innovation COLLEGE OF TECHNOLOGY MAGAZINE _ 2012 _ SPRING
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VolumE _ 7 _ Issue _ 1 Spring _ 2012
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Published annually by the College of Technology for alumni and friends, Innovation magazine is produced by the college’s marketing and communications office in collaboration with Purdue Marketing and Media (PMM).
[Editorial _ Staff] Steven _ Lincoln _ editor Julie _ Sadler _ designer (PMM) Andrew _ Hancock _ photographer (PMM) Mark _ Simons _ photographer (PMM) Kim _ Medaris _ Delker _ marketing consultant (PMM) Jason _ Mucher _ College of Technology director of communications
[images _ & _ graphics] iStockPhoto, Shutterstock
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A Purdue INhome team member watches as the house is dismantled on campus before the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2011. Below: The team reacts to their second place finish at the international competition. See related story, page 4.
MESSAGE FROM THE
DEAN 04 _ data
“. . . one’s ability to generate
08 _ electricity
There are times when rocking the boat is necessary. But speak up when the boat is going the wrong direction or at the wrong speed and you’re told to sit down. Don’t create waves. Don’t cause problems.
16 _ commercialization
The College of Technology is at a point where a bit of rocking is necessary. The challenges of industry and the public conceptions of technology and its application and impact have hindered our progress and have dulled our competitive edge. We have been comfortable in our seats on the boat. No big waves, no big problems.
20 _ on
I’m not comfortable with the status quo. It’s not where world-leading innovative colleges should stay. We must redefine what it means to be a student, graduate, faculty and staff member in our college, to move the college from Good to Great and to regain our place as a leader in technology education and innovation.
06 _ on
The college responds to an evolving electric utility industry with curriculum updates and research.
A new venture within the college focuses on assisting technology innovations through the commercialization process. course
2 2 _ pro 24 _ in
25 _ faculty
volume _ 7 _ issue _ 1
Innovation is not solely about the creating of something new. It’s about seeing things in a new way, discovering new applications for old ideas, and making things better or more effective. After almost a year in the Dean’s office, I realize that my role is to create an atmosphere where creative behaviors are nurtured and the college becomes a place where individuals feel empowered to express their ideas and energized to put them into action. I agree with the authors of The Innovator’s DNA: Mastering the Five Skills of Disruptive Innovators who said that all people have the capacity to be innovative. My administrative team and I are working diligently to nurture and develop those skills in the college as one tool to sharpen our competitive edge.
gary r. bertoline, ph.d., dean, college of technology
innovative ideas is not merely a function of the mind, but also a function of behaviors . . . if we change our behaviors, we can improve our creative impact.” the innovator’s dna: mastering the five skills of disruptive innovators
DATA _ FLOW Unique learning experiences A second place finish at the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2011 was the climax of more than two years of work for the Purdue University team. The educational benefits, however, will continue for years to come. The lessons they learned can help similar large-scale student projects such as Purdue’s EcoCAR 2 team. Both teams have strong ties to the College of Technology. The most tangible educational result of the Solar Decathlon is the home itself. It has been placed in a low-income neighborhood in Lafayette. While it is occupied, the home will operate as a research residence for a limited time, giving students the chance to collect data about its long-term energy performance and electricity-saving features. The competition also inspired the Department of Building Construction Management to make plans to duplicate the experience locally for continual student benefits. “Although the learning process was not my first reason for becoming involved, I think it is the greatest success of the process,” said Mark Shaurette, assistant professor of building construction management and the team’s construction advisor. “All of the experiences contributed to learning that is difficult to duplicate in the classroom or lab.” William Hutzel, primary team advisor, and his colleagues submitted a paper to the American Society for Engineering Education that addresses the educational benefits of multidisciplinary design competitions. “It is hard to imagine a better way to expose students to the broad range of issues they’ll face during their careers,” Hutzel said. Real world demands are equally evident in the EcoCAR 2 competition (see related story, page 21). Vahid Motevalli, professor of mechanical engineering technology and primary advisor to the Purdue team, said the teams follow the Vehicle Development Process that General Motors uses in its vehicle development. The experience has already made the students attractive to employers. “Many of our students, having been involved in the EcoCAR 2 project only for a few months, are receiving multiple job interviews, internship offers and more,” he said.
Officials with the College of Technology and Ivy Tech Community College are focusing on easier transfers for high-demand, compatible programs.
Strengthening Transfer Opportunities In the last five years, the number of associate degrees granted by Purdue system-wide has dropped by more than one-third to less than eight percent of total degrees. Recent efforts by the state legislature and the Indiana Commission for Higher Education to streamline higher education have placed more focus on Ivy Tech Community College as the main associate degree-granting institution in the state. The College of Technology is assisting in the process by removing associate programs that duplicate services around the state and halting associate degrees entirely on West Lafayette’s campus. The College of Technology already has a few agreements — called articulation agreements — in place with Ivy Tech that allow for a more seamless transition to certain Purdue programs. The agreements dovetail Ivy Tech associate degrees with Purdue bachelor’s degrees in industrial technology, mechanical engineering technology or organizational
leadership and supervision. The Department of Aviation Technology is exploring options for its majors as well. In fact, Jamie Mohler, interim associate dean of academic affairs and diversity, believes there are opportunities for agreements with all of the college’s programs. Each department would be able to negotiate an agreement that outlines a plan of study that will allow a smooth transition from Ivy Tech to a Purdue program. “It starts to make Indiana function as a statewide system. It’s really to the benefit of the constituents of Indiana; it gives the student a progression path,” Mohler said. “We can continue to pursue our research mission and engagement, and we can broaden the impact of our degrees.” The reach of that impact is statewide as well. Each of the college’s locations across Indiana has at least one degree program that can relate to an Ivy Tech degree.
