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From the Interim Dean

An introduction to this issue of FRONTIERS magazine by Interim Dean Mark Lundstrom.

I’m proud to say Purdue Engineering is front and center in the growing national initiative to create a thriving microelectronics ecosystem. Our research and workforce development leadership drew national attention and praise last month when U.S. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken and Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo joined top Indiana government officials to visit Purdue and discuss the role of universities in addressing the nation’s semiconductor challenge. They toured our facilities, met with students, and participated in a fireside chat about universities and the CHIPS Act.

The event capped a highly productive several months in which our College of Engineering has collaborated with government, industry and academic partners to reach new heights in excellence at scale, elevating our research and workforce development capabilities to address critical national priorities. Purdue continues to rank among the most innovative schools in the nation, and our undergraduate and graduate programs continue to be highly ranked.

Fittingly, FRONTIERS magazine this fall highlights significant advances in areas crucial to our country’s defense and security and to global economic competitiveness. I invite you to learn about giant leaps to benefit the microelectronics industry and national security, develop hard AI and connect communities, and provide a launchpad for advanced manufacturing and digital transformation.

The first two sets of stories cover accomplishments to support the national security and technology pillar of Purdue’s Next Moves. First, we describe how we’re addressing the nation’s critical need for innovation and workforce development in semiconductors through research; manufacturing partnerships; internships; and a new comprehensive education, degrees and credentials program. Next, we share milestones for our rapidly-growing hypersonics and aerospace hubs, including plans for a high-speed propulsion laboratory for hypersonic testing, a $75-million research and testing alliance with Rolls-Royce, and the opening of a multimillion-dollar Saab advanced manufacturing plant.

In the third group of stories, you’ll read about our latest strides at the interface of virtual-physical engineering, involving a new institute to connect AI with the physical world, the beginnings of a “Hard Tech Corridor” in Indiana, and innovation to improve traffic safety in smart cities.

This issue concludes with stories on the burgeoning Discovery Park District at Purdue – a 400-acre launchpad where businesses of all sizes can access a business-minded university, global talent pipelines, and advanced R&D facilities to solve business problems. You’ll learn about plans for a new institute for pharmaceutical manufacturing, a Bayer space for agricultural innovation, a Wabash collaborative space, and a 6G “Lab To Life” real-world test bed.

We are proud to be in the vanguard, and we thank our talented and dedicated faculty, students, staff and partners for their invaluable contributions.