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ENE Memo: September 9, 2013

From the Head: 9/9

Foundations of ENE - Part 1: Freshman Engineering Origins

The Purdue Board of Trustees approved the formation of the Department, now School, of Engineering Education at their meeting on April 9, 2004. In the spring we will celebrate the tenth anniversary of ENE. This new, first-of-its-type academic unit was formed by the coming together of the Department of Freshman Engineering, a first of it type when formed in 1953, and the Division of Interdisciplinary Engineering, another unique program ahead of its time when it started in 1969. In 2005 the graduate program was approved by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, and the first PhDs were admitted in 2006. However, the current-day research in ENE has its origins in scholarly work on engineering education conducted at Purdue going back to the early 1950s. So while ENE is a young school, it has deep roots, a rich history and a proud academic heritage.

Over the coming months, I will reflect on the precursors of ENE. As part of a year of celebration, there will be three public events that mark each of these foundational threads that underpin ENE. The first of these is September 28, Homecoming Weekend, during which we will be recognizing 60 years of a first-year engineering at Purdue, 50 years as Freshman Engineering (FrE) and 10 years as ENE. A quarter of the academic experience of every Purdue engineer since 1953 was shaped by the dedicated faculty and staff of FrE and ENE—a very proud record.     

The following extracts (pp152-53) from "The Story of Purdue Engineering" by H.B. Knoll, published in 1963, describe the formation and early operation of FrE:

The new Department of Freshman Engineering, under Dr. Albert R. Spalding, became the foundation for the undergraduate program. It dealt, year after year, with more freshmen than there were students in the whole university in 1920. Freshmen were asked to be better prepared in mathematics, physics, and chemistry than they had been, and high schools were encouraged to enrich their offerings in the real college-preparatory courses, as nationally, Dr. James B. Conant was urging them to do. Trigonometry became a required course for admission—which recalled that fifty years before, the faculty, crushed by a load of students, had gone only so far as to require that the entering freshmen have credit in plane geometry.

Freshman Engineering offered a highly flexible program suited to the well prepared and the not so well preparedfast-moving and slow-moving sections and an opportunity for freshmen with deficient backgrounds to spend more than two semesters readying themselves for the studies of the sophomore year. Counselors helped the freshmen find their way, and, engineering admittedly being a rigorous discipline, students unsuited to engineering's ways were directed into other courses of study. It was a goal of Freshman Engineering to keep all the freshmen that could be kept but to have most of the inevitable attrition occur before the sophomore yearmaximum opportunity accompanied by minimum discouragement.

There were many good young people to work with. Seventy-five per cent of the engineering freshmen came from the top third of their high-school classes, and when the number of engineering freshmen was running around 2200 a year, those exceptionally gifted in mathematics and the physical sciencesa relatively small portion of the totalwere equal in number to the whole freshman class of many a private engineering school. Their presence constituted a responsibility and an opportunity which the schools of engineering were determined to accept. The professors felt that they should challenge the students, but, on second thought, they could realize that all this raw ability was an even greater challenge to them

You can read "The Story of Purdue Engineering " online via the Purdue Libraries Archive.
Also a video to mark 50 years of FrE in 2003 reflects some interesting perspectives, for something produced just ten years ago. You can view it here.
I have a request. If you know of any articles on the history of Freshman Engineering or its activities, or know the whereabouts of artifacts or pictures from the early days of FrE, please let Lisa Tally or me know. We are trying to build up the list of known historical sources.

Calendar: 9/9

Fall 2013

  • 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: 9/9 Brent Jesiek, co-PI (with Cary Troy, PI, from Civil Engineering and Joshua Boyd, co-PI, from Communication) on the NSF grant Research Initiation Grant: Writing to Learn Engineering: Identifying Effective Techniques for the Integration of Written Communication Into Engineering Classes and Curricula. More information on the grant is here.

News and Information: 9/9

Now that the dust has settled since STAR...

...the First-Year Advising team would like to thank Profs. Monica Cardella and Ruth Streveler for the use of their offices during registration this past summer. Their collegiality in offering up their space contributed greatly to the smooth running of STAR in ENE this year--and is greatly appreciated.