“The most in-depth articulation is with the bachelor of science degree in engineering technology because Ivy Tech offers the AS in ET in all but two regions of the state,” said Duane Dunlap, associate dean for the College of Technology. “It is their fastest growing technical program across the state.” The engineering technology degree is offered at four CoT locations across Indiana with plans to expand it to four more. The engineering technology program recently received another boost with a National Science Foundation grant to partner with Ivy Tech to create a concentration in food and foodstuff supply chain technology at the Anderson location. Last year, the College of Technology enrolled 135 Ivy Tech transfer students at its Statewide locations. The college hopes to double that enrollment, and articulation agreements will help achieve that goal.
ON _ DEMAND Shaking up research data What does a dedicated vision, lots of hard work, a strong team and a million files of data equal? For Thomas Hacker, it equals gratifying success that could one day result in improved construction and design techniques for stronger, more disaster-proof buildings. Hacker, associate professor of computer and information technology, is one of the co-principal investigators of a $105 million National Science Foundation grant awarded to a Purdue-led team to serve as headquarters for the George E. Brown Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation, or NEES. The primary goal of the center is to advance research and education to reduce the loss of life from earthquakes. The team includes partners from Purdue and several other universities. The most tangible result of the team’s work to date has been the creation of the NEEShub — a cyberinfrastructure based on HUBzero technology — that brings data, academic papers, theses, images, experiments, videos and other information on earthquake research into one hub that researchers can easily access. “There is a growing recognition of the importance of that data and the need to facilitate access to the data and to visualize it,” Hacker said. “We’re now moving from the petascale to the exascale, and we are working to couple computing to NEES data to support new ways of processing and using all of that data.” Hacker, who is co-leader for information technology for NEES, was key in the transition of NEES cyberinfrastructure and data from the San Diego Supercomputer Center to Purdue. Since Purdue began managing the NEEShub, the number of users and files uploaded has dramatically increased. There are now more than 21,000 users from 83 countries and about a million files on earthquake data and research. For Hacker, being part of this project has been rewarding. “It’s reinforced the belief I have that the use of industry-standard software development practices, cyberinfrastructure and high-performance computing capabilities can make a big impact,” he says. find out more www.nees.org nees.org/resources/3235/download/STPI _ Report.pdf
The M2M lab in the Department of Computer and Information Technology researches how intelligent systems interact.
Thinking outside the robot Massive intergalactic battles with laser-eyed machines. Indestructible humanoid hitmen. An enclave of man-made machines intent on taking over the human race. Movies have made these images synonymous with the word “robot.” In reality, robots are much more helpful – and a lot less sinister. They are being designed to “do jobs humans either don’t want to do, that are too dangerous, too nasty or too repetitive,” says Eric Matson, assistant professor of computer and information technology and director of the College of Technology’s M2M Robotics Lab. “What we do in the lab is find real areas where we apply robots to make people’s lives a little easier, a little better.” Much of the robotics research centers on intelligent design and developing robots that can act autonomously in a variety of settings, including developing wirelessly connected teams of robots that can work together to solve a problem. That’s the focus of the M2M Lab and much of the research being
done by Matson and his students. “A great area of future improvement is in the way robots interact with their environment through intelligent systems,” says Matson. “If you had a disaster and all infrastructure was cut off, we could drop our robot team into an area and, within a few minutes, have a very high reliability, high throughput network that emergency responders could link into using their laptops or cell phones.” Much of Matson’s recent research has centered on a growing relationship with Kyung Hee University in South Korea that has included faculty and student exchanges and partnerships with government and industry. A proposed $2 million grant from the Korean government would integrate Korean firefighting robots with broadband networking and unmanned ground vehicle technology. As robotics research continues to grow — thanks in part to the U.S. government’s National Robotics Initiative — new applications will arise, including space exploration, healthcare, military,
and even additional uses within homes. “Robots are very good at doing very specific tasks. Typically if you have a robot, you program it to do something you want it to do. It doesn’t necessarily think on its own, depending on how you define thinking and processing,” Matson says. While the benefits and applications are seemingly endless, some concern has arisen in the areas of trust and ethics, including the issues related to robots mimicking or even replacing human behavior and displacing unskilled workers. See what Matson has to say about these topics online. www.tech.purdue.edu/innovation As the research continues and more and more uses for robotics are discovered, the field will be an increasingly attractive one for technology graduates, specifically those with skills in information technology. “Studies suggest that 15 years from now, almost all of us will have robots or intelligent systems in our home. All of these tie back to robotic applications,” says Matson.
charging ahead as lawmakers around the country and world grapple with energy policy and decisions, the college of technology is preparing its students for a utility landscape that could be much different than todayâ€™s. With new courses, new partnerships and new ways of addressing increased demands (for electricity and for conservation), the college is focusing on ways to impact the energy sector on several fronts.
