Trustees Support Engineering’s Strategic Plan

Funds will support global education, research, and faculty development

The College of Engineering can move ahead with several initiatives designed to further its mission of empowering people and making a global impact, following approval of funding by the Purdue University Board of Trustees in December.

The board approved the use of $10.8 million from the Vincent P. Reilly Memorial Fund for the College of Engineering to finance portions of its new strategic plan (2009-2014), including global education and research initiatives and faculty development.

The goals are to use:

  • $2.3 million to prepare Purdue engineers to be effective in a global context. The money will be used to support a curriculum innovation project, expand the honors program, and expand cooperative work programs and internships to include international experiences and experiences for international students. It will create facilities, technologies, and programs designed to help students begin solving real problems during their first year. Examples include the Ideas to Innovation Learning Laboratory, zeroHUB technology, and the Engineering Projects in Community Service (EPICS) program.
  • $4.375 million to position research for maximum impact and global significance. The funds will be used to leverage cost-sharing for sponsored programs, provide seed funding for new research initiatives, and provide gap funding to support employment of research staff during peaks and valleys in funding. It will build research communities, provide support for undergraduate students doing research, leverage external and internal funding for research facilities, and provide funding for surge space during the construction of new research facilities.
  • $4.125 million for faculty development. The funds will be used to help provide start-up packages to new faculty and new department heads; provide discretionary funds for National Academy of Engineering members; increase funding for professorships; and support leadership and management development of faculty so they can lead research programs, assume administrative appointments, excel as teachers, and mentor students.

The Vincent P. Reilly Memorial Fund for Engineering Education was established in 1970 to promote excellence in the field. Vincent P. Reilly, who received a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Purdue in 1922, bequeathed approximately $4.5 million to the university in 1969 for promoting the achievement of excellence in engineering education. Since 1970, the fund has supported numerous educational endeavors in engineering.

-Greg McClure