Bravo Award Program

Purdue's Compensation Advisory Committee is pleased to announce the approval of a new employee recognition and reward program, effective October 1: The Bravo Award. The Bravo Award program provides recognition and instantly rewards the extraordinary achievements of Purdue employees. Supervisory faculty and staff may provide the Bravo Award to as many as 10 percent of eligible faculty and staff. The Compensation Advisory Committee was chartered by Purdue's executive leadership to develop and implement new and improved compensation practices to recognize efforts by Purdue employees that move the University forward, support excellence and innovation in all we do, and help Purdue operate more efficiently and effectively. For additional information, see the Bravo Award website or contact Darrel Castricone, Director, Compensation at 47389 or


INSPIRE Transition

As announced last week, Dr. Strobel is departing Purdue in October rather than December (as was originally thought). As a consequence, the planning process for the transition in the leadership of INSPIRE has had to be brought forward.  A new leadership structure will be in place by the time of the INSPIRE Board meeting in early November. In the interim, Dr. Radcliffe is now the Acting Director of INSPIRE while discussions are under way with all faculty and staff concerned to develop a new structure. As part of this transition and in response to the need to provide clerical support for the four new faculty who started this fall, Marsha Schluttenhofer will support the new faculty with K-12 research interests (including Tamara and Morgan) as well as some current INSPIRE faculty. To accomplish this effectively, she will spend some of her time each week in ARMS (where the faculty are housed) and some in GRIS. 


Thanks to the leadership of Dr. Strobel, INSPIRE has already transitioned successfully from the founding years with the Bechtel Foundation funds. Over the past two years INSPIRE funding has moved to a combination of external grants and contracts with the salaries of the core staff and operating budget being covered by ENE. This will continue to be the case going forward. Innovative programs like UPRISE (Undergraduate P-12 Research Internship in STEM particularly Engineering) will continue and indeed be expanded. So INSPIRE is here to stay and has a very bright future.

Funding Opportunities: 9/9

Selected Funding Opportunities

NSF/DOE Partnership in Basic Plasma Science and Engineering  The goal of this initiative is to enhance plasma research and education in this broad, multidisciplinary field by coordinating efforts and combining resources of the two agencies. The current solicitation also encourages submission of proposals to perform basic plasma experiments on the Large Aperture Plasma Device at UCLA, a unique user facility designed to serve the needs of the broader plasma community.  Deadline: November 26

NSF Support for Construction of Direct Detection Dark Matter Experiments in Particle Astrophysics  This solicitation invites proposals for support of R&D and construction of future generation experiments that conduct direct-detection searches for dark matter particles. Proposals are not limited to searches for WIMPs or axions; any viable dark matter species may be the object of an investigation.  Letter of Intent due October 16; Full proposal due November 26

NSF Arctic Research Opportunities  The goal of the NSF Section for Arctic Sciences, Division of Polar Programs, is to gain a better understanding of the Arctic's physical, biological, geological, chemical, social and cultural processes; the interactions of oceanic, terrestrial, atmospheric, biological, social, cultural, and economic systems; and the connections that define the Arctic.  Deadline:  December 6

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 6 – LOI; March 4 – Full Proposal

NSF Science, Engineering and Education for Sustainability Fellows (SEES Fellows)  The Program's emphasis is to facilitate investigations that cross traditional disciplinary boundaries and address issues of sustainability through a systems approach, building bridges between academic inquiry, economic growth, and societal needs. The Fellow's proposed investigation must be interdisciplinary and allow him/her to obtain research experiences beyond his/her current core disciplinary expertise.  Deadline: November 26

NIH Mid-life Reversibility of Early-Established Biobehavioral Risk Factors (R01)   This program seeks to explore the potential for midlife plasticity of biobehavioral or psychological systems affected by early life disadvantage. In order to speed the development of novel intervention strategies, applicants are encouraged either to use existing human cohort data to identify circumstances that mitigate or exacerbate the effects of early adversity or to use human and/or animal models to test the feasibility of developing interventions aimed specifically at increasing malleability in adulthood of risk persistence mechanisms.  Deadline:  February 3

DOI/DHS Sustainable, Low-Cost Approaches to Environmental Monitoring (See attached)  The focus of this BAA is in the area of rapidly detecting intentional or accidental aerosol releases of biological or chemical agents which present a threat against the Nation’s human population. The detection of biological agents is required, with a higher priority on solutions that can also detect chemical agents.  White papers due October 18; Invited proposals due December 13