As you drive home from work, your electric car communicates with the smart meter on your house, warning it that it will need to be plugged in to charge in a few minutes. The smart meter makes adjustments to other areas of the house so that the electricity load doesn’t fluctuate when the garage door opens and the car starts charging. Later in the evening, when peak electricity load times have passed, the excess power in the car battery can then be sold back to the electric utility. This two-way communication and flow of electricity is at the heart of smart grid technology, which is increasingly seen as the future of the electricity use and distribution.
The smart grid system has the potential to reduce home energy bills, reduce carbon pollution and help tackle climate change for greener living.
The College of Technology has moved quickly to help students and industry partners prepare for these advancements. Proposed changes will affect the way electricity is generated, distributed, used, paid for and conserved. And while the smart grid is driving much of the conversation, it is only one part of a complicated network that stretches from electricity
generators to consumers. The general consensus is that the way we generate and use electricity in the next 20-50 years will be vastly different from what we are used to. Educating smart grid workers
Eric Dietz, associate professor of computer and information technology, is the co-principal investigator for Crossroads Smart Grid Training Program, a multi-year grant from the Department of Energy. Purdue has partnered with Ivy Tech Community College to develop courses to help train a smart grid work force. Eight Technology faculty from four departments are participating in the program along with professors from the College of Engineering and Krannert School of Management. The new or revamped classes focus on an introduction to the smart grid, security and infrastructure, educating building contractors about smart grid technologies and wind energy systems. The first course in the new smart grid curriculum was offered in Fall 2011.
The smart grid grant is a natural extension of Dietz’s work, as part of the Purdue Homeland Security Institute, on the $6 million Indiana Advanced Electric Vehicle Training and Education Consortium (I-AEVTEC). That grant was created to educate and train the workforce needed to design, manufacture and maintain advanced electric vehicles. Smart grid technologies are a major factor in keeping electric vehicles charged. In addition to courses for undergraduates, the Crossroads program is charged with creating certificate programs for students and current professionals. The programs would include one for smart grid, one for electric vehicles, and one for heavyhybrid vehicles. Organizers foresee the need for coordination and possible overlap among the certificates.
Changing public perceptions
The physical infrastructure is but one of many parts of the smart grid. Another part involves digital communication between utilities and consumers that will help monitor and adjust electricity usage. Changing the habits of consumers may be a more challenging task than building the network. “How do you present data and communicate to people to help them make informed choices,” asks Kenneth Burbank, head of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology. “They do it when they’re going to the store, they’re starting to do it medically. But they aren’t used to walking up to their thermostat and making decisions. You need a system and metrics that mean something to people.” Athula Kulatunga, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering technology, has been working on this challenge with his recently created Smart Grid laboratory (see Q&A on page 12 to read more from Kulatunga). Public tours of the lab highlight potential cost savings depending on electricity loads and
time of use. Burbank believes this is the first step in helping individual electricity customers become better energy conservationists. “Put us in with the networking and graphics guys, and we ought to be able to solve that problem,” he said. “Get data on consumption, analyze it, get it back to the consumer in a form they can understand — that is the application of technology combined with the knowledge of how people learn, two things we excel at in this college.” Another area where Technology curriculum affects electricity consumption is usage and control of electricity. Because electricity is used in nearly every aspect of our lives, it pays to make sure all devices use it efficiently. Governmental regulations make product innovation much easier to pursue in the classroom than overhauling power plants, Burbank said. “Most of our energy conservation measures are on the output sides. How do we make more energy efficient televisions? How do we make batteries last longer? Not a lot of work gets done
on how to make a coal power plant more efficient,” he said. By Steven Lincoln, senior writer/editor for the College of Technology
The grander scale
Just like Purdue, universities around the world are developing new technologies to address global energy needs. Through faculty and industry partnerships, they are seeking innovation on several fronts: electricity generation and distribution, smart metering and smart grids, renewable energy sources and sustainability. Deploying these innovations has come slowly, however, because of numerous roadblocks. Through projects such as the Solar Decathlon competition — in which Purdue earned second place last fall — and the recently launched EcoCAR 2 project, students are finding themselves working hand-in-hand with industry leaders to develop and effectively use the technologies that will shape the future of the electricity industry. Five individuals with connections to the college talked with us about a wide range of topics: government regulation, investments in technology development, concerns over an aging workforce and infrastructure, issues with renewable energy deployment,
public education and adoption of smart grid technologies. They also discussed opportunities for College of Technology graduates in this rapidly evolving field.
To read the complete Q&A with these five experts, visit www.tech.purdue.edu/innovation
eugene coyle, ph.d.
eric dietz, ph.d.
athula kulatunga, ph.d.
Allen Glassburn is vice president of Regulatory and Finance for Indiana & Michigan Power where he oversees the integration of the company’s financial and regulatory strategies and corporate budgeting. He is a 1974 College of Technology graduate with a degree in electrical engineering technology.
Eugene Coyle is head of the School of Electrical Engineering Systems at the Dublin Institute of Technology and has been at Purdue since the fall as a Fulbright scholar. Coyle is working with Purdue’s Global Policy Research Institute as well as the College of Technology to conduct a comparison of energy policy in the United States and Europe and how those are reflected in engineering and technology education.
William Hutzel is an associate professor of mechanical engineering technology. His research addresses sustainable energy sources, environmental issues, net zero buildings and solar energy systems.
Eric Dietz is an associate professor of computer and information technology. He is helping to lead the Crossroads Smart Grid Training Program to teach students, the workforce and general public about smart grid technology implementation.
