From the Dean: August 2020 Engineering Community Letter

Dear Purdue Engineering Community,

We have been getting ready for Fall semester since May, and now it’s almost here. We had hoped that the uncertainties would fade and clarity would emerge, but that certainly has not happened. In fact, most of us have never faced so many uncertainties at the same time – the pressures of getting kids back to daycare or to school safely, or having kids stay at home, worrying about elderly parents, or family members at risk, and about our own health too. Our Black students, staff, and faculty and our international students face even more stresses and uncertainties in these times. This fall and possibly next spring as well will test our resilience as never before, but the campus will be as safe as possible, the university will make the necessary calls as the situation evolves, and we’ll be here for our students. 

As we deal with all these challenges, the work of the College continues; in fact, great things are happening. Just two examples. Working with our colleagues in the College of Science, the entire First Year Engineering program will be available online. This will allow those students who cannot be with us on campus this year to begin their studies and be ready to join us on campus in Fall 2021. Thanks to all the faculty and staff who have stepped up to this challenge, which will not only help us address the challenges of Fall 2020, but will also create resources with lasting value in online as well as on-campus education.

The second example is the announcement, just a couple of days ago, that Purdue is a key partner in two new Engineering Research Centers. 

The first, IoT4Ag, is led by the University of Pennsylvania and focuses on creating comprehensive solutions for digital agriculture. Professor Dave Cappelleri of ME leads the Purdue team. 

The second, ASPIRE, is led by Utah State University and aims to eliminate range and charging as barriers for electrifying all vehicle classes, and the Purdue team is led by Nadia Gkritza of CE and ABE. Programs like these provide the visibility and the opportunities for impact that can move our institution to the next level of excellence. 

When we look back on these times, we will be proud of how we pulled together, handled it all, and moved the College ahead. Please take care of yourself, your families, your students, and your colleagues as we begin Fall semester 2020. 


Mark S. Lundstrom
Acting Dean of the College of Engineering
Don and Carol Scifres Distinguished Professor
of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Purdue University