Engineering faculty appointed to new administrative roles
Three College of Engineering faculty members — Gerhard Klimeck, Milind Kulkarni and Na “Luna” Lu — will assume new leadership responsibilities in the coming months.
Lu, Reilly Professor of Civil Engineering with a courtesy appointment in the School of Materials Engineering, will serve as associate dean of the faculty for the College, effective April 1. She currently is the director of the Office of Professional Practice and will step down April 1. She also is the acting head in the Lyles School of Civil Engineering, a role she will maintain through June 30.
Lu's research centers on the discovery and engineering of functional nanomaterials and devices to enable smart infrastructure systems by integrating elements of civil engineering, material science and electrical engineering. She has authored two books, six book chapters, more than 150 peer-reviewed publications and holds 10 published and provisional patents. Lu has received numerous awards and honors, including the 2014 National Science Foundation CAREER Award, 2019 Purdue Faculty Scholar and 2021 American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Gamechanger recognition. In 2022, she earned the ASCE Alfred Noble Prize, was named a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and her “smart concrete” sensors were named one of the Next Big Things in Tech by Fast Company magazine.
Lu is the founding director of the Center for Intelligent Infrastructure and founder and CEO of WaveLogix, a startup that has translated several technologies from her research lab into engineering applications.
“Purdue College of Engineering consistently ranks high among our peers in the nation, which truly reflects the outstanding caliber, quality and preeminence of our people,” Lu said. “I am extremely humbled, honored and excited for the opportunity to serve our most talented faculty, researchers and lecturers.”
Klimeck, the Elmore Chair Professor in the Elmore Family School of Electrical Engineering and the Riley Director of the Center for Predictive Devices and Materials and the Network for Computational Nanotechnology, has been named assistant vice president of information technology for faculty IT support and deputy chief information officer reporting to Purdue’s CIO Ian Hyatt. Klimeck will lead a team of experts focused on providing Purdue faculty with enhanced, customized computing services wherever needed.
His research interests lie in the modeling of nanoelectronic devices, genetic algorithm-based optimization and user behavior analytics for nanoHUB user behavior analytics. Klimeck is known for creating NEMO, the nanoelectronic modeling software that defined state-of-the-art atomistic quantum transport modeling. Industry is using NEMO today to design transistors on dedicated parallel computers. As technical director and later director of the Network for Computational Nanotechnology, he established nanoHUB.org as a global cyberinfrastructure and helped to grow the annual user base from 500 to 2 million.
“Purdue has a strong history of several large academic IT organizations deeply embedded in customized services. I felt it personally when George Goble in ECN reduced my time to my PhD defense by at least six months,” Klimeck said. “We are also the vanguard in the nation with our community cluster model, which is operated by our central IT organization. Many significant innovations are coming from our colleges that should translate across Purdue, and greater opportunities exist by combining all standard information technology components across the system. I am looking forward to help foster the strengthening of Purdue IT as we work together across our colleges and campuses.”
Klimeck is a fellow of the Institute of Physics, American Physical Society, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, American Association for the Advancement of Science and the German Humboldt Foundation. He has been granted six patents, co-authored more than 500 peer-reviewed journal articles and proceedings, and presented as an invited speaker at more than 470 conferences and seminars.
Kulkarni, professor of electrical and computer engineering, will serve as interim head of the Elmore Family School of Electrical and Computer Engineering and academic lead for Purdue Engineering Online, effective July 1.
“I am honored to be asked to help lead the Elmore Family School of ECE during our search for a full-time head,” Kulkarni said. “For 14 years, I have watched ECE’s exceptional students, faculty and staff flourish, and I am excited to help shepherd the school into its next era.”
He is equally honored to assume the Purdue Engineering Online role.
“The Purdue College of Engineering has shown that we can deliver a world-leading education in the online space with top-ranked programs in several disciplines,” Kulkarni said. “I am excited about continuing to push for excellence in online education and exploring new opportunities to make our fantastic programs available to more audiences.”
Kulkarni’s research interests are in programming languages and compilers, specifically in developing languages, compilers and runtimes that support efficient programming and high performance on emerging complex architectures. He is one of the founding members of the Center for Programming Principles and Software Systems, which brings together researchers from programming languages, formal methods and software engineering along with collaborators in fields like AI, security and computational science to tackle the grand challenges of building effective software.
Kulkarni is the 2021 recipient of Purdue Engineering’s Faculty Excellence Award for Online Education, the 2022 Charles B. Murphy Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award and is a four-time winner of the Purdue Seed for Success award. He was named a Purdue Faculty Scholar in 2018 and a Distinguished Member of the Association for Computing Machinery in 2022.