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Message from the Dean

An online publication from Purdue University’s College of Engineering.

by Mung Chiang

Fifty years ago, on July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong became the first person to walk on the moon. The lunar surface footsteps of this proud Boilermaker engineer are replicated on campus today outside the Neil Armstrong Hall of Engineering, where many boys and girls jump across with joy.

These boys and girls, like generations before them, continue to gaze at the stars with wonder. It also takes many wonders of engineering behind all of the astronauts, including 25 who graduated from Purdue.

As the human race begins its quest to return to the moon, stay there and explore Mars and beyond, Purdue Engineering just launched the Cislunar Space initiative. With intent and intensity, we will contribute to research, to talent pipeline, and to commercial and societal impact. From mission design and propulsion to resilient habitats and systems engineering, our faculty, students, staff and alumni will leave their footprints of many more “small steps.”

From West Lafayette to outer space, courage and imagination will always escape the surly bond of Earth.

Mung Chiang, the John A. Edwardson Dean of the College of Engineering – Purdue University
Purdue University photo


Footsteps on the Moon and a Promise at Home

Neil Armstrong’s voice crackled over the NASA feed almost 50 years ago from the surface of the moon as he proclaimed “one giant leap for mankind.” It is probably the best-known giant leap in the world, but Purdue’s faculty, students and alumni have continued to make giant leaps to solve the world’s greatest challenges. Purdue University is celebrating 150 years of innovation by looking forward. The commemoration began with the Giant Leaps Sesquicentennial Campaign kickoff event during Homecoming Week 2018 and will conclude with an astronaut reunion during Homecoming 2019.

“150 Years of Giant Leaps” is a yearlong exploration of some of the world’s most pressing problems and Purdue’s mandate to be a part of the solutions.