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ENE Memo: September 2, 2013

From the Head: 9/2

Teamwork Saluted

This being the Labor Day weekend, it seems fitting that we recognize the efforts of those who labor to enhance the learning experience of our students.

I want to recognize the excellent work of the ENE/ECN team that worked so hard this summer and at the start of the semester to pull off the very successful launch of the new ECN-supported Dell laptops in the i2i Learning Laboratory for First-Year Engineering.

This was no simple task, and I just want to highlight some of the technical/logistical issues that were overcome:

  • All of ARMS B061 and the i2i lab had to be re-wired for the new computers.
  • All First-Year Engineering students now have to have ECN accounts.
  • We required both wired and wireless connections in B061/i2i lab, and an entire new subnet had to be created/configured.  
  • The number of computer applications required for First-Year Engineering is quite large.
  • A fourth section of ENGR141 was added late in the process in a different room in ARMS.

Needless to say, the challenges were large and required a big team to work together. Several people from ECN and ENE were involved, but there are five people who worked extra hard to make this happen successfully: Todd Birchman and Sundeep Rao (ECN) and Patrick La Petina, Rick Womack and Gordon Skiles (ENE). Their contributions are recognized in more detail in KUDOS. This was truly a team effort, and we can’t thank the ECN and ENE team enough for their outstanding work and successful launch of the ECN-supported laptops in the i2i Learning Laboratory.

This is just one example of the dedicated efforts by staff and faculty who work together over the summer to continuously improve the quality of the learning environment of our students. Thanks to Eric Holloway for sharing this good news story. This story highlights the critical role that our industry partners play in helping us acquire up-to-date equipment and the catalytic effect of development activities in fostering external relationships with industry and others who provide cash and in-kind support for these types of improvement.

It also illustrates the team of teams concept that characterizes the operation of ENE: teams of staff and faculty who have a specific roles within the realization of our overall mission but whose success depends upon working closely with other teams within and beyond ENE.  

There is a school in my hometown of Brisbane with the Latin motto "Nil Sine Labore," which we jokingly translated to "no sign of labour" but which actually means "nothing without labour" (meaning hard work).  


Calendar: 9/2

Fall 2013

  • Sept 4: Faculty Meeting, ARMS 1021 9:30-10:20am
  • Sept 4: Assistant Professors meet with head, ARMS 1314 10:30-11:20am
  • Sept 5: Building Preeminent Teams, First Round Pitch Day, STEW A/B, 8:30am-6pm
  • Sept 11: Faculty Meeting, ARMS 1021 9:30-11:20am
  • Sep 25: Faculty meet to discuss Mentoring Philosophy, ARMS 1021, 9:30-11:30am 
  • Sept 28: Homecoming & Family Weekend Celebrating 60 Years of FYE at Purdue
  • Oct 2: Faculty Meeting, ARMS 1021 9:30-10:20am
  • Oct 2: Associate Professor meet with Head, ARMS 1314, 10:30-11:20am
  • Oct 7-8: Fall Break
  • Oct 18: Staff Meeting, 8:30-9:20am
  • Oct 20-22: ABET Site Visit
  • Oct 21-25: Green Week at Purdue (Think! No Impact)
  • 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 Celebrating 50 Years of Interdisciplinary Scholarship in Engineering Education at Purdue
  • Nov 20: Advisor-PhD Student matching, ARMS BO98B Innovation Studio 9:30-12:30 
  • Nov 28-29: Thanksgiving
  • 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 14: ENE Alums & Friends Reception, Indianapolis Interdisciplinary Engineering Education
  • June 15-18: ASEE Conference, Indianapolis Engineering Education Futures

Kudos: 9/2 the ENE/ECN team for getting the new laptops up and running over summer - specifically...

... to Patrick La Petina (ENE): Patrick took over for Eric Holloway as he was moving to his new role. Patrick led the ENE interface to ECN, coordination of tasks and issues, and testing of deployed packages and wired/wireless configurations. His leadership and hard work helped the project stay on track.

... to Rick Womack (ENE); Rick and a small team of students performed all the wiring tasks in B061/i2i lab, and he handled all of the logistics (security, storage, tracking) for the new computers. This was no easy task, as we were running an ENGR132 summer class in ARMS B061 (with the old computers) and we had many other renovations of the i2i lab going on this summer.

... to Gordon Skiles (ENE): Gordon helped with many of the technical/interface/testing issues, and was always there to lend an extra set of hands any time something came up.

