Signature Areas

Interdisciplinary engineering for the future.

In 2003, Purdue Engineering announced the creation of eight (now expanded to 10) signature areas —multidisciplinary initiatives which cut across the established boundaries of Purdue’s engineering and related disciplines. These signature areas address national priorities and present exciting opportunities for field-defining research, educational innovation, and intellectual property spin-offs.

To support the signature areas, Purdue University and the College of Engineering have attracted more than 145 new outstanding and diverse faculty members through an innovative cluster hiring process. The expansion of our faculty has been complemented by a $400 million program of facilities expansion and upgrades.

The new facilities include Discovery Park, a transparent environment for multidisciplinary work in areas of strategic importance. With more than $100 million in facilities and $50 million in programs, Discovery Park comprises 6 new buildings that are home to 6 major centers and an array of specialized centers and projects:


For our students, signature areas offer an opportunity to pursue and solve problems in an exciting new way. Graduate students work alongside researchers in a highly interdisciplinary atmosphere that addresses whole problems, not just their separate parts. By developing working relationships with experts from a variety of fields, engineering students gain broad real-world experience.