2016 ME Distinguished Engineering Alumni

The Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award is presented to engineering alumni who have distinguished themselves in any field of endeavor that reflects favorably on Purdue University, the engineering profession, or society in general.

In the case of alumni who are engaged in engineering work, their record of accomplishments should indicate a high potential for future growth into positions of increasing responsibility. The College of Engineering has over 85,000 living alumni. The distinction of DEA has been bestowed upon 509 of these outstanding individuals.

In 2016, one of the Distinguished Engineering Alumni was an Mechanical Engineering Alumni:


Michael DunnMichael G. Dunn

BSME ’58, MSME ’60, PhD ’61
Professor, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, The Ohio State University

While finishing high school in only three years, Michael Dunn worked in both the drafting and design and the automatic transmissions areas at the Caterpillar plant in Peoria, Illinois. Opting to attend Purdue instead of Illinois, he pursued his specific interests within engineering - which, he says, tended to the mechanical side.

Dunn’s career began in 1961, when, with his newly earned Purdue PhD, he went to work at Lockheed Missiles and Space Co. Three years later he was supporting the NASA space program at the Cornell Aeronautical Laboratory, concentrating on the area of non-equilibrium chemistry. That work continued during NASA’S Mercury, Gemini and Apollo missions through 1973.

After decades of research and development outside of academia, Dunn returned to mentor the next generation of engineering researchers as a professor and director of the Gas Turbine Laboratory at The Ohio State University. He also serves on multiple advisory boards and gives seminars around the world.