Athula Kulatunga is a professor of electrical engineering technology. He has been performing energy assessment for industrial and commercial sectors for the last 12 years and is the founding director of the college’s Smart Meter Integration Laboratory sponsored by Landis+Gyr.
What are the biggest issues facing the electricity industry in the United States?
Allen Glassburn: Many of the systems that serve customers were installed in the middle of the last century. As the assets age and equipment starts breaking, they have to be replaced. It’s a balance of replacing all that with the rate impact on the customer. Eugene Coyle: C02 emissions and other greenhouse gas emissions have to be brought down and taken out of the equation where possible. We have to be aware of that and to debate these issues and to see how our models might change in order to provide more efficient energy.
What would a new model of electricity generation and distribution look like?
Glassburn: What is coming is customers generating their own electricity; they use that and potentially sell excess back to us and our lines. We need a smart system to be able to manage this. I see new technology being added but it needs to be added at a pace that the customers can afford and so the technology itself is reliable. William Hutzel: Moving to renewable energy that is less reliant on fossil fuels and adds to our energy independence. It can also make your electrical distribution system as a whole less vulnerable. Having the technology in place to monitor the electricity on the grid and make it available to places that it’s needed…during a critical time, like a heat wave.
What’s happening in the industry to demand this new model?
Hutzel: There are more and more of these [renewable energy] systems coming online and there’s a definite need for a comprehensive management strategy for our electrical infrastructure. It’s not so much a matter of technology; it’s more of a policy issue. Eric Dietz: The Department of Energy estimates that half the energy put into electricity generation is lost somewhere after the generator and before it is consumed. Imagine if we spilled half the gasoline in our cars. That would seem pretty dramatic. That is what is going on currently with the power grid. The idea of smart grid is really intended to try to reduce that and get it to a smaller number.
What is smart grid technology?
Dietz: Smart grid fundamentally is the information technology enabling of the power grid to better understand how to both manage and use the resources on the grid. Right now the grid mainly runs downhill. We frequently don’t know how well it’s being used or where it is being used specifically in time. Will it be a challenge to get consumer acceptance of a new system?
Dietz: The biggest challenge we have is trying to convince the consumer that it’s not going to intrude on their privacy. Hutzel: Hopefully as you educate consumers and the idea of energy efficiency catches on, you will see different consumer behaviors, driven in part by higher electric costs. What you’ll see in the next three years perhaps is smarter appliances that can take signals
from the grid and respond accordingly to reduce energy use when it’s cost effective to do so. The smart consumer will see that that’s going to pay for itself over time. Coyle: It’s not going to work if the government or the state is going to impose “you must do this, and by the way your electricity charges are going to double, but you’re going to have a better climate and better economy.” I think the big issue is how these technologies will help individual households, consumers, and industries and ensure that they are providing cleaner energy and reduction in the use of energy.
What role does regulation and policy play in the system and the launching of new technologies?
Hutzel: There’s going to have to be another round of federal legislation to really spur action on behalf of utilities. Renewable energy costs are going to continue to come down and really going to drive some of this change. All of sudden they are cost effective. You have these new sources on the grid that are no longer a miniscule part of the overall power generation. It’s going to force everyone’s hand in terms of making these changes take place. It’s going to be slow, but necessary. Athula Kulatunga: I think national level policy needs to change to stimulate the growth of smart grid. If you just pump money to create infrastructure without policies in place, even the infrastructure will not be used.
What role do renewable sources of energy play in the smart grid?
Why should opportunities in this industry appeal to students?
Kulatunga: It comes down to the consumer. You have to win the heart and soul, get them excited. Then they will demand green energy. Then the utilities will go to the regulators and say I need to provide this and the consumer is willing to pay this. They cannot ask for money from a bank unless they prove they can pay it back.
Kulatunga: When I see the older generation, the baby boomers, their ideology and mentality is completely different from the younger generation. I see a great hope and passion for the environment, to do something differently, creatively, in the younger generation. If you provide enough stimuli, suddenly they bloom.
Hutzel: A more diversified electrical supply is the answer. My area is net zero energy homes. The idea is that you design a home with enough onsite renewable energy so that it can meet its demand, it can provide its own power on an annual basis. At times you are going to be producing excess power and backfeeding the grid. On an annual basis you’d generate what you’d need.
Why can the College of Technology lead in this industry?
Kulatunga: First, Technology students must understand the existing technologies and the trends. It’s the responsibility of the professors to bring that into them and demonstrate what’s going on. Then asking the question of “How could I improve in the sense of making it smarter?” Then the question
is “I know it’s smart, but will many people use it?” Then, “what’s the cost” and then “what are the resources available to make it?” If there’s room for creativity in innovation, there will be an influx of students [to this area of study]. If there is no creativity, it’s a stagnating discipline. This is the challenge as educators we must address. If it’s not presented as a challenging field with opportunities, the students will not go into this discipline. Looking at all the technologies out there, you have to say “How can I use this?” Being human is looking at a new situation and saying “What can I do?” By Jason Mucher, director of communications for the College of Technology
commercialize matt mckillip is a man on fire. as executive director of tech ventures, he has a passion for commercializing ideas, which is vital to purdue and the surrounding community. the ultimate vision is this: take great ideas, mix in support and expertise, and push the product into the marketplace. this dynamic mixture will help give new discoveries the spark they need to transform from idea to world-changing venture.