... to Todd Birchman (ECN): Todd had the task of leading his team with the packaging and deploying all the software, drivers, and configurations needed for these laptops. He was always the calm, steady force trough this project and handled each speed bump as if it was no big deal.

... to Sundeep Rao (ECN): Sundeep and his team handled the ITaP interface with the wireless and wired networks, led the creation of ECN accounts for the First-Year Engineering students, and solved many of the technical issues that came up along the way. He also did this while supporting our move the ECN supported desktops in the Demo Studio, which presented technical challenges along the way. Krishna Madhavan on a number of new grants:

Krishna Madhavan (PI) and Mihaela Vorvoreanu (CGT, CoT), along with Aditya Johri (PI, Virginia Tech): "Collaborative Research (EAGER): Data Ecosystem for Catalyzing Transformative Research in Engineering Education." This work will conduct fundamental research in the development of an initial prototype of a data-sharing ecosystem for the engineering education research community and bring together two major areas: engineering education and data-sharing cyberinfrastructure (i.e. ‘big data’) .

Krishna Madhavan (PI), Niklas Elmqvist (ECE, CoE), and Mihaela Vorvoreanu (CGT, CoT): A  substantial competitive supplement to the award "Collaborative Research: Deep Insights Anytime, Anywhere (DIA2) – Central Resource for Characterizing the TUES Portfolio through Interactive Knowledge Mining and Visualizations," for expanding DIA2 to support expanded datasets and analytic research capabilities. This supplement will also allow DIA2 to start exploring public impact of federal funding better by supporting better case-study development for the entire NSF EHR (Education & Human Resources) dataset. Dr. Phil Wankat is senior personnel. This project is in collaboration with Aditya Johri (Virginia Tech), Ann McKenna (ASU Poly), and Sheri Sheppard (Stanford University).

Krishna Madhavan (PI) and Mihaela Vorvoreanu (CGT, CoT). An NSF contract for research and development of a Pre-classification Workflow and Analytics Engine for Proposals to NSF EHR. This project will pioneer new techniques in providing interactive, on-the-fly capabilities for pre-classifying proposals using key phrasing techniques and user-defined taxonomies. Shawn Jordan (PhD alumnus) on receiving an NSF CAREER Award: "Engineering Design Across Navajo Culture, Community, and Society."

News and Information: 9/2

Moving On

As most already know, Johannes Strobel is leaving Purdue to take up a position at Texas A&M University. While this transition was to occur in December, it has been moved forward, and his final day at Purdue will be October 18. There will be an opportunity before then to gather and thank him for his leadership of INSPIRE and to wish him all the very best in this next stage of his career.

Preeminent Team Pitches, September 5

Building Preeminent Teams is a research-centric approach to faculty hiring that asks: How would you put your research expertise and leadership skills to use to form a team (approximately 4-6 current + new faculty) to catapult your research area, or an emerging research area of potential, to international preeminence? What existing faculty expertise and infrastructure exist at Purdue and what is still needed to maximize our potential for success in this area? These investment areas will be developed through a public process akin to that where entrepreneurs pitch a proposal to venture capitalists. The selected proposals will be allocated faculty lines, space, and other resources necessary to set the prospective team on the path to preeminence.

ENE is very well represented with 6 of the 34 Preeminent Team pitches being led by our faculty. Most (if not all) ENE faculty are members of one or more of these six pitch ideas. They also involve faculty from other schools and colleges. All pitches are 5 minutes in duration in STEW A/B at the times indicated. 

  • Integrated Big Data Analytics in Learning (lead Krishna Madhavan) - 10:15 am
  • Interface between Engineering and Society (lead Alice Pawley) - 1:15pm
  • Engineering Design as the Glue in K-12 STEM Education: Research-to-Practice (lead Tamara Moore) - 2:40pm
  • Design Makers (lead Robin Adams) - 3:10pm
  • NextGen Learning System Makers (lead Sean Brophy) - 4:30pm
  • Global Engineering Leadership and Practice (lead Brent Jesiek) - 5pm

Whether or not these initiatives make it to the final round of pitches on October 10 and/or are ultimately funded, they demonstrate that we have no shortage of good ideas for new research. Good ideas will find a way to be funded, one way or another. Good luck all. 

