When COVID forced all students to become online learners in 2020, the School of Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University made the most of the opportunity. Students and faculty collaborated to create a solid mechanics curriculum based around Minecraft, the best-selling video game in history.
Winfred M. "Win" Phillips, who served as head of Purdue Mechanical Engineering from 1980 to 1988, has died.
Every workplace has that one person everyone turns to when they need a problem solved. In the School of Mechanical Engineering, that person is Bert Gramelspacher. While his official title is Electronic Design Engineer, to the students, staff, and faculty of Purdue ME, his real title is “miracle worker.”
No one on the planet knows more about the operation and management of NASA’s Space Shuttle than Wayne Hale (MSME ’78). He served as Flight Director for nearly a third of all Shuttle flights. He helped NASA return to flight after the disasters of Challenger and Columbia. And he eventually rose to manage the entire Space Shuttle program, overseeing 25,000 people and an annual budget of $5 billion.
But this unassuming hero doesn’t give off typical “right stuff” spaceflight vibes. In fact, during our interview at Space Center Houston, nobody would have recognized him — had he not been wearing the bright blue NASA jacket normally reserved for astronauts. “A retirement gift from the Astronaut Office,” he laughed.