Oct. 16: ENE Research Seminar, ARMS B071, 3:30-4:20pm
  • Oct. 17: ENE Staff Meeting, ARMS B1103, 8:30-9:20am
  • Oct. 22: TULIP, Formative Course Evaluations, ARMS B098B, 1:30-3:00pm
  • Oct. 22-25: FIE Madrid
  • Oct. 23: ENE Research Seminar, ARMS B071, 3:30-4:20pm
  • Oct. 29: Faculty Meeting, ARMS B098B, 9:30-11:20am
  • Oct. 29-30: ENE Graduate Program Open House, Armstrong Hall
  • Oct. 30: ENE Research Seminar, ARMS B071, 3:30-4:20pm
  • Nov. 6-7: ENE Industrial Advisory Council, meeting Nov. 7, Dunville Room (ARMS 3041), 8am-3:30pm
  • Nov. 6: ENE Research Seminar, ARMS B071, 3:30-4:20pm
  • Nov. 7: College of Engineering Staff Awards, Location (TBA) 6:30pm.
  • Nov. 12: Faculty MeetingWang Hall, 9:30-11:20am
  • Nov. 13: ENE Interdisciplinary Colloquium, ARMS Atrium, 3:30-5pm
  • Nov. 17: TULIP, ARMS 1314, 1:30-3:00pm
  • Nov. 19: Faculty-PhD Matching, ARMS B098B, 9:30-11:20am
  • Nov. 20: ENE Research Seminar, ARMS B071, 3:30-4:20pm
  • Nov. 26-28: Thanksgiving
  • Dec. 4: ENE Research Seminar, ARMS B071, 3:30-4:20pm
  • Dec. 10: Faculty Meeting, ARMS B098B, 9:30-11:20am
  • Dec. 10: TULIP, ARMS B098B, 1:30-3:00pm
  • Dec. 21: Commencement

*Lunch Gatherings (every Wednesday, Noon-1:00) ARMS 1314

News and Information: 10/6

Save the Date

Set aside Thursday, Nov. 13, from 3:30-4:30pm on your calendar for this year's ENE Interdisciplinary Colloquium. This year's topic is "Risky Business" - the business of risk analysis and the inherent risk that comes with human-created systems. Tom Gray (BSE IDE `74) is the alumnus participating in the colloquium. He is a the Property Risk Control Consulting Director with CNA Insurance. Tom's work experience includes corporate risk engineering, fire protection consulting, nuclear fire protection, property insurance and industrial engineering. Karen Marais, assistant professor in the Purdue School of Aeronautics and Astronautics will take part as well. She will present some ideas, principles and methods built from a multidisciplinary basis spanning engineering, psychology, and organizational theory. This year marks the 45th anniversary of the founding of the Interdisciplinary Engineering program (now Multidisciplinary Engineering and Interdisciplinary Engineering Studies) at Purdue.

Kudos: 10/6 Xin "Cindy" Chen, Mihaela Vorvoreanu, and Krishna Madhavan on publication of "Mining Social Media Data for Understanding Students’ Learning Experiences" in Transactions on Learning Technologies. Tamara Moore and Elizabeth Gajdzik for the chapter they contributed to The Go-To Guide for Engineering Curricula, PreK-5: Choosing and Using the Best Instructional Materials for Your Students. William Oakes, Mindy Hart, Jean Trusedell, & Philip Cardella for the chapter they contributed to The Go-To Guide for Engineering Curricula, Grades 9-12: Choosing and Using the Best Instructional Materials for Your Students. Tamara Moore selected to represent the United States at the Science and Technology in Society (STS) Young Leaders' Program in Kyoto, Japan. Alice Pawley on her election to serve as University Senate alternate representative. Carla Zoltowski (PhD 2010) on receiving the College of Engineering's Professional Achievement Award for her role with EPICS at Purdue.

Funding Opportunities: 10/6

Selected Funding Opportunities

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.

NSF Partnerships for Innovation: Accelerating Innovation Research - Research Alliance (PIF:AIR-RA)  This PFI:AIR-Research Alliance (RA) solicitation is intended to accelerate the translation and transfer of existing research discoveries into competitive technologies and commercial realities by leveraging the investments NSF has made in research consortia (e.g., Engineering Research Centers, Industry University Cooperative Research Centers, Science and Technology Centers, Nanoscale Science and Engineering Centers, Materials Research Science and Engineering Centers, Centers for Chemical Innovation, and others) and catalyzing academic-based innovation ecosystems.  One and only one institution within an NSF-funded research consortium can be the lead/submitting institution. Deadlines:  January 12 – LOI; February 18 – Full proposal.

NSF Industry/University Cooperative Research Centers Program (I/UCRC)  This program develops long-term partnerships among industry, academia, and government. The centers are catalyzed by a small investment from the NSF and are primarily supported by industry center members, with NSF taking a supporting role in the development and evolution of the center. Each center is established to conduct research that is of interest to both the industry members and the center faculty. An I/UCRC contributes to the Nation's research infrastructure base and enhances the intellectual capacity of the engineering and science workforce through the integration of research and education.  As appropriate, an I/UCRC uses international collaborations to advance these goals within the global context.

