Resilient Innovation for Social Equity Webinar (RISE)

Event Date: March 24, 2021
Time: 3:30-5:00 pm
Location: Zoom
Priority: No
School or Program: College of Engineering
College Calendar: Show


This webinar brings together subject matter experts to discuss the areas at the convergence of techno-socio-economic inequity and inequality, frugal innovations and their drivers, national and global impact through accessibility to establish a dialogue to kick-off a theme of resilient innovations for social equity (RISE) for highly desired impact for the citizens of the US and the world.

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Ajay Malshe


Dr. Ajay P. Malshe, R. Eugene and Susie E. Goodson Distinguished Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University (01/2020-to date), and previously a Distinguished Professor and 21st Century Endowed Chair Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Arkansas (1995-2019). His areas of core competency are advanced manufacturing, bio-inspired designing, multifunctional material surface engineering, and system integration and productization. Since 2018, he has begun to apply his manufacturing, design, materials, and systems engineering expertise to examine the national challenges of nutritious food and other forms of techno-socio-economic insecurities through accessibility, affordability, and sustainability [1-2]. For example, cellular agriculture for distributed micromanufacturing for urban areas, 3D printing of nutritious food, and frugal agriculture engineering for food insecurity of students are a few examples of his current research and educational interests. In his experience, he has published more than 200 peer-reviewed publications and more than 20 patents, which have resulted in engineered products utilized in the energy, aerospace, food manufacturing, heavy-duty transportation and EV, high-performance racing, and metalworking industries. As an innovator and entrepreneur, his innovations have received R&D100, multiple Edison Awards, Tibbet Award, and others. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) in 2018 for innovations in nanomanufacturing with impact in multiple industry sectors. In addition to his research and translational activities, he has educated 60 Ph.D. and postdoctoral scholars and demonstrated commitment to undergraduate and K-12 education.

[1] “Frugal Engineering for Social Equity: Technology and Competitiveness, A Perspective”, A.P. Malshe, D. Agonafer, S. Bapat, J. Cao et al., National Academy of Engineering, The Bridge, NAE (invited paper under publication for March 2021).

[2] “Quo Vadimus: Humanism, Going Beyond the Boundaries of Capitalism and Socialism”, A.P. Malshe, S. Bapat, ASTM Smart and Sustainable Manufacturing Systems 4, no. 3 (invited paper; 2020) pp. 338-340.

Tahira Reid Smith


Dr. Tahira Reid Smith is an Associate Professor in the School of Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University, the director of the Research in Engineering and Interdisciplinary Design (REID) Laboratory, and a Visiting NASA Scholar. Her research interests include quantifying and integrating human-centered considerations in the design process and human-machine systems. Her research program has received funding from the National Science Foundation, Air Force Office of Scientific Research, Procter & Gamble, General Motors, Ford Motor Company, and other sources. Prior to arriving at Purdue in 2012, she completed a postdoctoral position in the Mechanical Engineering Department at Iowa State University. In 2010, she received her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in Design Science, with Mechanical Engineering and Psychology as her focus areas. Dr. Reid received both her BS and MS degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in 2000 and 2004, respectively.

Karl Schnelle


Dr. Karl D. Schnelle is a Global Operational Excellence Leader at Corteva Agriscience. He received a BS degree from Vanderbilt University and then received a Ph.D. degree in Artificial Intelligence Applications in 1992 from Northwestern University – both in Chemical Engineering. In his current role, he identifies and develops cross-functional R&D initiatives for strategy, continuous improvement, and productivity processes. Karl also provides program and project leadership across R&D so that scientists and engineers are well-versed in the design of experiments, statistical analysis of data, and Lean Six Sigma methodology. Karl is also delighted to provide his time and talents in project leadership and data analytics for the Indy Hunger Network, all aligned to food security. As a result of his teams' pro bono work, new food pantries, WIC clinics, and congregate meal sites have been optimally placed in the local community.

