College of Engineering and Sciences
A Tradition of Excellence; Practical Experience for Today’s Workforce
The College of Engineering and Sciences (CES)
continues to meld the Purdue tradition of technical excellence with essential, practical, hands-on experience. Major changes for CES during the 2016-2017 academic year included a complete restructuring of the college, a realignment of the core science and mathematics programs, and the creation of a new School of Engineering (SOE).
Professor Kenneth (Chris) Holford was named the founding dean of the college, while Professor Dietmar Rempfer was appointed as the inaugural director for the SOE. Along with a unified and award-winning faculty, an engaged student population, and an increasingly influential alumni base, the college is now positioned to have a significant impact in northwest Indiana and beyond. These connections ensure that students have strong foundations for promising careers and for solving real-world problems.
One example of this is Professor Chenn Zhou’s work at the Center for Innovation through Visualization and Simulation (CIVS). Zhou combines the center’s cutting-edge technology with industrial leaders to model the steel refining process as an immersive, 3-D experience. As a result, her teams of graduate students have saved the steel industry millions of dollars, helping them remain competitive in the global economy. Students participating in CIVS received two prestigious awards from the Association for Iron and Steel Technology for their work, the Josef S. Kapitan Award and the Computer Applications Best Paper Award. The group and their industrial collaborators have earned this prestigious award for two consecutive years for simulating steel-producing blast furnaces.
Research and Scholarship
Regardless of whether they are in the classroom or in the lab, CES students interact with faculty mentors to take advantage of research opportunities. Chris Perry, a senior studying physics and mathematics, spent his summer in Geneva, Switzerland, working with Professor Neeti Parashar at the CERN international high energy physics laboratory. Under Parashar’s mentorship, Chris had the opportunity to monitor and analyze data produced by the world’s most powerful accelerator, the Large Hadron Collider, as part of the Compact Muon Solenoid collaboration. Closer to the PNW campuses, Professor Robert Kramer, director of the PNW Energy Efficiency and Reliability Center, and his students have been working to help cities provide adequate and efficient street lighting. Professor George Nnanna, director of the PNW Water Institute, and his graduate students have been working with local communities to monitor and improve water quality. His students swept the podium at an internal research recognition event.
Faculty members help students find their true calling in other ways as well. This was the case for Melissa Duvall, who discovered her passion after taking an Anatomy and Physiology class from Scott Simerlein, clinical assistant professor of biology. Her enjoyment of the class led her to visit the Palmer College of Chiropractic, where she will pursue her goal of earning her doctorate. She also shared her enthusiasm with others by founding the PNW ChiroClub, which includes both PNW and Ivy Tech students. Likewise, scholars like Professor Alain Togbe in the department of Mathematics continue to travel internationally engaging students across Africa and Europe.
The college’s focus on active student involvement and interaction throughout northwest Indiana paid off in other ways. CES set a new record in the 2017 PNW Day of Giving, including an in-kind donation of alternative energy co-generation equipment from Glenn and Sam Lubeznik. Faculty and student research and scholarship also reached a new level with 41 faculty members and 138 students participating in this year’s Faculty and Student Research Days. More importantly, 196 CES students graduated in spring 2017 and entered the workforce or went on to graduate and professional schools across the country.