Imagine a world where ideas don’t just linger for years in an academic journal or in a lab, but within months are translated into products or services that can help solve a challenge facing millions of people. That’s the kind of thinking that many in the College of Technology are embracing, culminating in a renewed focus on commercialization — or the process of bringing ideas to the market. A new initiative in the college called Tech Ventures has the goal of being a catalyst that helps make ideas a reality by connecting faculty and student innovators to the product development process and business community.
Matt McKillip, executive director of Tech Ventures, says commercialization is vital to a university like Purdue and the community around it.
“Commercialization and product development is certainly one important piece of the puzzle for helping our economy,” he says.
“Commercialization is important because it is a way we can make a visible impact with our stakeholders — administrators, alumni, legislators,” he says. “Academic papers are important, but when you see an idea making a difference, that’s a route to building a knowledge economy.”
Purdue has long had a reputation of attracting excellent researchers who develop unique technical solutions in many industries. It also has a strong reputation in the area of commercialization. In December 2011, the Association of University Technology Managers ranked Purdue No. 6 nationally for its commercialization successes in the 2010-2011 fiscal year. McKillip feels Purdue, and particularly the College of Technology, is a natural home from which to launch an initiative like Tech Ventures and the overall push toward entrepreneurship and commercialization.
McKillip, the former mayor of Kokomo, Ind., feels strongly that commercialization ideas can help spark new business and build up weak economies, especially in areas of Indiana that were reliant upon manufacturing and are struggling to revitalize.
“The College of Technology deals in near-term research, which is research that results in fast-turnaround solutions to real business problems,” he says. “Unlike other colleges, our research doesn’t take 30 years to develop, so it’s an ideal place to begin an initiative like Tech Ventures.” McKillip says the practical nature of the focus of the College of Technology breeds ideas that are ripe for the market. “We have a history of building things and are adept at making prototypes, so we are positioned to translate a lot of research into a tangible product,” he says.
Lonnie Bentley, faculty director of Tech Ventures, says the real-life focus of the College of Technology makes it a good base for commercialization efforts. “The faculty we hire have significant industry experience, so they know how to take research to improve or create products that solve a particular problem,” he says. “We’re focused on applied research and less theory.” Tech Ventures will soon have a physical presence on or near campus and will strive to nurture innovation by enabling more students and faculty to commercialize their ideas and to increase the impact of the resulting technologies in the marketplace. It
will focus specifically on three areas: networking, which will allow faculty and students to share ideas across campus; startup services, which will connect experienced entrepreneurs with mentors for student and faculty fledgling ventures; and securing financial support, such as assembling a team of entrepreneurs, angel investors and venture capitalists to support the idea at all stages. Bentley, a professor of computer and information technology, says one of the main benefits of Tech Ventures will be giving faculty and students the resources — and confidence — they need to pursue their dreams of getting their idea to the marketplace. “The idea of commercialization is not as great of a challenge for our college as it is for others,” Bentley says. “Due to the applied nature of our work, our faculty can easily identify opportunities for the marketplace. But the challenge is for them to make a leap of faith to commercialize their ideas. For that, we need to show them how it can be done
and that it can involve a minimal time commitment on their part.” Bentley feels passionate about fostering ideas in faculty that could become a commercial success. He also has experience in the area himself and was the recipient of the 2012 Outstanding Commercialization Award for Purdue University Faculty. In 2008, Bentley co-founded Broadband Antenna Tracking systems (BATS), based in Indianapolis. His partners are computer and information technology professors Anthony Smith and Michael Kane. It provides enhanced electronic communications through automated antenna aiming and tracking technology for broadband directional antennas that the team co-developed. The company now has 13 full-time employees. Bentley cites other examples of successful ideas launched into companies, just from the Department of Computer and Information Technology, such as Kyle Lutes and his company, DelMar Information Technologies LLC, based in Purdue Research Park; Rest Assured,
a company based on technology that Jeff Brewer helped develop; and Kane’s seed-stage health care data-management company, Genomic Guidance, LLC. “Now that we have a few successes, they know where students and faculty can go if they have a question about funding, patents, the forms you have to fill out, and other procedural matters,” Bentley says. “The more successes we have, the more student and faculty anxieties or uncertainties toward commercialization will go away.” Although Tech Ventures is most involved with information technology, McKillip and Bentley say they will assist faculty or students from any discipline who have an idea with market potential. “Our focus right now is on IT because the time to market is much quicker, but we aren’t limited to any one signature area. It will be key for us to plug in the right mentors to work with faculty from around the university,” McKillip says. “Therefore, Tech Ventures is not a College of Technology-only initiative.”
Tech Ventures and the overall focus on commercialization isn’t just for faculty. Both McKillip and Bentley say that students — both undergraduate and graduate students — play an integral role in idea, concept and product development. “Students have untapped potential in this area,” says McKillip. “They come in without any preconceived notions, and they are unbridled in their enthusiasm. It doesn’t matter that an idea has been attempted 17 times. It’s a new idea to them.” A great example of such unbridled enthusiasm is computer and information technology master’s student Parker Woods. When he was an undergraduate at Purdue, Woods (along with Joshua Hall) placed third in Purdue’s Burton D. Morgan Business Plan Competition for eXdeveloped, which is designing a product to view and analyze the eXtensible business reporting language. In 2011, Woods and Hall won first place for undergraduate student teams for the development of Battle Ground
Technologies, which creates forensics products and computer services to market to military branches and law enforcement agencies. Woods is now working to share his enthusiasm of commercialization by organizing a student group focused on entrepreneurship and becoming an advocate for Tech Ventures. Woods caught the entrepreneurship bug while attending Maconaquah High School in Peru, Ind. He started building computers in his spare time for people because he enjoyed it, then soon realized there was significant monetary potential in such ventures. “It’s hard work, but it’s important to develop those ideas,” he says. “There are so many ideas at Purdue but it’s hard to find people to execute them. So many hit a wall, and that’s why we need communities to support entrepreneurship.” Though he’s tight-lipped about the ideas he’s now working on, he hopes to launch his own company when completing his master’s degree in 2013.
