To attain the Pinnacle of Excellence at Scale, Purdue Engineering will further strengthen selected areas that are critical for an engineering college in the next decades, using a nimble and collaborative structure to achieve “1+1=3.” Purdue Engineering Initiatives (PEI) is a set of experiments that grew out of the Engineering Faculty Conversations. Each PEI is a virtual organizational structure to incubate programs in research, learning, and engagement.
Principles of PEIs are three “I”s:
- Incubating: PEIs are incubators, not permanent structures. Each PEI has a three-year duration and can be renewed for at most three more years before it dissolves. (The specific output of a PEI, e.g., research centers or master's degrees, could be evergreen). A Faculty Council runs each Initiative, and it is meant to accelerate execution and not to exclude participation from all interested faculty. Council members may rotate each year, and Faculty Council co-chairs serve a three-year term.
- Incisive: Within the broad area, we will identify and grow unique sub-areas where Purdue Engineering has differentiating strength. The goal is not to be present in all sub-areas but to attain the Pinnacle of Excellence in selected few sub-areas.
- Inter-functional (and inter-disciplinary): More than just research efforts, PEIs connect research, learning and engagement in mutually reinforcing ways.
Deliverables of a PEI include:
- Launch research centers and compete for large-scale research funding
- Create undergraduate minors/certificates, co-curricular student activities, master’s degrees, and online badges
- Intensify collaboration with industry and foundations
- Deliver an intellectual property portfolio and accelerate commercialization
- Participate in planning of faculty hiring and space allocation
- Generate thought-leadership visibility nationally and globally
The five PEIs as of fall 2019 are the following:
- Initiative in Data and Engineering Applications
Faculty Council Chair: Melba Crawford
- Initiative in Engineering-Medicine
Faculty Council Co-chairs: George Wodicka, Sherry Harbin
- Initiative in Autonomous and Connected Systems
Faculty Council Co-chairs: Darcy Bullock, David Cappelleri
- Initiative in Innovation and Making
Faculty Council Co-chairs: Karthik Ramani, Joe Sinfield
- Initiative in Cislunar Space
Faculty Council Co-chairs: Kathleen Howell, David Spencer