Preeminent Teams

Catapulting Research to International Preeminence 

One way that Purdue Engineering is shaping the future of research is through preeminent teams. Complementing traditional hiring in the disciplines, we are hiring faculty and providing support to build preeminent teams in research areas with the greatest potential for world-changing impact. Building “preeminent teams” is a research-centric approach to faculty hiring that asks: 
 
What would it take to catapult your high-impact research area to international preeminence?
 
The effort is part of the College’s strategic growth plan that will add as many as 107 faculty over five years. 
 
The teams are building on existing strengths within the College. In the inaugural competition in 2013, four teams were selected from 32 that competed in a public process akin to an entrepreneur’s pitch to venture capitalists. In 2014, four teams were selected from a pool of 27, bringing the total to eight as of academic year 2014-15.
 
Each team receives a strategic investment of faculty lines, resources, and space.  Preeminent teams must demonstrate:
 
  • Strong leadership 
  • Promise of transformative impact
  • Promise of preeminence
  • Potential for collaboration
  • Potential for diverse sources of research funding
  • Contribution to the education enterprise
  • Contribution to innovation and entrepreneurship
  • Leveraging of existing strengths and infrastructure

History of Preeminent Teams

We held the first preeminent teams competition in fall 2013. Mirroring the energy, responsiveness, and agility of the entrepreneurial world, 32 teams competed in a public process akin to an entrepreneur’s pitch to venture capitalists. Four teams were selected to receive a stra­tegic investment of faculty lines, resources, and space

From 2003 to 2013, Purdue Engineering organized much of its faculty hiring and research around signature areas — multidisciplinary initiatives that cut across Purdue’s engineering and related disciplines. These signature areas have addressed, and continue to address, priorities and exciting opportunities for field-defining research, educational innovation, and intellectual property spin-offs.

The signature-area model has evolved. While Preeminent Teams may be multidisciplinary, for example, it is not a requirement.

View members and focus of each of our 11 preeminent teams