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Engineering Impact: Summer 2021

Summer 2021

Purdue Engineering: Rising to the Challenge

by College of Engineering

COVID-19 presents profound medical, technological, social and economic challenges for humanity. Purdue Engineering’s Rising to the Challenge initiative stimulates engineering thought leadership, scholarship, innovation, education and action to address critical issues related to societal resilience in the face of shocks such as pandemics and other disasters and crises, both natural and human-made. As part of a great 21st century land-grant institution, Purdue Engineering is rising to these challenges by addressing urgent needs and engineering longer-term solutions for a more robust and resilient future.

From inventing rapid hand-held tests for COVID-19 to 3D-printing protective equipment, to identifying previously unknown risks to public health from building closures, to projects to diminish disease spread on campus, Purdue Engineering students, faculty and staff are responding to the urgent challenges of the pandemic while driving permanent innovation in emergency response capabilities.

It is likely that the COVID-19 crisis will change the way our society works, lives and innovates for decades to come. How will we respond to future pandemics, financial crises, and natural or human-made disasters? How might we “engineer” resilience into our society’s systems – infrastructure, logistics, wireless connectivity, innovation, healthcare, energy, food, manufacturing, financial, business, social and community organizations? Engineering innovation can play a powerful transformative role in enabling resilience in our society’s systems. Purdue Engineering faculty are taking a leading role in advancing public dialogue on the technological and social innovations that will shape our collective resilient future.