Although encouraging faculty to try something new and launching a new initiative like Tech Ventures would seem intimidating to some, Bentley sees nothing but blue skies ahead. “I’m optimistic. I really don’t see obstacles. I only see opportunities to get going,” he says. “Commercialization has the ability to unleash people’s dreams and ideas, and that really excites me. By Kim Medaris Delker, marketing consultant for Purdue Marketing and Media
trailblazers models of success Architects rely on blueprints to construct a building, and so do others who are “builders.” Purdue’s College of Technology isn’t new to the ideasto-market process, so fortunately there are excellent blueprints that others hoping to commercialize can follow. Here are a few of the companies started by College of Technology faculty: n Broadband Antenna Tracking systems (BATS). The Indianapolis-based company founded by Lonnie Bentley, Anthony Smith and Michael Kane provides enhanced electronic communications through automated antenna aiming and tracking technology for broadband directional antennas that the team co-developed. Find out more at www.batswireless.com n DelMar Information Technologies LLC, founded by Kyle Lutes, is based in Purdue Research Park. The company consulting firm specializing in custom
software development and develops its own products like the Electronic Poll Book, which simplifies and automates voter processing requirements before, during, and after an election. Find out more at www.delmarit.com. n Rest Assured is a Web-based telecare system based on technology that Jeff Brewer helped develop. The technology helps seniors remain in their homes and allows those with disabilities to gain more independence while staying safe. The company is based in Lafayette, Ind. Find out more at http://restassuredsystem.com n Genomic Guidance, LLC. Founded by Michael Kane, the seed-stage health care data-management company focuses on bringing low-cost DNA screening on the clinical level to help predict how a person is likely to respond to anticoagulants and other drugs. For more information, contact Kane at email@example.com
find out more To learn more about Tech Ventures, go to www.PurdueTechVentures.org
ON _ COURSE a helping hand
driven to be green
The circle of every Technology student’s life could soon start and end as part of a mentoring experience. Mentoring programs for organizations and departments within the college are helping first-year students with successful transitions to the rigors of college classes. WITty Sisters The Women in Technology (WIT) organization started its WITty Sisters mentoring program in 2010. It pairs returning students with first-year students based on their academic and extracurricular interests. “Our main goal is to encourage our women to stay in the college,” said Erika Healy, mentorship chair for WIT. “Too often they get discouraged and leave. The upperclassmen know the challenges, and they help their mentees feel more comfortable and that they aren’t alone.” Junior Dekiyra Love, a professional flight major from Kansas City, Mo., is mentor to three first-year flight students. Each one has different needs in the mentoring relationship, from academic help to advice about Purdue resources or life. “When I first came to Purdue, she was definitely a friend to me, which is something I needed,” said Alisha Garcia, a professional flight major from Indianapolis who is the first person in her family to go to college. “I didn’t have anybody to help me through the whole welcome thing. She cracked the shell open for me.” BCMentors Branden Burke serves as coordinator of BCMentors, which started in 2008 to help attract and retain underrepresented students to the Department of Building Construction Management (BCM). Organizers soon realized that their services would be beneficial to the entire BCM student body. Burke worked with classmate Jonathan Dawkins, one of three co-founders, to build up and expand the program. The core of BCMentors is the weekly study table. In the last two years, the program has grown to include community service projects, recruiting efforts for new students and social events for BCM majors. Through it all, Burke said the connections he has made with other majors has been the best part. “I’m a strong believer in networks. BCMentors has really helped me build my professional network, which used to be my student network,” he said. “It’s really unique to be able to have people as industry contacts who were mentors in the past.”
A College of Technology graduate student is charged with keeping the Purdue EcoCAR 2 team moving forward.
In the last year, the EcoCAR 2 team at Purdue has experienced a chaotic mix of meetings, simulations and computations. Team leader Haley Moore wouldn’t have it any other way. “I love the chaos. I love not knowing what’s going to happen day to day. I love the unknown,” Moore said. The mechanical engineering technology graduate student from Hanover, Ind., thrives on the problem-solving aspect of the competition. Purdue is one of 15 teams across the nation chosen to compete. The competition challenges teams to convert a Chevrolet Malibu into a hybrid, electric or fuel-cell vehicle to reduce its environmental impact without compromising performance, safety and consumer acceptability. Moore started her duties as team leader in Spring 2011 as a senior. During her undergraduate years, her internships and extracurricular activities focused around the automotive industry. “I was a central engineering intern with General Motors in the Bowling Green,
Kentucky assembly plant. We got the phone calls to fix things,” she said. “I got to see all sides of the automotive process. It made me so interested in the day-to-day operation. So, I thought the EcoCAR 2 position would be a great experience to see if plant management is what I wanted to do. I look at EcoCAR 2 as an internship experience but on campus instead of in a plant.” It is also a chance for Moore to hone her design and leadership skills. She has helped with the design of the battery box, which needs to safely contain and cool one of the vehicles power sources. As part of her master’s thesis, she will study the effectiveness of the team’s design and expand on it to create her own design. The battery box is one part of a very complex system the team is creating. When the team receives its vehicle from General Motors this summer, it will be fully operational. But within a few days, they will remove everything under the hood and start adding in their own components and designs.
