Bean selected as Golden Squirrel by MDE/IDES seniors

Assistant Professor Robert Bean is one of eight professors recognized by MDE/IDES seniors as being the best of the best faculty members in their programs. He also received the most student shout-outs, resulting in his being named the 2020 Golden Squirrel Scholar.

School of Nuclear Engineering Assistant Professor Robert Bean has been doubly recognized by students in the Interdisciplinary Engineering Studies (IDES) and Multidisciplinary Engineering (MDE) programs.

As part of MDE/IDES’ continuous improvement activities, the staff conducts exit interviews with 100 percent of the graduating seniors. During the interview process, students are asked questions about the quality of instruction across the entire range of courses taken during all of their time at Purdue.

Through this process, students identified eight faculty members as exhibiting the best of the best in terms of course instruction, classroom organization, engagement with students, and/or just taking that little extra time to ensure they understood the content presented, according to Mary Pilotte, director of MDE/IDES, associate professor of Engineering Practice, and co-director of Fusion Studio for Entertainment and Engineering.

Eight faculty members, including Bean, were identified as extraordinary instructors through call-outs by IDES/MDE students.

Students in these programs identify with the icon, the “purple squirrel,” a term used by employment recruiters to describe a job candidate with precisely the right education, set of experience, and range of qualifications that perfectly fits a job’s requirements.

During the exit interviews, Bean was the faculty member who received the most shout-outs from the 2020-21 graduating class for his efforts to provide a superior learning environment in engineering and help students develop into the “precisely right” purple squirrel.

For this, he was named the 2020 Golden Squirrel Scholar.

Bean also serves as faculty advisor for co- and extra-curricular academic matters (GEAR, Co-Op, internships, fellowship and scholarships), is director of Nuclear Engineering Radiation Laboratories, and is associate director of Center for Radiological and Nuclear Security.