Research: Expanding the boundaries of science and technology

Few colleges can match the depth and breadth of Purdue Engineering’s research capabilities and talent. We are focused on 21st century impact — leading the way in reshaping the research universe through discovery and innovation.

Gift Helps Fund Research to Modernize Fuel Production

Irene and Brian Binash support Engineering Research Center led by Chemical Engineering

When Irene Binash (BSChE ’79, MS Mgmt ’81) learned that Purdue Engineering had landed a $19.75 million National Science Foundation grant to study new petrochemical resources, she was intrigued. Having spent 36 years at Exxon Mobil Corp., she follows innovations in the oil and gas industry.

The purpose of the Engineering Research Center (ERC) grant, awarded in 2017, is to engineer a system to convert light hydrocarbons from shale resources into chemicals and transportation fuels in smaller, modular, local and highly networked processing plants.

She learned more when she and her husband, Brian, met with Sangtae Kim, the Jay and Cynthia Ihlenfeld Head of the Davidson School of Chemical Engineering and Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering. Kim detailed the goals for the new Center for Innovative and Strategic Transformation of Alkane Resources, or CISTAR.

Binash says, “I was happy to learn about this endeavor, and very proud of Purdue for being identified as a leader in this field — and one of the very few ERCs in the country.”

A good fit

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Research Endowment Honors Legendary Professor and Loving Father

Daughters pay tribute to their dad by helping advance research in the field he loved

As a professor of mechanical engineering at Purdue for 27 years, and co-author of the seminal textbook “Fundamentals of Heat and Mass Transfer,” the late David DeWitt (PhD ME ’63) shaped the experiences of generations of students. But it was his impact on the three women who knew him simply as “Dad” that led to the creation of the Professor David P. DeWitt Heat Transfer Research Endowment for the School of Mechanical Engineering.

“Growing up, I knew what an amazing professor and researcher he was, but to me he was just my dad,” says Karen DeWitt Frederick (BS IM ’82). “I can remember him often working in the basement after dinner. When I went to talk to him, he put down his pencil and gave me his full attention. His work was important, but his family was more so.”

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