Funding Opportunities: 9/2

Selected Funding Opportunities

NSF Partnerships for Innovation: Accelerating Innovation Research – Research Alliance (PFI:AIR-RA)   This program 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 alliances (e.g., consortia such as Engineering Research Centers, Industry University Cooperative Research Centers, Science and Technology Centers, and others) and catalyzing academic-based innovation ecosystems.  The goal is that these synergistic partnerships between government, academia, and other public and private entities will result in new wealth and the building of strong local and regional economies. Letters of intent due December 13; Proposals due February 12

NSF Focused Research Groups in the Mathematical Sciences (FRG)  The purpose of the FRG activity is to allow groups of researchers to respond to recognized scientific needs of pressing importance, to take advantage of current scientific opportunities, or to prepare the ground for anticipated significant scientific developments in the mathematical sciences.  Deadline: September 20

NSF Dear Colleague Letter: NSF/NOAA SEES Fellows  The purpose of this Dear Colleague Letter is to alert social, behavioral, and economic scientists of an opportunity to broaden their core expertise through residence at a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) facility.  NOAA has indicated it would welcome SBE scientists to be based in any of their program offices, centers and laboratories through the NSF Program on Science, Engineering, and Education for Sustainability Fellows. 

NSF Improvements in Facilities, Communications, and Equipment at Biological Field Stations and Marine Laboratories (FSML)  NSF invites proposals that propose improvement in facilities, equipment, communications and data management systems for a broad array of users of Biological Field Stations and Marine Laboratories.  These are off-campus facilities for research and education conducted in the natural habitats of terrestrial, freshwater, and marine ecosystems.  Deadline: December 13

NSF Cooperative Studies of the Earth’s Deep Interior (CSEDI)  The Division of Earth Sciences invites proposals for collaborative, interdisciplinary studies of the Earth's interior.  Funding will support basic research on the character and dynamics of the Earth's mantle and core, their influence on the evolution of the Earth as a whole, and on processes operating within the deep interior that affect or are expressed on the Earth's surface.  Deadline: September 26

NIH Library of Integrated Network-Based Cellular Signatures (LINCS): Perturbation-Induced Data and Signature Generation Centers (U54)  This FOA seeks to establish a large-scale data production effort to systematize approaches for identifying mechanism-based associations between the effects of disparate biological perturbations, by means of signatures. Such perturbations may include siRNAs, small bioactive molecules, environmental manipulations, among others. These data will also inform a knowledge base that can be used to study functional relationships among the responding cellular components.  Deadline: December 19

HHS-AHRQ Career Development (K08) and Dissertation (R36) Grants Focused on Health Information Technology (IT)  This Special Emphasis Notice (SEN) informs the research community that the Health IT Portfolio at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality intends to support research career development grants and dissertation grants focusing on health information technology. AHRQ will use its current career development mechanism (K08) and its current dissertation grant mechanism (R36) to fund applications to this SEN. 

USDA-NIFA North Central SARE Research and Education Grant  The Research And Education Grant Program Provides funds to collaborative teams of scientists, farmers, institutions, organizations, and educators who are exploring sustainable agriculture through research projects or education/demonstration projects. Preproposal Deadline: October 24; Invited proposals due early April

DOD-ONR Rapid Innovation Fund BAA  The goal of the Department of Navy’s (DoN) Rapid Innovation Fund is to transition innovative technologies that resolve operational challenges or save costs into DoN Acquisition programs. The DoN seeks mature prototypes for final development, testing, evaluation, and integration.  White papers due September 30.

DOD Militarily Relevant Peer Reviewed Alzheimer’s Disease Research Program The mission of the MRPRA is two-fold. The MRPRA seeks to: 1) build an integrated program devoted to understanding the association between Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Alzheimer’s disease (AD); and 2) to reduce the burden on those affected by TBI-AD symptoms, especially in the military community.  Pre-applications due September 23; Invited full applications due December 16

  • Military Risk Factors Research Award 
  • Convergence Science Research Award 
  • Quality of Life Research Award 

DOD-CDMRP Breast Cancer Research Program (BCRP) Breakthrough Award The BCRP seeks to accelerate high-impact research with clinical relevance, encourage innovation and stimulate creativity, facilitate multidisciplinary collaborations, and support future breast cancer leaders. Specifically, the intent of the BCRP Breakthrough Award is to support promising research that has the potential to lead to or make breakthroughs in breast cancer. Pre-applications due October 8; Invited proposals due January 15

DOD-ONR Minerva Research Institute The Office of Naval Research is interested in receiving proposals for the Minerva Research Initiative, a DoD-sponsored, university-based social science research program initiated by the Secretary of Defense. Competition is for research related to following topics: Belief Formation and Movements for Change; Models of Societal Resilience and Change; Theories of Power and Escalation; and Emerging Topics in Conflict and Security.  White papers due November 18; Full proposals due February 14