To receive the car, the team has to ensure that their designs work in computer simulation. “We’ve been able to design an architecture that has not been seen in the same fashion before,” Moore said. “Our faculty advisors have been able to assist us to come up with something different. We have a lot more resources as a university than a lot of the other schools competing do.” The EcoCAR 2 team, with nearly 40 members from across campus, will continue to develop and test the car over the next two years. At the end of the second and third years, all teams will gather and compete in a weeklong competition of engineering tests. Read more about the Purdue EcoCAR 2 team and competition: www.purdue.edu/ecocar2 www.ecocar2.org
Follow the Purdue Team on Twitter (@PurdueEcoMakers) and Facebook (search for Purdue EcoCAR 2)
The president of the Purdue Black Alumni Organization uses her technology management background to make connections.
PRO _ FILES
the purdue bond
career strikes right chord Loving what you do has at least one drawback. “I’m up to about 40 guitars now,” said Josh Hurst. “But I only play that one guitar, my favorite.” As a senior designer at Fender Guitar in Corona, Calif., Hurst is able to support his guitar habit easily.
Whether it’s as HR manager at Toyota Financial Services or president of the Purdue Black Alumni Organization (PBAO), Candice Nash has found that her Purdue classes and experiences prepared her for a wide variety of challenges.
Hurst, a 2001 graduate of the mechanical engineering technology (MET) program, has worked at Fender for seven years designing electric guitars, from the shapes to the electronics. His focus is primarily on the aesthetics. In the past year, Hurst designed 30 guitars instead of the normal three or four. The difference? The company’s new CEO, who took over in August 2010, has asked for a modernization of their products.
Nash, who earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in organizational leadership and supervision, was recently elected for her second term as PBAO president. She sees her role as connecting current students and alumni, as well as being a voice for all underrepresented Purdue constituents.
“The new year is all about innovation,” Hurst said. “We are looking at brand new shapes and a lot of new electronics. The electronics that are in our guitars now are from the 1940s and 50s.” Most of his recent designs won’t be unveiled until later this year or early 2013. At the end of 2011, Hurst received the company’s President’s Award for Innovation. He believes the honor stemmed from his ability to move a new design series from concept to prototype in two weeks, just in time for an industry trade show. He said he can trace that work ethic to two of his first MET classes: Computational Analysis Tools (MET162) and Applied Statics (MET111).
“A strategic initiative of PBAO is to bridge the gap between students and alumni. We host a student rap session once a semester,” Nash said. “We get students involved, they understand who we are and they hear from the leaders.”
“MET 162 was so structured in logical thinking, and it put you in that mindset. MET 111 reinforced the discipline in finding an answer using a logical thought process,” he said. “Now, whether I’m fixing a dryer or designing a guitar, I can point to the lessons I learned in those classes. You had to find a way to figure it out.” Hurst can impart some of this same knowledge when he helps Professor Mark French with his annual guitar-making workshops. Since 2007, he was returned to Purdue each summer to assist with design software, guide some of the manufacturing steps, and then answer questions about the guitar business. “Fender is a phenomenal company. They allow me to be the engineer that I’m supposed to be,” Hurst said. “They allow me to be creative, think outside of the box, and they let me run with it.”
Josh Furst shows off the Fender Voyager (working title), which is one of his new designs at the guitar manufacturer. (Courtesy photo)
The feedback they gather at the rap sessions is shared with the University’s vice president for student affairs and the chief diversity officer. As part of its mission to attract African-American students to Purdue, as well as keep and
graduate them, PBAO also administers a scholarship program for first-year students, which meshes with her passion for giving back. “My mother instilled a pretty strong value of reaching back and giving back,” she said. “My time at Purdue was a good time in my life. I wanted to give back and impact students the way that I was impacted.” Impact for Nash came in the form of supportive professors, beneficial extracurricular activities and relevant curriculum. She learned several lessons about leadership as a resident assistant and on the student government appeals board. These were supplemented by class assignments and discussions. As a human resource manager for Toyota Financial Services in Chicago, Nash relies on this background to do her job. She provides HR support to 12 offices across the Midwest. She provides consultation and coaching, and she helps them understand company policies and procedures. The company also relies on her office to keep abreast
of local, state and federal laws that affect employment issues. Throughout her life, Nash has found that the plans she makes for herself rarely match the reality of her life. She is thankful to have taken advantage of opportunities she couldn’t have planned for. And that’s what she wishes for today’s college students who are facing stressful decisions about their future. “Life lessons are the most important,” she said. “We have so much technology that we expect things right now. It’s really important for people to pause, to have a plan and a thought process and not to get set back when things don’t work out the way they think they should.”
