From the Dean
In 2009, the College of Engineering announced its strategic plan, Extraordinary People, Global Impact. This plan set aside business as usual and called on the creativity and drive of our people — faculty, students, staff, alums, and friends —pursuing individual passions and shared goals. Through these efforts and building on its long history of excellence in education and research, Purdue Engineering is achieving its goal to “be known for our impact on the world.” This is apparent in the stories presented in this issue of Engineering Impact Online.
We take a look back 40 years ago to those individuals who set in motion meaningful action to address the underrepresentation of minority students — particularly African Americans — in the field of engineering. The National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) was founded at Purdue and has grown from six members to over 31,000 members nationwide.
Collaboration is a guiding precept of research throughout Purdue. This is evident in a multidisciplinary project where researchers discovered one of the biggest craters on the moon that had been hiding in plain sight for hundreds of years. The new crater provisionally has been named Earhart, after the famous aviator and Purdue advisor.
And speaking of collaboration, through a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant, a highly interdisciplinary Purdue Engineering research team has developed a sustainable and environmentally friendly method of using wood pulp and waste biomass to create cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) that can increase the flexural strength of concrete by 30 percent.
Innovation was again on display at the annual Malott Innovation Awards where mechanical engineering students in Senior Design creatively applied their accumulated engineering knowledge to develop products that improve the lives of people with disabilities and much more. This year 55 teams participated in the event.
As our world increasingly focuses on STEM education, the Office of Future Engineers is at the forefront of encouraging middle school through high school students to consider careers in engineering. In partnership with the School of Engineering Education, David Bowker and his team do a staggering amount of work. Last year they hosted 350 events, pulled in 17,000 applications (an increase of 7,400 in seven years), made 30,000 in-person contacts and mailed 200,000 print and electronic media messages. Purdue Engineering is in high demand!
I hope you enjoy Engineering Impact Online.
Leah H. Jamieson
The John A. Edwardson Dean of Engineering