From the Dean: August 2018

Dear Purdue Engineering Community,

Welcome to the new Academic Year that will start next week with the BGR activities on campus. Over the past year, our College set new records in research grants awarded and in philanthropic support, our faculty launched an NSF Engineering Research Center in energy innovation and an SRC-DARPA center in artificial intelligence, and our students received a Marshall and a Truman Scholarship. From new spaces to new interdisciplinary teams, from new degree programs to new industry partnerships, many exciting accomplishments by the amazing Boilermaker Engineers continue to propel Purdue Engineering to the Pinnacle of Excellence at Scale.

The start of a new Academic Year is also a fitting time to consider our curriculum. One of the conversations we had over summer was on the subject of "what to teach" and "how to teach” the future generations of engineers. Many students and faculty appreciate the general principles of (1) offering flexibility and choices for a large, heterogeneous student population, (2) providing serious exposure to real world engineering early and often, (3) integrating in-class learning with opportunities outside classrooms, and (4) building the ability and curiosity for lifelong learning. Acting on these principles to update our curriculum requires a thoughtful process. Over the course of the next two semesters, extensive input from students, instructors, TAs and advisors will be solicited, external reviews by peers and industry colleagues will be carried out, and concrete actions will be formulated by school/college committees. Associate Dean of Education, Professor Eckhard Groll, has started coordinating this important effort and will be in communication with many of you.

Graduate education is another important dimension of our land-grant mission. We are rapidly growing our Professional Master’s programs, with strong connections to business and to industry. We will also update our engineering Ph.D. programs, one of the largest and strongest in the nation: publicizing our offerings to applicants across the nation and throughout the world, attracting the strongest to come to West Lafayette, connecting them to a variety of careers, and providing an inspiring environment throughout the Ph.D. pursuit that requires emotional resilience as much as intellectual capacity. Attaining the Pinnacle of Excellence at Scale depends heavily on our graduate students, who are central to both the discovery and dissemination of knowledge.

Boiler up!


Mung Chiang
John A. Edwardson Dean of the College of Engineering
Purdue University