NSA Mathematical Sciences Program Grants for Research in Mathematics  The NSA MSP supports self-directed, unclassified research in the areas of Algebra, Number Theory, Discrete Mathematics, Probability, and Statistics. Awards will be made for the following types of grants: Young Investigators, Standard, Senior, and Conferences/Workshops/Special Situations (including Research Experiences for Undergraduates, REUs). Deadline: October 15

NASA Ocean Vector Winds Science Team  The Ocean Vector Winds Science Team supports the analysis and interpretation of ocean vector winds and other applications derived from Earth-observing missions carrying scatterometers and polarimetric radiometers.  Notice of Intent due September 6; Proposals due October 31

EPA Improved Protection of Drinking Water Sources The EPA is soliciting applications for technical assistance and support that will enhance communication and coordination between the EPA and the states to protect drinking water sources. The support should develop and expand the capability of Underground Injection Control programs and source water protection programs to protect drinking water sources. Funds awarded under this announcement may be used by recipients to promote participation in meetings that improve the ability to protect drinking water sources and to support the travel expenses of non-federal personnel to attend appropriate meetings. Deadline: October 7

DOE-NETL Applications for Post-Combustion and Pre-Combustion Carbon Dioxide Capture and Gasification Technologies Testing (Click to View DOE NETL DE-FOA-000086: This FOA is specifically focused on a R&D effort for operating and maintaining existing test facilities that include the capabilities of providing multiple and simultaneous slipstream testing of bench- and pilot-scale third-party advanced CO2 capture and gasification technologies from diverse fuel sources at commercially relevant process conditions.  Applications are sought for strategic collaborations with industrial, academic, and governmental partners.  Deadline: October 18

John Hopkins Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing (CAAT) Science-Based Refinement Awards The focus of these awards is to elicit scientific evidence to support the enhancement of the housing, handling and/or experimental situations for laboratory animals.  Deadline: September 30

Limited Submissions:

Letters of intent, preproposals, and rankings to the OVPR should be e-mailed to Purdue's open limited submission competitions, limited submission policy, and template for letters of intent may be found at For any case in which the number of internal letters of intent received is no more than the number of proposals allowed by the sponsor, the OVPR will notify the PI that an internal preproposal will be unnecessary.

Limited Submission: Kay Yow Cancer Fund/The V Foundation for Cancer Research Women, Aging and Cancer Research Grant The Kay Yow Cancer Fund is interested in funding a translational research project focused on the area of cancers in aging women.  The project must include a clinical trial endpoint.  Cross-institutional and cross-disciplinary efforts are encouraged.  It is anticipated that the grant will be $500,000 to $1,000,000 awarded over four years.  For this opportunity, Purdue may submit only one letter of intent. 

  • Internal Deadline: Contact by September 4
  • Sponsor Deadlines: October 1 – LOI; December 20 – Invited Proposals

Limited Submission: Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists The award consists of $250,000 in unrestricted funds to recognize faculty demonstrating high-impact, innovative accomplishments in the fields of life sciences, physical sciences & engineering and chemistry. To be eligible, candidates must meet the following requirements: 1) Born in 1972 or later; 2) Hold a doctorate degree (PhD, DPhil, MD, DDS, DVM, etc.); and 3)Have made significant contributions in life sciences, physical sciences & engineering, and/or chemistry (Click to View Guidelines:   For this competition, Purdue may submit up to three nominations. The President’s Office is the official nominator to the foundation but candidates will also need two “recommenders” who agree to write letters of recommendation (i.e. – department head, associate dean for research, or other individuals who currently have or previously have had a close intellectual relationship with the candidate).

  • Monday, September 23: Deadline for submission of materials to OVPR. See attached document for instructions
  • Wednesday, October 2: Rankings due to OVPR
  • Sponsor deadline: November 22

Funding Resources:

The OVPR 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.  UDO lists funding opportunities here.


DOE Request for Information: Fiber Reinforced Polymer Composite Manufacturing  The Advanced Manufacturing Office seeks information on research and development needs, market challenges and supply chains related to fiber reinforced polymer composite manufacturing.  This may or may not lead to a FOA being made.  Deadline: September 26

ORAU Vice President for University Partnerships to Speak on Scientific Research Opportunities and Funding   Arlene Garrison, ORAU's vice president for university partnerships, will make a presentation titled "ORAU: The University Value Proposition" at 2-3 p.m. on September 16 in Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship, Room 121.  Please RSVP to Cindy Ream ( if planning on attending.

Please contact Sue Grimes (, Kristyn Jewell (, or Perry Kirkham ( with any questions.

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