From the Dean: March 2022
Dear Purdue Engineering Community,
More choices in degrees at Purdue Engineering are coming.
Many faculty and staff have worked hard over the years to add variety to the degrees we offer — from MD/PhD degrees jointly with IU School of Medicine to the engineering component of the Integrated Business and Engineering degree with Krannert. Beyond ensuring a component of basic literacy in data science in each of the undergraduate degrees, we are launching a Minor in Artificial Intelligence. On the graduate front, in addition to the increase in Ph.D. student stipends and career mentoring workshops last semester, we are adding three new inter-disciplinary master’s degree concentrations this semester, reflecting compelling strategic importance or differentiating strength:
- Semiconductors: This is a collaboration across ECE, ME and MSE with additional participation from other schools. It innovates both the content (the end to end supply chain) and the pedagogy (using lab-to-fab and online virtual tools) when semiconductors industry in the U.S. requires 50,000 new engineers this decade.
- Sports Engineering: This is created by the Ray Ewry Center for Sports Engineering, a collaboration between our College and Purdue Athletics in 2019.
- Autonomy: This is coming up soon, as one of the educational dimensions of the Purdue Engineering Initiative (PEI) in Autonomous and Connected systems.
Offering each of these degrees requires a careful design of curriculum and patient actions through the regulatory process. We thank the many engineering instructors who dynamically innovate learning and teaching. For current and future students, our College continues to educate not only a large, but also premier, pool of engineering talents in residence and online.
That was one of the three goals in the strategic plan four years ago. Another goal was to further strengthen the collaboration with industry. For decades, Purdue Engineering always has been appreciated as one of the very top colleges in working with industry, and we are accelerating a broadening and deepening of these relationships for the benefits of our students, faculty, alumni and for impact on society. Some highlights across each of the eight dimensions in an “octagon of academia-industry partnership:”
- Learning and recruiting: We have one of the most successful co-op and recruiting programs in the country, and increasingly companies are contributing to our curricula and design projects.
- Workforce up-skilling: We have started creating “wholesale” arrangements where tech companies purchase a basket of online credit hours for their employees to use in their lifelong learning.
- Research: Hundreds of companies provide not only resources and collaboration to our researchers, but also a bridge from theory to practice, which helps sharpen the assumptions in theoretical research too.
- Patents: Our college contributes about two-thirds of the patents by the university, which is now ranked in the top two in patents received among U.S. universities without medical schools.
- Startups: The number and quality of startups by Purdue Engineering faculty, students, and alumni continue to rise, while immersive internships in existing startups enrich students’ summer choices.
- Philanthropy: We thank many companies that provide donations, from scholarships such as the new Kiewit Scholars to naming gifts for spaces in our new buildings such as the Gateway Complex.
- Economic development: Last summer, we welcomed the largest-ever economic development in West Lafayette history from Rolls-Royce, and many more tech companies are moving in the coming months into our neighborhood to create jobs and knowledge together.
- Lab-to-Life deployment: The latest addition to our action set is to turn the 460-acre DP District campus into a smart city where the latest technologies can find their first commercial deployment.
In some of these dimensions, we do not enjoy natural advantages when compared to universities in Silicon Valley, New York, Boston, Seattle, Austin, Tampa, Research Triangle, or metropolitan areas in the Midwest. In those cases, no step we take is easy, and we have to will each success into existence. What we do have are the Boilermaker spirit of persistence, our hardworking and creative colleagues and students, and the fastest execution with intent and intensity.
John A. Edwardson Dean of the College of Engineering
Roscoe H. George Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering