Prospective Faculty

Purdue University's School of Mechanical Engineering programs are consistently ranked prominently in national surveys. In addition, building Preeminent Teams is a research-centric approach to faculty hiring that promotes research expertise and leadership skills to catapult an increasing breadth of research areas. Our academic and research faculty foster a creative and supportive environment for students to develop into well-rounded independent researchers and future leaders.

Turning science fiction into reality

The robot villain in the movie "Terminator 2: Judgment Day" can suddenly dissolve into a pool of liquid metal, slipping through cracks, only to reshape itself afterward. Rebecca Kramer, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering, wants to recreate that movie.

Kramer is close to turning fiction into reality with her research in "soft robotics" -- a field so new it's difficult to explain the potential applications and so grounbreaking it recently landed her a spot in the Forbes "30 Under 30" list in manufacturing and industry. Her experimentation with gallium indium oxide has especially futuristic implications: The surface of the liquid metal oxidizes when it meets air, forming a thick skin resembling that of a semi-solid material.

She is the founder of Purdue's Faboratory - a mashup of "fabric" and "laboratory" -- which since 2013 has worked to create robotic fabrics capable of accomplishing tasks more traditional, rigid robots cannot.

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