Additional details: Before his Ph.D., Karl had worked as a production and process engineer for DuPont. In his previous role in Data Analytics at Dow AgroSciences, Karl developed and applied multivariate statistical techniques, simulation, and optimization to solve issues in both Crop Protection and Seeds & Traits (traditional plant breeding and transgenic crops) business units. Significant projects include prediction of the environmental fate of agrochemicals, crop growth modeling, human health risk assessment, design and scheduling of manufacturing plants, supply chain planning, multivariate statistical analysis of batch plant data and R&D trait data, and design and analysis of clinical trials and large field trial programs.

Karl has been involved with 16 industrial & academic collaborations at Dow and Corteva and has authored or co-authored 14 external papers and book chapters. In addition, he has co-authored 80 internal R&D reports and has received the Dow AgroSciences Increase the Slope Award for the most impactful R&D projects of 2009 and 2013. Since 1992, Karl has been an active member of the CAST Division of AIChE (American Institute of Chemical Engineers). He has served as CAST Secretary / Treasurer, CAST Director, Editor of CAST Communications, and finally as CAST Chair. He is also an active member of the AIChE / Wiley Press New Book Committee. Karl also supports the local Indianapolis AIChE Chapter by being Webmaster and on the Executive Committee.Specialties: Math Modeling, Simulation, Design of Experiments, Multivariate Data Analysis, Statistics, Project Management, Lean Six Sigma, Continuous Improvement, Operational Excellence; Master Black Belt: 2013-2018. Karl was recognized as a Fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers in 2016.

Joe Sinfield


Dr. Joe Sinfield is a Professor of Civil Engineering at Purdue University and the founding Director of Purdue University’s College of Engineering Innovation and Leadership Studies Program. His work focuses on innovation science, systems, and sensors. He has 20 years of experience as an advisor to senior leaders of multi-national corporations on methods to identify, prioritize, and commercialize growth opportunities, design new business models, and manage strategic change. His work in both technical and business fields has received international, national, and private sector support, has been published in books and a wide array of peer-reviewed academic journals, and been featured in popular press outlets such as Harvard Business Review, Marketing Management, IndustryWeek, BusinessWeek, Forbes, Advertising Age, The Economist, and Financial Executive. He is also the co-author of “The Guide to Growth: Putting Disruptive Innovation to Work” (Harvard Business Press). Formerly, Sinfield held the position of Senior Partner at Innosight, LLC, where for 13 years he helped lead the firm from a start-up to a global innovation strategy and investment firm that was acquired by a publicly-traded company. Early in his career he was a consultant with McKinsey & Company, and a geotechnical engineer at Haley & Aldrich. Dr. Sinfield received a B.S. in civil engineering summa cum laude from Bucknell University and M.S. and Sc.D. in civil and environmental engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Yuehwern Yih


Dr. Yuehwern Yih is a Professor of Industrial Engineering and currently serves as the Academic Director of LASER PULSE Consortium at Purdue University. Her core research is system modeling and decision making for complex system/operation design, monitoring, evaluation, and risk mitigation. Applications of her research include manufacturing, supply chains, humanitarian aids, healthcare, as well as sectors in global development.

Dr. Yih has authored over 150 scientific articles and book chapters. One of her edited books, Handbook of Healthcare Delivery Systems, is the first handbook depicting health services from a system perspective. Her current projects include capacity management in health facilities, care transitions in long-term care, polypharmacy and multimorbidity, disparity in cancer treatment, EMS protocols for stroke care, and Vancomycin management for pediatric patients. In addition to her research and teaching awards, Dr. Yih is also recognized by her scholarship in engagement and its impacts. Examples include an integrated nutrition and food distribution system that supported 38,000 HIV patients in Kenya, a humanitarian supply chain management platform (E+TRA) to support emergency response and aid operations, and a health supply chain system (E+TRA Health) to improve maternal and child health in Uganda that is first to use patient-based model to support supply management decisions. Dr. Yih is an IISE Fellow and an ELATE Fellow.