From the Dean: November 2019

Dear Purdue Engineering Community,

This past week our College’s students, faculty, and alumni once again contributed significantly to the Society of Women Engineers annual conference. During the same week, here in West Lafayette, we also celebrated the first generation students. We are proud, especially as part of a public land-grant institution, of over 1000 first generation students in our College today, and many among our faculty, staff and alumni were first-gen themselves. With the leadership from Alina Alexeenko and Beth Holloway, a new Committee on First-Gen Success is now formed to maximize the success of first generation students in Purdue Engineering.

Last month, Wall Street Journal ranked universities in terms of startup companies created by faculty/students and licensed their inventions over the past year. Purdue was number 3 in the U.S. and Engineering contributed to 75% of those startups. In terms of support for entrepreneurship, in addition to a growing range of student clubs and courses, Bechtel Innovation Design Center, and Purdue Foundry programs, the College is also working with alumni donors and many partners to systematically launch: (1) Engineering Entrepreneurship Center in the new Convergence Building to offer free co-working space within the new local ecosystem, (2) a potential seed stage fund for startups, (3) connections to mentors, teams and investors in Indiana/Chicago areas and in several national hubs, (4) internship opportunities at tech startups in Silicon Valley through our co-op office there. More information for each part is forthcoming, and please feel free to contact Yung-Hsiang Lu (ECE Professor and Dean’s Faculty Fellow in Entrepreneurship), who works closely with Wayne Chen and others in our leadership team to advance entrepreneurship at Purdue Engineering.

On December 6 in the evening, the annual Staff Excellence Awards will be presented to some of the most amazing staff in the College. We cannot wait to thank the incredibly dedicated staff whose work every day moves Purdue Engineering towards the Pinnacle of Excellence at Scale.

Thanksgiving in late November is a warm holiday in the United States. We also appreciate that many international students may not be able to travel home during a five-day break. We will support various efforts to host events for Boilermakers who call Purdue their second home during the holiday.


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