Section Fueling Faculty
Rewarding, retaining, recruiting faculty and promoting diversity in engineering
Two important elements of the Lyles School of Civil Engineering’s vision are “amplifying our impact on society” and underpinning all our endeavors with an “unwavering commitment to ethics and diversity.”
Nancy Uridil (BSCE ’74) and Francis (Frank) Bossu (PhD Chemistry ’76) are supporting this vision by endowing a named professorship in the school, with a preference for using it to recruit or retain a female faculty member.
It is a significant gift. Named professorships are prestigious and bring recognition to the program, says Rao “G.S.” Govindaraju, the Bowen Engineering Head of Civil Engineering and Christopher B. and Susan S. Burke Professor of Civil Engineering.
At least four personal goals were met and one named professorship established when Ron and Dotty Tonjes gave back to their alma mater.
When Paul Wattelet (PhD NE ’67) arrived at Purdue in the early 1960s, he found himself surrounded by the pioneers of nuclear engineering — including several individuals who had worked on the Manhattan Project. He was impressed by their qualifications, but even more so by their attitudes toward him, a recent graduate who was passionate about nuclear power.
“They were the nicest people I ever met in academia,” Wattelet says. “Their teaching was exceptional, and I was inspired by how encouraging they were of me and my research.”