Purdue Engineering Impact Magazine Fall 2009

Mechanical Engineering Purdue's windmill men - breaking ground with smart parts

Purdue is a land-grant university, and the mission of these institutions as set forth in the Morrill Act of 1862 was to “teach such branches of learning as are related to agriculture and the mechanic arts” as a response to the Industrial Revolution and changing social class. Today, we are in the midst of another revolution, a global economic one, and engineering is every bit as important in this revolution as it was nearly 150 years ago.

Engineering has fueled the prosperity of the United States since its founding, and the continued discovery of new knowledge is critical to maintaining a growing and prosperous economy in Indiana and the nation. Purdue’s School of Mechanical Engineering continues to make substantial contributions to sustaining and growing that prosperity.

In addition to the economic impact made by the 350-400 world-class engineering graduates per year, our school also generates economic development in even more direct ways. Innovations by faculty and students in our labs have resulted in 27 currently active licenses and options, up from nine just five years ago. Many of these are being commercialized in the Purdue Research Park, spawning new jobs in alternative energy, assistive and Internet technologies, and food safety to name a few. School participation is extremely broad, with about 70 percent of our disclosures involving student inventors, and about 70 percent of our faculty involved in one or more inventions.

I hope you will go to our Web site at engineering.purdue.edu/ME and look at some of our faculty and students’ recent contributions to economic development. I think you will be impressed with the range and potential impact of the research.

Finally, I must say I am sincerely grateful for the outstanding financial support we have received from the alumni and business communities that make it possible for us to be a world-renowned center for mechanical engineering research and education. We are working very hard to earn your continued loyalty.

E. Dan Hirleman
William E. and Florence E. Perry Head
School of Mechanical Engineering

Purdue student team wins solar-car division at 'Eco-Marathon'
October 05, 2009
A team of Purdue students won the solar-car category of an international competition for ultra fuel-efficient vehicles, achieving the equivalent of 4,913 miles per gallon, the most ever recorded at the event.
Engineers work to increase the role of wind in the nation's energy portfolio
October 05, 2009
Twenty years from now, the nation will be deriving 20 percent of its national electrical supply from wind energy. That's not a lot of hot air; it's a goal established by a report from the U.S. Department of Energy that looks to wind as a major component in the evolution of a greener, more sustainable energy portfolio.
An engineering call to creativity and imagination
October 05, 2009
Since graduating as a Purdue ME in 1962, I have witnessed the world "flatten" from both economic and cultural perspectives.
Senior design teams display creativity, ingenuity in competition
October 05, 2009
"We need to get back to making stuff, based on real engineering." - Thomas Friedman
Innovative hydraulic drive systems save energy, cost
October 05, 2009
Imagine a huge excavator and its mighty engine moving tons of dirt. Now imagine filling its fuel tank. With the rising cost of diesel fuel, it’s become a big concern for both operators and manufacturers. This is where Purdue researcher Monika Ivantysynova is making impact.
A mechanical engineering undergrad reflects on his cross-country bicycle trip
October 05, 2009
Tom Hornyak spent his 21st birthday in a very atypical way for a college student. On January 23, 2008, the then junior in mechanical engineering left his parents' home in Naples, Florida, to begin a 3,700-mile bicycle ride to San Francisco.
Mann Institute director helps speed healthcare products to the marketplace
October 05, 2009
John C. Hertig (BSME ’74) is the thirteenth John Hertig in a family tree dating back to Switzerland and the 1600s. All first-born sons, each John—in 13 of 13 cases—became either an architect or an engineer.
Alumnus chosen for astronaut training
October 05, 2009
A Purdue mechanical engineering alumnus is one of nine astronaut candidates selected by NASA this year out of more than 3,500 applicants, the space agency announced.
Energy-saving method checks refrigerant level in air conditioners
October 05, 2009
Purdue mechanical engineers have developed a technique that saves energy and servicing costs by indicating when air conditioners are low on refrigerant, preventing the units from working overtime.
Two seniors reflect on their final Grand Prix
October 05, 2009
For 52 years now, the Purdue Grand Prix has been a rite of spring on the West Lafayette campus.