Purdue Engineering Impact Magazine Fall 2010

Mechanical Engineering On My Mind

Welcome to Mechanical Engineering Impact. It’s our tenth issue if you’re counting, my first. I joined the Purdue’s School of Mechanical Engineering as a faculty member in January 1981. Since 2001, I’ve been the associate head for graduate studies. I worked closely with Dan Hirleman during his tenure, and it is an honor to serve as interim head of the school while a search is conducted for his successor.

Dan served as the head for more than 10 years and by the time you read this he will have assumed his post as dean of engineering at the University of California, Merced. Under Dan’s leadership, the school’s research, curriculum, and engagement programs continued significant progress. Some of the highlights and accomplishments include:

  • Developing of the school’s strategic plan.
  • Starting the Global Engineering Alliance for Research and Education — a comprehensive study and intern abroad program for engineering students.
  • Creating 5-year BS/MBA, 5-year BS/MS, and direct-to-PhD degree tracks.
  • Initiating an Innovation Awards Competition, highlighting student design projects and encouraging discovery with delivery.
  • Growing the faculty from 51 to 64.
  • Raising $142 million in the Campaign for Purdue, which included the funds for the Roger B. Gatewood Wing of the Mechanical Engineering Building and Phase I of the new Ray W. Herrick Laboratories, the first and second LEED Certified buildings on Purdue’s campus, respectively.
  • Establishing and serving as founding director of GlobalHub— the world’s first virtual organization dedicated to global engineering education and research.
  • Receiving the Hon. George E. Brown, Jr. Award for International Scientific Cooperation, 2008, U.S. Civilian Research & Development Foundation.

These highlights are but a few of his many contributions to the school. All were accomplished with outstanding support from our alumni, friends, and business and industry partners, as well as the mechanical engineering faculty. Initiatives in these key areas also directly align with the current College of Engineering’s Strategic Plan, “Extraordinary People, Global Impact.”

As interim head, my goals are to continue implementation of many of these distinguished programs, maintain or improve the school’s national ranking, encourage excellence in our world renowned academic and research programs and further the many study abroad and international research collaboration initiatives.

I thank you for your continued support of the school and interest in its activities.

Anil Bajaj
Interim Head and Alpha P. Jamison Professor of Mechanical Engineering

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