Hello friends, my name is Eckhard Groll, and I am honored to serve as the new head of the School of Mechanical Engineering. Anil Bajaj stepped down from the position in July 2019, after nine years as head of the school. We are all deeply grateful for his leadership, and we’re also glad that (after a well-earned sabbatical) he will continue to stay on campus to serve as a faculty member.
A little bit about my background: I came to Purdue in 1994 as an assistant professor, after earning my doctorate in Germany. Most recently, I served as associate dean for undergraduate and graduate education for the College of Engineering, striving to make our school a unique entity that provides exceptional cross-disciplinary and transformational learning, discovery, and engagement activities for our students, faculty and staff.
I’m also heavily involved in research, specifically about compressors, refrigeration, and energy conversion. Every two years, I chair a conference at Herrick Labs that hosts more than 800 industry experts in HVAC and High Performance Buildings. I’ve also been involved in converting old houses in West Lafayette into research testbeds. For example, we joined forces with the Whirlpool Corporation to create the ReNEWW House, retrofitted with renewable technologies to be net-zero energy, water, and waste. We’re currently converting another house to run exclusively on DC power.
These are exciting times to be Purdue Mechanical Engineers! Every year, our school welcomes 1,400 undergraduate students and 600 graduate students to tackle the world’s grand challenges. With technology developing at an exponential rate, the opportunities of becoming an engineer have never been greater. From traditional industries like the automotive world come amazing alumni like our cover subject, NASCAR crew chief Chris Gabehart. The new industries of today’s space race have Purdue footprints all over them. And within the emerging fields of nanotechnology and biomedicine are future industries we can’t even imagine! But we know our Purdue ME students, faculty, and alumni will be at the forefront.
I am deeply honored and excited about the opportunity to lead our school. Boiler up!
William E. and Florence E. Perry Head of Mechanical Engineering, and Reilly Professor of Mechanical Engineering