College of Engineering, NobleReach Foundation announce collaboration for Innovation for Public Service degree certificate

The new certificate is the first of its kind in the nation, said Arvind Raman, the John A. Edwardson Dean of the College of Engineering.
Pictured from L-R: Joe Tort, associate director for Purdue’s Office of Professional Practice; Alina Alexeenko, senior associate dean for undergraduate education; Arvind Raman, the John A. Edwardson Dean of the College of Engineering; Arun Gupta, CEO NobleReach Foundation; Mung Chiang, Purdue president; Tom Fewer, vice president for talent programs and partnerships at NobleReach Foundation; Simon Davidson, president for NobleReach Emerge; and Linda Bixby, executive vice president, academic partnerships at NobleReach Foundation.

Purdue University’s College of Engineering and the NobleReach Foundation announced a groundbreaking partnership to offer a new undergraduate certificate program, Innovation for Public Service.

Arvind Raman, the John A. Edwardson Dean of the College of Engineering, made the announcement March 6 in the Neil Armstrong Hall of Engineering.

“This program, the first of its kind in the nation, strives to bring tech talent to Washington, D.C., and is a new pathway for Purdue Engineering students to find careers in the federal government,” Raman said.

NobleReach is looking forward to partnering with Purdue on establishing the program, supporting staff and providing scholarships.

“The certificate from Purdue, for the first time, gives engineering students the opportunity to not just focus on the discipline of engineering but application of engineering to solve larger societal problems that align with government needs,” said Arun Gupta, NobleReach’s CEO and board member.

The key objective of the program is to increase the number of engineering graduates entering public service careers, contributing as technology leaders and practical problem solvers. The 15-plus credit hour certificate in Innovation for Public Service will be available to students from various STEM majors. The first one-credit course, ENGR 10300 (Engineering and Public Service), will be offered in Spring 2024.

“(The course will) equip Boilermaker engineers with insights into critical and emerging technologies and areas within government where technical expertise is needed along with understanding of expectations attached to positions of public trust,” said Alina Alexeenko, the college’s senior associate dean for undergraduate education.

Raman said participating students will be connected to unique opportunities for internships in the public sector — with the federal government, congressional delegations of the states they are from and in federal agencies.

“Perhaps one day we’ll have a Purdue engineer in the White House,” Raman said.

Linda Bixby, NobleReach executive vice president for academic partnerships called Purdue Engineering a “perfect partner” for the venture with NobleReach because of Purdue’s reputation and vast global alumni network.

President Mung Chiang thanked NobleReach for thinking of Purdue as a place intent on excellence at scale, the idea that to have true impact in the world, one needs to reach enough people to enact it.

Chiang said the certification program is “exactly what Purdue would like to do more of — innovating the educational experiential offers to students, serving Indiana and the United States by using engineering talents for the public good and growing and strengthening the Purdue@DC initiative that was launched last summer.”

Students participating in the Innovation for Public Service Certificate will build connections with individuals from local and national government, policy research centers and government agencies like Department of State, Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Energy, the National Security Agency, NASA and many more.

Last fall, during information sessions, more than 200 engineering students expressed interest in the Innovation for Public Service program, said Joe Tort, associate director for Purdue’s Office of Professional Practice. To learn more about the program, students can register.

“Students will be supported in connecting with meaningful professional experiences which enhance their resume and set them up for careers positively impacting the citizens of our nation and world,” Tort said.

The NobleReach Foundation, a nonprofit organization uniting America’s best minds from industry, academia and government, is committed to cultivating emerging technologies and scientific advancements. The Innovation for Public Service certificate aligns seamlessly with NobleReach’s mission to develop the next generation of mission-oriented leaders and secure our nation’s future.