ENE Memo: February 20, 2012

From the Head: 2/20

Outstanding Interdisciplinary Engineers: Then and Now

Our Outstanding Alumni Award is presented to individuals who have achieved singular accomplishments in their fields, whose successful careers are role models for our students, and whose achievements set an example for all the alumni of the School of Engineering Education.

Leslie Bottorff is just such an alumna. Her interest in the technology of medicine took hold at an early age—inspired by the The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman. Later, as an IDE student at Purdue, she pursued biomedical engineering – when it was an IDE concentration, before the School of Biomedical Engineering was formed. Leslie graduated in 1979, having participated in extracurricular activities like Grand Prix, Alpha Omicron Pi, and Old Masters. She went on to join the sales force of GE Medical Systems, then earned an MBA from Harvard in 1985. She spent 19 years in sales and marketing roles in both venture-backed start-up companies and large companies, including serving as Vice-President of Sales and Marketing for Medtronic’s CardioRhythm division.

Leslie joined ONSET Ventures in 1998 and is a General Partner with the firm. ONSET Ventures invests in early-stage medical technology companies, and Leslie works closely with entrepreneurs at the seed stage to formulate their companies’ business plans—including having served as interim VP of Marketing and Business Development for a company called Embolic Protection. Leslie has served in board or advisory roles for portfolio companies including Spinal Concepts, VisionCare Ophthalmic Technologies, Neuronetics, Sadra Medical, Flexuspine and Relievant.

Leslie says that what makes her work incredibly interesting is the collaboration with entrepreneurs and physicians to bring forward new technologies that make a real difference in people’s lives.

Our other honoree is Rick Kosdrosky. He pursued childhood interests to enroll in engineering at Purdue. Rick was a pilot and ham radio operator by the time he came to West Lafayette as a freshman. He tells us he was always building electronics—like a short-wave receiver—and was pretty good with a soldering gun.

He started out in electrical engineering at Purdue while on an Air Force ROTC scholarship. Three years into the curriculum, Rick switched over to IDE to pursue software and computer science courses.  That was at the counsel of IDE head Dr. Dick Grace, who, by the way, also counseled and mentored Leslie Bottorff. The School of Electrical Engineering hadn’t added *Computer* to its name by this point, and its computer-related courses were more hardware-focused. Along the way, Rick was an oarsman on the Purdue Crew and became president of the Purdue Sports Car Club.

In 1976, he graduated with Purdue’s first-ever computer engineering degree, and he began a career in the defense industry, developing avionics for military airplanes. After working on the F-18 Hornet fighter aircraft at McDonnell Douglas, Rick joined General Dynamics as a software design engineer and remained with the organization after it was acquired by Lockheed Martin. In his current role as Program Manager for Special Projects on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program, he directs the incorporation of advanced technologies on the United States’ next-generation stealth fighter aircraft for the Navy, Air Force, Marines, and allies.

Rick’s ties to Purdue—his desire to give back—keep him returning to campus frequently. He serves on the board of directors for Purdue’s Engineering Alumni Association and on the industrial advisory council for our very own School of Engineering Education. He is also Lockheed Martin’s corporate relations liaison to Purdue, and so is on campus for numerous recruiting and relationship development activities.

The Outstanding Alumni Awards will be presented to Leslie and Rick at a ceremony on Wednesday evening. This is a major event in the ENE calendar.

At the awards ceremony we will also recognize the achievements of the following undergraduate students currently enrolled in the IDE program.

  • IDE Award for Outstanding Junior Academic Achievement: Chloe Morrical and Lourdes Urena
  • IDE Award for Outstanding Senior Academic Achievement: Brett Seward , Rod Lammers and Stephen Kelly
  • School Year Outstanding IDE Senior Award for Service: Ian Boze

Please join me in congratulating these two generations of outstanding Interdisciplinary Engineering innovators and achievers! 


News and Information: 2/20

Congratulations to Ruth Wertz

Ruth has been selected to receive an Outstanding Service Scholarship of $2,000 in recognition of her contributions over time to the quality, reputation and success of the school, college, and university. This is well deserved recognition and reflects well on Ruth and ENE. Her scholarship will be presented at the Graduate Student Awards Luncheon later in the semester.

2012 ENE Outstanding Alumni Awards

The Outstanding Alumni AwardOn Wednesday, February 22, ENE will welcome to campus two IDE alumni who have been named recipients of this year's Outstanding Alumni Awards: Leslie Bottorff and Rick Kosdrosky. Bottorff (Biomedical Engineering, '79) is a general partner with ONSET VENTURES, which invests in early-stage medical technology companies. Kosdrosky (Computer Engineering, '76) is program manager, special projects, for Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company's F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program, as well as a member of our Industrial Advisory Council.

As part of this day of celebration, ENE staff, faculty and students are invited to hear the awardees reflect on their time at Purdue and how this impacted their subsequent careers. This will take place 10:30-11:30am in the Dunville Room in the Dean's Suite on Feb 22.

This event is part of a wider set of activities at Purdue to celebrate National Engineers Week.  Please consider participating in something to mark this week of festivities.

As one example, a number of research groups connected to ENE will be represented at the Research Roundtable, a research version of Industrial Roundtable, hosted by Purdue Society of Professional Engineers with support from Tau Beta Pi.  Thursday, 2/23, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. PMU-North Ballroom

Note From Cindey
I just wanted to thank ENE for the flowers and card that you sent during my recovery time at home. My hand, wrist, and arm seem to be healing quickly and I’m getting more strength every day.  Also special thanks to Dr. Radcliffe for his patience right now (my one-finger typing speed); to Julie for picking up my work load; and PK and Teri for the amazing home-made chicken soup!!! It feels good to be back…

National and Independence Days around the World

Calendar: 2/20

Spring 2012

Kudos: 2/20

…to Johannes Strobel and Melissa Dyehouse on the award of a grant of $30K from the Morgridge Family Foundation for the project STEM-HOPE: A Psychometric Instrument to Measure the Effect of STEM Education on HOPE in K-12.

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