First-ever Purdue Engineering Fellows

Alumnus Robert Buckman knows this is the time to invest in Purdue‘s College of Engineering. As he puts it, “Purdue is reaching for the stars.”

Following a multitude of 150th anniversary celebrations during Purdue Homecoming this past weekend, Buckman and his wife Joyce Mollerup were on hand at the Neil Armstrong Hall of Engineering for the Oct. 15 presentation of the first-ever Purdue Engineering Fellows award.

Through the generosity of Buckman and Mollerup, five engineering seniors were nominated by faculty and staff and chosen by a committee to receive $10,000 each after they graduate from Purdue in 2020. They can use the money to pursue any future endeavors and Buckman hopes his gifts will allow them to realize whatever dreams they may have.

“We’re immensely proud of what you have done here and the path you've chosen at Purdue engineering. And we are very excited about the upcoming steps of your continuing journey,” said Mung Chiang, the John A. Edwardson Dean of the College of Engineering, about the recipients.

Chiang also reflected that the process was extremely selective and was not based simply on academics.

“The criteria of the fellowship is not just about a GPA. That would have made the selection a lot easier,” Chiang said. “This particular recognition is not just for academic performance. It includes that important dimension, but also encompasses community impact, leadership, initiative, and respect by your peers and by your faculty and staff.”

The inaugural class of students selected will pursue work in a variety of industries and graduate study programs.

The 2019-2020 Purdue Engineering Fellows are: 

Photo of Mark D'Aloia

Mark D'Aloia, Nuclear Engineering

Mark D’Aloia is a senior in Nuclear Engineering. Originally from Dayton, Ohio, Mark has a deep passion for Purdue and the opportunities Purdue Engineering provides. While at Purdue he has served in a multitude of leadership roles such as the president of the Purdue Student Engineering Foundation, co-president of the Purdue Engineering President's Council, co-chair of selection for Mortar Board, and Evening and Publicity co-chair of the Old Masters Central Committee. After graduation, Mark is looking to work in the counterterrorism and nuclear security field.

Nominators said, “Mark is a doer and a maker, and embodies the qualities a Purdue engineer needs to be successful in his career as well as in life. He is a natural leader and will do great things in the years to come.”


Photo of Megan Geraghty

Megan Geraghty, Environmental and Ecological Engineering

Megan is a senior studying Environmental and Ecological Engineering and is also currently a commissioner on the West Lafayette Go Greener Commission and the lead commissioner for the food waste energy program. She is a teaching assistant for a EEE course titled Engineering Environmental Sustainability and has participated in several service-learning courses.  She has also conducted research relating to impoverished communities in West Lafayette, designed a green stormwater management plan for a Lafayette community partner, and collaborated in designing a drinking water treatment system for a school in Kenya. She was on the board of the Society of Women Engineers and is a current member of Alpha Chi Omega Women’s Fraternity. After graduation, Megan will start a career in environmental consulting working for Burns and McDonnell in Chicago.

Nominators said, “Megan is a member of the Purdue Dean’s List as well as the Honors College.  She does peer teaching and listens to classmates to help improve the curriculum and is wonderful with her student colleagues.”


Photo of Dylan Lurk

Dylan Lurk, Mechanical Engineering

Through his Mechanical Engineering studies, Dylan has identified his technical areas of interest to be in systems & controls as well as materials. He has taken advantage of opportunities to extend his education outside the classroom and around the world through short-term study abroad programs in Colombia and Germany as well as through the Interns for Indiana program and a 5-session co-op. Upon graduation, Dylan will pursue a career in industry joining GE Aviation in their Edison Engineering Development Program. He will take with him fond memories of the genuine interest shown by faculty and staff in supporting him to become the best engineer he can be.

Nominators said, “Dylan has demonstrated excellence in the classroom, in industry, in student life, and in the community. Dylan also shines as an example for other students to follow in his student life and community endeavors and by his character overall.  He truly leaves a lasting, positive impression on everyone fortunate enough to get to know him and work collaboratively with him.”


Photo of Michaela Rumple, Astronautical Engineering

Michaela Rumple, Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering

Michaela Rumple, from Fort Wayne, is a senior studying Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering and minoring in communications. Currently, she is the president of the Purdue Engineering Student Council (PESC), the co-president of the Purdue Engineering President’s Council (PEPC), and an ambassador for the College of Engineering. Through these activities, Michaela has planned and facilitated campus-wide career fairs, connected engineering organizations across campus, planned E-Week festivities, and interacted with alumni and prospective students. After graduation, she plans to work in a systems engineering position in the aerospace industry.

Nominators said, “Michaela has overcome some early academic challenges and worked hard to right her ship and is headed for success in life. She has been an exceptional leader in three groups: College of Engineering Ambassadors, as the current President of PESC and the Co-President of PEPC.”


Andrew Violette

Andrew Violette, Mechanical Engineering and Computer Science

Andrew Violette is a senior earning double degrees from Mechanical Engineering and Computer Science. He actively pursues opportunities in academia and industry, having completed a co-op at Kinetic Vision and a research internship in Professor Ramani’s C Design Lab. He hopes to attend MIT to conduct research in robotic perception and path planning. All of this was made possible by Purdue’s culture of flexibility and excellence.

Nominators said, “Andrew has made and is continuing to make substantial creative contributions at the interfaces of digital and physical areas. He brings a lot of new ideas and energy to problem definition and solving, and gained the respect of our lab’s top PhD students.”


Robert Buckman earned a BS in chemical engineering in 1959 from Purdue University and an MBA from the University of Chicago in 1961. He served as Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Bulab Holdings, Inc., the holding company of Buckman Laboratories, from 1978 until his retirement in December 2000. In 2001 he received the Purdue University Distinguished Engineering Alumnus Award for his accomplishments in industry and longstanding leadership.

Writers: Atreya Verma, verma43@purdue.edu; and DeEtte Starr, starrd@purdue.edu