This program has very specific eligibility requirements:

  • Grantee institutions that have an active single-university I/UCRC award are not eligible to apply for another single university center; however, they may apply for a multi-university center.  Purdue has an active single university award and, therefore, is not eligible to apply for another.
  • Any institution may submit multiple multi-university center proposals provided that the proposed research topics involve different disciplines and support different industries.

Deadlines:  January 5 – LOI; March 3 – Full Proposal

NSF Advanced Technologies and Instrumentation (ATI)  The Advanced Technologies and Instrumentation (ATI) program provides grants to support the development and construction of state-of-the-art astronomical detectors and instruments for the visible, infrared, submillimeter, and radio regions of the spectrum.  Successful proposals will involve the application of new hardware and software technology and/or innovative techniques in astronomical research in any of a broad range of fields.  Deadline:  November 1 annually.

NSF Integrative Strategies for Understanding Neural and Cognitive Systems (NSF-NCS)   This competition is organized around two research themes: Neuroengineering and Brain-Inspired Concepts and Designs and Individuality and Variation. Within each theme, general advances in theory and methods, technological innovations, educational approaches, enabling research infrastructure, and workforce development are all of significant interest. Competitive proposals must be consistent with the missions of the participating directorates. Potentially groundbreaking approaches that entail significant risk are encouraged.  Two classes of proposals are offered – Integrative Foundations and Core+ Extensions – but responses to this solicitation are for Integrative Foundations. Deadlines:  December 10 – LOI; January 26 – Full proposal.

NSF Alan T. Waterman Award   Each year, the Foundation bestows the Waterman Award in recognition of the talent, creativity, and influence of a singular young researcher. Nominees are accepted from all sources, from any field of science and engineering that NSF supports. The award recipient will receive a medal and an invitation to the formal awards ceremony in Washington, DC. In addition, the recipient will receive a grant of $1,000,000 over a five-year period for scientific research or advanced study in any field of science or engineering supported by the National Science Foundation, at any institution of the recipient's choice.  Candidates must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents and, by December 31 of the application year, be 35 years of age or younger, and not more than seven years from their Ph.D. degree.  Nomination packages are due:  October 24.

DOD-DARPA  SafeWare  The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is soliciting innovative research proposals in the area of program obfuscation. Proposed research should investigate innovative approaches that enable revolutionary advances in science, devices, or systems. Specifically excluded is research that primarily results in evolutionary improvements to the existing state of practice. Deadline:  November 18.

Surdna Foundation Artist Led Social Change Program  The Surdna Foundation is accepting proposals through its Artists Engaging in Social Change funding area for one- or two-year support for extraordinary artist-driven projects. Grants of up to $150,000 over two years will be awarded in support of compelling artists projects developed in response to specific challenges in their communities, as well as projects by artists whose work over the long term has increased social engagement without necessarily being explicitly defined as "activist."  All artistic disciplines will be considered, including cross-disciplinary work. Applicants can be at any stage of their careers but must have a track record of developed work that demonstrates their capacity to complete the proposed project and to manage the level of funds requested. Deadline:  November 12.

Limited Submissions

Preproposals should be e-mailed to Purdue's open limited submission competitions, limited submission policy, and templates for preproposals may be found at

Limited Submission:  Specialized Programs of Research Excellence (SPOREs) in Human Cancers for Years 2015 and 2016 (P50)  This FOA invites applications for P50 Research Center Grants for Specialized Programs of Research Excellence (SPOREs). The program will fund P50 SPORE grants to support state-of-the-art investigator-initiated translational research that will contribute to improved prevention, early detection, diagnosis, and treatment of an organ-specific cancer (or a related group of cancers). For the purpose of this funding announcement, cancers derived from the same organ system (i.e., group of organs that perform common function) are considered related. An institution can submit more than one proposal provided that each application is scientifically distinct, proposed in different cancer sites, and are led by different PDs/PIs. 

  • Internal deadline:  Contact by October 20, stating your interest in the program and identifying the cancer site the proposal will target. Responders will be notified of additional internal steps should more than one responder be targeting the same cancer site.
  • Sponsor deadline:  January 27

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:

Another resource for corporate and foundation funding opportunities is the University Development Office. 


Workshop:  More EVPRP Services:  Finding the Right Funding Opportunity and Developing Grant Proposals  This workshop will provide tools and resources to help make the proposal writing process easier.  Topics include: finding funding opportunities, the limited submission process, teambuilding, proposal writing strategies, and where to find assistance. This workshop will take place October 16 from 11:30AM-1:00PM. Lunch is provided so registration is required by October 10.

Workshop:  Write Winning Grants by Dr. David Morrison  This full-day workshop is designed for faculty who have had some exposure to writing grant applications.  Emphasis is given to such things as idea development, identification of the most appropriate granting agency, how to write for reviewers, and tips and strategies that are of proven value in presenting an applicant's case to reviewers. Lunch is provided and registration is required.

NSF Dear Colleague Letter (DCL): Submission of I/UCRC Proposals in Response to NSF 13-594 in Areas Related to Understanding the Brain's Structure and Function

NSF Dear Colleague Letter: Support for Including Science Educators in Polar Research

NSF Dear Colleague Letter:  Closing of Program Solicitation NSF 14-511 (Partnership on Advance Frontiers in Renewable Hydrogen Fuel Production vis Solar Water Splitting Technologies)

NSF Dear Colleague Letter:  Veterans Research Supplement (VRS) Program

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