ME Head Dr. Anil Bajaj to step down

Anil K. Bajaj, the William E. and Florence Perry Head and Alpha P. Jamison Professor of Purdue’s School of Mechanical Engineering, will leave his position at the end of the 2018-19 academic year, he announced on November 15. After a sabbatical year, he plans to return to the ME faculty.
Anil K. Bajaj, William E. and Florence E. Perry Head of Mechanical Engineering & Alpha P. Jamison Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Bajaj has led the School of Mechanical Engineering since his appointment as head in May 2011, at which time he had been serving for eight months as interim school head. He joined the Purdue faculty in January 1981 after completing his PhD in mechanics at the University of Minnesota. He earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in mechanical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology at Kharagpur and at Kanpur, respectively. Bajaj’s leadership roles in Purdue’s School of Mechanical Engineering include serving as chair of the Graduate Committee, and as the associate head for research and graduate education. He also developed a pre-college engagement program to increase minority students entering mechanical engineering that was funded by the University’s Diversity Transformation Award.

Bajaj's research and teaching interests are in the areas of linear and nonlinear systems, analytical dynamics and modeling of multibody systems, stability of elastic systems, bifurcations and chaos in mechanical systems, nonlinear stability in fluids and fluid-structure interactions, dynamics of seat-occupant systems, modeling of viscoelastic properties of foam, and design of nonlinear resonant MEMS. He is a Fellow of the ASME, and has received many Purdue University awards including the Provost's Award for Outstanding Graduate Mentors, Purdue Graduate School, 2006; College of Engineering Mentorship Award for Faculty Excellence, and the Team Award for Faculty Excellence, 2009. He has published more than 225 archival journal and conference proceedings papers, and has advised or co-advised more than 45 MS and PhD students.

“It has been my honor and privilege to serve as the Head of ME,” Bajaj says. “I look forward to working with our new head to further enhance the impact of faculty, staff and students of Purdue ME in all endeavors.”

Purdue’s School of Mechanical Engineering is consistently ranked in the nation’s Top-10 mechanical engineering undergraduate and graduate programs by U.S. News & World Report. It has 79 faculty members who are dedicated to educating over 1,800 undergraduate and graduate students and to maintaining and developing world-class research programs. Its 17,000 living alumni comprise one of the largest alumni groups in the world.

“Over the past seven-and-a-half years under the leadership of Anil Bajaj, the School of Mechanical Engineering has continued its strong heritage of delivering an educational experience rich in experiential learning and high impact, cutting-edge research programs,” says Mung Chiang, the John A. Edwardson Dean of the College of Engineering. “Anil also guided ME through substantial enrollment and faculty growth with tremendous care and dedication. We are very grateful for his many contributions leading the School.”

A nine-person committee has been established to carry out a national search for the next head of the School of Mechanical Engineering. Ali Shakouri, the Mary Jo and Robert L. Kirk Director of Purdue’s Birck Nanotechnology Center and a professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, will serve as chair of the search committee. Committee members include:

  • Arezoo Ardekani, associate professor of Mechanical Engineering
  • James Braun, the School of Mechanical Engineering’s Herrick Professor of Engineering, and director of the Center for High Performance Buildings
  • Nicole Key, professor of Mechanical Engineering, and associate professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics (by courtesy)
  • Karthik Ramani, the Donald W. Feddersen Professor of Mechanical Engineering, and professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering (by courtesy)
  • Gregory Shaver, professor of Mechanical Engineering
  • Xianfan Xu, the James J. and Carol L. Shuttleworth Professor of Mechanical Engineering and professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering (by courtesy)
  • Marc Turenne, an ME undergraduate student
  • Jennifer Rumsey (BSME ’96), CTO of Cummins
  • Julia King, director, Office of Industrial Experience