Skip navigation

Fall 2015

In this issue:

Fall 2015 Wrap-Up

The School of Engineering Education (ENE) has had another bumper semester. Exciting things have been happening in all three of our academic programs; First-Year Engineering, Interdisciplinary Engineering and the Graduate Program in Engineering Education.

The number of first-year engineering students entering Purdue hit a record high this fall. The academic ability of this cohort, measured by test scores and high school performance, is the best it has ever been. The percentage of females entering engineering continues to rise, reaching 29% for the first time this year.

From their first few weeks on campus, all these students experience working in a diverse team of four on projects. At the annual Co-Op Hall of Fame Ceremony earlier this fall, one of honorees observed that “one of great things that current engineering students have, which was not available in my day, are the ENGR 131/132 courses, Ideas to Innovation.” He went on to highlight how the focus in this course sequence on teamwork, doing projects and the development of other professional habits of mind is excellent preparation for those who apply for co-op positions or internships.

YouTube video thumbnailWe pioneered this innovative approach to engaging our students in engineering back in 2008. Since then over 15,000 students have had this enriched learning experience based on the principles of active and collaborative learning using a “flipped classroom.” This massive impact on a generation of engineering students came about because our faculty in the School of Engineering Education are at the forefront of educational research related to engineering; many are national or global thought leaders in their respective areas of engineering education.

Our ability to fulfill our stated mission of transforming engineering education based on scholarship and research was significantly enhanced this fall when our faculty collectively in ENE secured $10.6M in new, competitive research funding – this a record amount.

Building on the foundation in our innovative FYE courses, the students in our Interdisciplinary Engineering (IDE) program now have a common curricula core across their junior and senior. Several new courses were introduced this fall with consequential changes happening this spring and next year. These improvements help to give our IDE students – who by definition have varsity different, often unique, plans of study – to develop a shared set of design and professional skills in an interdisciplinary context.

Talking at the officeAlso aimed at building a sense of shared purpose and esprit de corps, this fall we commissioned a common room for the interdisciplinary engineering students; this is the first time these students have had such a place. The students have really made it their own and named it, affectionately, “the Nest.”

Now in its 10th year, our PhD program in Engineering Education has a total of 65 graduates – all with jobs. This is a remarkable accomplishment in a relatively short time in a brand new field where we had to design the program ab initio with no model to learn from. We also have a growing number of people completing our new Master’s degree. (The photo features the 2015 cohort participating in orientation activities. Group photo at the Boilermaker SpecialClick for more photos.)

This fall the Indiana Commission for Higher Education approved our Graduate Certificate in Engineering Education. This new program is aimed at engineering PhD students across the College of Engineering who are considering becoming a college professor. Through the Graduate Certificate they will acquire knowledge and skills on how to be an effective, scholarly teacher and a successful professor. This cadre of PhDs with a unique combination of cutting edge research in one of the technical disciplines plus contemporary knowledge of teaching and learning practices will position Purdue as the school that continues to lead the transformation of engineering education nationally.

I hope you share our deep sense of pride at the impact that we are having on the next generation of Purdue engineers and on the future education of engineers nationally and globally in the years to come.

We invite you to campus to experience it for yourself. As always, keep in touch.
David Radcliffe
Kamyar Haghighi Head, School of Engineering Education 

Speaking at the presentation

2015 Interdisciplinary Colloquium

2015: Boundary Agents – The Transformative Potential of Professors of Practice on Purdue Engineering

Moderated by Dr. David Radcliffe, Kamyar Haghighi Head of the School of Engineering Education, this year's colloquium featured a panel discussion and video segments from the Purdue College of Engineering Professors of Engineering Practice. Interdisciplinary work depends upon ‘boundary agents’ – individuals who can operate effectively across the boundaries between different disciplinary silos. Because work in industry is not organized along the traditional disciplinary boundaries that define the schools of engineering at Purdue, Professors of Engineering Practice bring an inherently interdisciplinary perspective. They can share not only their expertise in the classroom and develop engagement opportunities, but more critically they can lead in the development of new paradigms for innovative engineering practice and education. The colloquium and videos are archived in the video below.
2015 Purdue University School of Engineering Education Interdisciplinary Colloquium
Watch the full program that features short interviews of Purdue University Professors of Engineering Practice.
Group photo at the store
INSPIRE launched their second annual engineering gift guide at the Earth Explorers toy store in Zionsville, Indiana. Back by popular demand, the guide has over 90 toys and books geared towards engineering learning for boys and girls ages 3-18. 

Giving an award

Dr. Audeen Fentiman (left) was appointed by Deba Dutta, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Diversity as the Crowley Family Professor in Engineering Education in October. Dr. Fentiman is also the Associate Dean of Graduate Education and Interdisciplinary Programs. She brings to ENE a vast amount of knowledge and experience in all facets of our engineering programs.