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ENE Memo: November 18, 2013

From the Head: 11/18

ENE Moves Forward:  Research Futures

Last week we held the 3rd Interdisciplinary Colloquium at which we celebrated the work of some of the pioneers of engineering education research and scholarly approaches to teaching at Purdue. These Indomitable Innovators laid down the foundation on which our engineering education research including the graduate  program in ENE is built. 

Over our first decade the ENE faculty have individually and collectively established a world-class research operation based on substantial funding which has increased year upon year. We should be very proud of this achievement. However we cannot afford to rest on our laurels and assume that things will just continue to grow and be always bigger and better. 

The challenge we face is to move our research enterprise to the next level, for example by establishing several large research projects ($10-15M). We should also aspire to establish a couple of research centers in areas of strength for example around Engineering Foundations (first-year and maybe sophomore) and Industry Learning. In the PreK-12 engineering education space, INSPIRE was established through the generous support of the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation. This seed funding was in place for only the first five years and ceased a couple of years back yet INSPIRE continues the thrive based largely on externally funded projects. 

Due to the changing priorities of the Federal Government, there is some uncertainty over the future of NSF funding. We need to counter this by looking for other sources of research funding so we can have a more diverse portfolio. We also need to be looking for major endowments that can provide underpinning support for our research endeavors for the long term. 

One exciting development on the research front is the creation of a dedicated research home for ENE in Wang Hall, which is currently nearing completion. At this stage It seems that we will be allocated half of the third floor at the northern end (nearest Armstrong Hall). This will allow us to bring all the ENE research activities under one roof including a shared space for research students. The facility is due to be occupied during summer 2014, so this would be an excellent way to kick off our second decade.

By taking our research to the next level we honor all those pioneers who prepared the way for us including the advantages of being able to work in a dedicated school of engineering education. By challenging ourselves to go further we help to realize the full potential of the research and scholarship envisioned by the pioneers.


Calendar: 11/18

Fall 2013

  • Nov 18: TULIP - Problem Solving, ARMS 3001, 1:30-3pm
  • Nov 20: Advisor-PhD Student matching, ARMS BO98B Innovation Studio 9:30-12:30 
  • Nov 28-29: Thanksgiving
  • Dec 2: TULIP - Messaging FYE Outside FYE, ARMS 3001, 1:30-3pm
  • 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 12-13: SAVE THE DATE. Purdue, Engineering Education Futures: Hearing Global Perspectives   
  • June 14: ENE Alums & Friends Reception, Indianapolis Interdisciplinary Engineering Education
  • June 15-18: ASEE Conference, Indianapolis Engineering Education Futures

Kudos: 11/18

... to Jiabin Zhu, Yi Li, Monica F. Cox, Jeremi London, Jeeyeon Hahn, and Benjamin Ahn on publication of the paper "Validation of a Survey for Graduate Teaching Assistants: Translating Theory to Practice" in the Journal of Engineering Education 102(3) , pp426-443, 2013

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