Purdue Engineering Impact Magazine Fall 2010

Chemical Engineering On My Mind

Welcome to the fall 2010 issue of Impact Magazine. In this issue, we explore creativity; in the current economic context, creativity gains universal value and we need to learn to embrace it outside the classroom or the research laboratory. During the 2009-10 year, we awarded 143 BS, 12 MS and 18 PhD degrees. We are sending these young men and women into a challenging work environment, where solid chemical engineering skills need to be coupled with versatile creative forces to find a promising job and become successful with limited resources.

In the past fiscal year, we have finished renovating the first floor in the original part of the Forney Hall. We are now renovating the ground floor, and expect completion by next February, which will leave only the third floor labs for the final phase. It has taken creativity and resourcefulness, along with generous and loyal support of alumni and friends, to make progress on this critical project so important for our school’s future.

We are now seeing in University and school budgets the effects of the financial climate that is affecting the world outside academia. It takes vision, fiscal responsibility and the creativity of our faculty, staff and students to continue improving the education and research programs in our school, to ensure that we maintain our place among the preeminent chemical engineering programs of the world.

This fall, 502 undergraduate and 115 graduate students returned to fill the classrooms and laboratories in Forney Hall. Our research labs are bustling with new projects (turn to page 2 to read more about a novel way to create biofuel from algae) and unprecedented research activity. During the 2009-10 fiscal year, our school broke our funding record with $12.5 million in research expenditures, a 53 percent increase over the previous year. Come visit us and experience the daily extraordinary!

Hail Purdue!

Arvind Varma
R. Games Slayter Distinguished Professor and Head

Metabolic engineering boosts potential of algae as the biodiesel of the (near) future
December 08, 2010
Good news is bubbling up about research already under way . . . on a promising fuel alternative that derives from algae. Algae naturally produce oil that can be processed and blended with petroleum-based fuel to make a biodiesel. And though there are many hurdles between the current state of this science and the point at which production can begin on a commercial level, the scientists and engineers at work on algae-based biodiesel are progressing by leaps and bounds.
Inter-Particle Power
December 08, 2010
From bubble nucleation to colloidal dispersions, every ‘little bit’ counts
One Senior to Watch
December 08, 2010
Dedication and rewarding academic pursuits characterize her journey
Research Goes Green
December 08, 2010
Graduate student pursues biomass-to-alternative fuel research
In the Service of Students
December 08, 2010
Managing the broad spectrum of student professional development needs
‘Hail Purdue!’ A lifelong song for McGinley
December 08, 2010
Becoming a boilermaker seems natural for a child who often rode the rails and whose father worked for the Pennsylvania Railroad. For Tim McGinley, though, the title came with a capital “B” as he took to the Gold-and-Black’s basketball court, earned a chemical engineering degree, and tallied 20 years as a Board of Trustees member.