From the Dean: February 2021

Dear Purdue Engineering Community,

I hope you are keeping warm and making good use of the Reading Day. Recently the College took a few actions aimed at enhancing learning-teaching experience, including the Ed Tech Support. We also collaborated with the PESC Mental Health Committee to further advance Engineering students’ well-being. This semester, we welcomed three CAPS liaisons dedicated to working with the Engineering community. Another resource now available for Engineering students, faculty and staff is the TaskHuman app for live coaching on well-being topics. Two weeks ago, the College and its schools also provided new family support for graduate students with children. We hope our community will continue to be a family-friendly one despite the financial strain on many.

Giving our faculty more hours in a day for their dissemination and discovery of knowledge has been a priority for the College. Last semester, Acting Dean Lundstrom along with university leaders initiated an effort to maximize faculty research productivity, an effort we are continuing. Several initial steps have been taken. (1) The SPS Pre-Award team has created an Excel budget tool for PIs to develop draft budgets (or to receive a draft budget created by SPS Pre-Award) and be able to make their own adjustments for efficiency. A pilot program has been well received and faculty feedback is updating the tool for broad rollout. (2) EVPRP is covering the cost of basic operation and data storage for FY21 and FY22 (first half) on the Weber Computer Cluster used for export control research. (3) Procurement is developing a new purchasing option through Amazon Business, with a pilot in our College. Further steps are being considered for additional business process actions to accelerate the growth of Purdue’s research enterprise.

In this ongoing 2021 admissions season, thanks to the generosity of alumni, the College has been able to secure substantial scholarship resources for minority students and to strengthen the Minority Engineering Program. We are also forging a partnership with Morgan State University for a 2+2 program and with high schools serving many minority students for more robust pathways to Purdue Engineering. And following the success of Latinx Trailblazers in Engineering program last year, we are launching the Black Trailblazers in Engineering program next week, Feb. 24-27, for Black engineering scholars nearing the completion of their Ph.D. or postdoc and preparing for an academic career.

While the annual gathering with alumni turned virtual last week, we continue to hear from many Boilermaker Engineers updating us with their news in life and in lifelong learning. Last night, I joined the Q&A session organized by the Office of Future Engineers with more than 1,000 admitted students. Listening to what the students wanted to know more about Purdue was as helpful as it was inspiring.

Boiler up (despite the cold)!


Mung Chiang
John A. Edwardson Dean of the College of Engineering
Roscoe H. George Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Purdue University