DARPA Living Foundries: 1000 Molecules  This program seeks to build a scalable, integrated, rapid design and prototyping infrastructure for the facile engineering of biology. This infrastructure will enable transformative and currently inaccessible projects to develop advanced chemicals, materials, sensing capabilities, and therapeutics. Furthermore, the infrastructure will provide a flexible, efficient, and continuously improving capability to the Department of Defense and the engineering biology community.  Deadline: October 3

DARPA Warrior Web Task B: Advanced Technology Development  This effort aims to develop wearable technology to improve human capabilities with an emphasis on warfighter effectiveness, injury mitigation and improved human performance. Technologies developed under this effort are expected to conform to the vision of an undersuit that decreases fatigue by augmenting work done by the human muscles, reduces joint forces by optimal management of dynamics and kinematics, and increases human performance by promoting improved form and function through a wide range of activities.  Deadline: October 8

DARPA Hydra  The Hydra program will develop and demonstrate an unmanned undersea system, providing a novel delivery mechanism for insertion of unmanned air and underwater vehicles into operational environments.  The DARPA Hydra program seeks to leverage mature and emerging component technologies to cost-effectively develop a new undersea launch platform with modular payloads, including air vehicle and undersea vehicle payloads.  Deadline: October 22

Lumosity Human Cognition Grant  Lumosity invites researchers to submit proposals for studies that use functional neuroimaging techniques to investigate mechanisms underlying cognitive processes implicated in Lumosity’s games and assessments. These studies would ideally involve both neuroimaging and behavioral methods with healthy adult populations.  Letter of Intent due September 27

American Psychological Foundation  APF is seeking to seed innovation through supporting projects and programs that use psychology to solve social problems. APF grants align with their mission of enhancing psychology to elevate the human condition and advance human potential. Grants are offered for Early Career Funding and Seed Grants for Research and for Targeted Programs.  Deadlines vary by program.

Burroughs Wellcome Fund Innovation in Regulatory Science  These awards are intended to provide support for researchers developing new methodologies or innovative approaches in regulatory science that will ultimately inform the regulatory decisions the FDA and others make. This would necessarily draw upon the talents of individuals trained in mathematics, computer science, applied physics, medicine, engineering, toxicology, epidemiology, etc.  Preproposals due November 18; Invited proposals due April 1

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: NIH Bridges to the Doctorate (R25)  This FOA encourages applications from institutions that propose to enhance the pool of master’s degree students from underrepresented backgrounds who are trained and available to participate in NIH-funded research. This initiative promotes partnerships/consortia between colleges or universities granting a terminal master’s degree with institutions that offer the doctorate degree. The program expects that the joint efforts of doctorate degree-granting and master’s degree-granting institutions will foster the development of a well-integrated institutional program that will provide students with the necessary academic preparation and skills to enable their transition and successful completion of the Ph.D. degree in biomedical and behavioral sciences.   For this opportunity, Purdue may submit only one application. 

  • Internal deadline:  Contact by September 16
  • Sponsor deadline:  November 1

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.


REMINDER: OVPR Workshop: NIH Overview: Institute/Center Mission and Strategies  In this workshop focusing on funding strategies to and from the National Institutes of Health, the Office of the Vice President for Research will provide an overview and an update on the various institutes of the NIH.  Knowledge and familiarity with NIH institutes can be a tremendous advantage during the writing, submission and post-review phases of your submission.  We will address the individual missions and plans, as well as possible funding mechanisms and positioning yourself for a successful NIH-funding career.  The workshop is scheduled for Tuesday, September 17th in Stewart Center, Room 310, from 11:30AM-1:00PM, with lunch provided.  Please register by Friday, September 6

DOE Request for Information: R&D aimed at Green House Gas emissions reductions and cost competitiveness of Mil-Spec jet fuel production using Coal-to-Liquid fuels technologies (See attached) It is the intent of the DOE National Energy Technology Laboratory to issue a FOA wherein the Areas of Interest could be developed based in part on the responses to this Request.  Deadline: September 30

USAID Request for Information:  Securing Water for Food: A Grand Challenge for Development  USAID is seeking feedback for the draft solicitation for this program.  Subject to availability of funds, current estimated funding for the program is approximately $15 million. Deadline: October 4

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