[more _ online]:
IN _ PERSON Collaborating on Energy Policy By Eugene Coyle, visiting Fulbright Scholar, Dublin Institute of Technology Building on a successful collaboration which has been established in recent years between Dublin Institute of Technology and Purdue University, I am honored to be a Fulbright scholar at Purdue’s Global Policy Research Institute (GPRI) for the current academic year. I am researching energy and energy policy and crafting a book in partnership with Melissa Dark and an invited group of experts, principally centered at Purdue University and at Dublin Institute of Technology. We will be including senior policy advisors from both the United States and the European Union. The book will explore the co-relationship between energy and policy to endeavor to provide an understanding of energy policy and the integration of energy policy into engineering education. Topics under review in the course of my research include increasing greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere and ensuing climatic effects, energy policy and its place in engineering education, and energy demand and continued world dependence on fossil fuel energy sources. We also look back for remindful lessons from both our engineering successes and failures. In this book a review of historical landmark achievements in technology will be carried out together with a counter critique of negative consequential results from otherwise successful technological innovations. A review of both policy and developments in renewable technologies and clean technologies, including future prospects for wide-scale deployment of solar, wind, marine, and biomass, likely in tandem with nuclear energy, and development of smart interconnecting supergrids, is being made. It is my privilege to have this opportunity of engaging with an excellent team of lead academics spanning the colleges of engineering, agriculture, science and technology at Purdue University and with similarly talented researchers based at Dublin Institute of Technology and Trinity College Dublin. In respect of world climate, there is a collective sense of concern and agreement that radical change is needed. This book affords the opportunity of addressing seminal questions and of providing clarity on challenges emerging in policy and technology, and also opportunities presenting to graduates at this pivotal time. It will be published in July 2013.
Class Notes – see updates from fellow College of Technology graduates. Many of the stories in the magazine were edited for length. Full-length stories are published online.
faculty database Nicoletta Adamo-Villani, associate professor of computer graphics technology, has received a Faculty Fellowship for Study in a Second Discipline for the 2012-2013 academic year. For the last six years, Adamo-Villani has focused her research on animation-based teaching technologies for deaf children. This fellowship will allow her to learn American Sign Language (ASL) and to research the linguistics and other grammatical markers, or prosody, unique to ASL, which convey additional meaning. Adamo-Villani will work with Ronnie Wilbur, director of Purdue’s linguistics program and professor of speech, language and hearing sciences. Lonnie Bentley, professor of computer and information technology, received the 2011-2012 Outstanding Commercialization Award for Purdue University Faculty. The award is given annually to a faculty member in recognition of outstanding contributions to, and success with, commercializing Purdue research discoveries. Bentley is co-founder, board member and vice president of business development for Broadband Antenna Tracking Systems Inc. (BATS). It is an Indiana company that provides automatic antenna aiming and tracking technology that Bentley codeveloped at Purdue with Anthony Smith and Michael Kane, Ph.D., both in computer and information technology.
Jenny Daugherty, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Technology Leadership & Innovation (TLI), is helping Purdue fill in the gaps of teaching engineering design within secondary education. She is part of a team working on a five-year, $3 million grant from the National Science Foundation. Daugherty is working with a team of researchers to study how high school science teachers learn engineering. As a co-principal investigator, she serves as the project’s coordinator and is involved in the development of research instruments and data collection and analysis. Stephen Elliott, Ph.D., an associate professor in the Department of Technology Leadership & Innovation, was one of three U.S. winners of the IEC Young Professionals Workshop competition sponsored by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). He was honored at the 75th IEC General Meeting in Melbourne, Australia. A web site created by Purdue University faculty and students and the U.S. Department of Agriculture will serve as an educational resource in crop, environmental science and soil science classes this fall and help the public better understand soils and landscapes. The Integrating Spatial Educational Experiences web site is an interactive map of Indiana
that shows the state’s landscape and soil survey data. Ronald Glotzbach, associate professor of computer graphics technology, and graduate student Laura Kocur designed the site with input from the faculty, students and staff in the Department of Agronomy, Purdue Libraries and the NRCS in Indianapolis. Bill Hutzel, professor of mechanical engineering technology and primary advisor to Purdue’s Solar Decathlon team, was one of two recipients of the 2011 Special Boilermaker Award, presented by the Purdue Alumni Association. The Special Boilermaker award, established in 1981, honors a member of the Purdue faculty or staff who has contributed significantly to the improvement of the quality of life and/or the betterment of the educational experience for a substantial number of Purdue students. Hutzel’s name is listed on a permanent plaque on the Purdue Mall. In the Journal of sTEm Teacher Education (JSTE), Volume 48, Nathan Mentzer, Ph.D., assistant professor of technology leadership & innovation, received the Outstanding Research Article honor for his paper titled “High School Engineering and Technology Education Integration through Design Challenges.” In Volume 47, a paper titled “Two Approaches to Engineering Design: Observations in STEM Education”
received the Outstanding Research Article honor. It was written by Todd Kelley, Ph.D., assistant professor of technology leadership & innovation, and two of his graduate students. Eric Matson, Ph.D., assistant professor of computer and information technology, hosted an IEEE Computational Intelligence Society Summer School at Purdue University, August 8-12, 2011. The program focused on “Computational Intelligence in Humanoid Robotics.” They covered machine intelligence, intra-humanoid networking, machine vision and humanoid applications. Other hosts of the program were Purdue’s M2M Lab and collaborators from Kyung Hee University in Suwon, South Korea. Marcus Rogers, Ph.D., professor of computer and information technology, has been named a Fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) in the Digital and Multimedia Sciences. AAFS provides leadership to advance science and its application to the legal system. Rogers is the director of Purdue’s Cyber Forensics Lab.
Video and a photo slideshow of some of the research being conducted in the M2M lab (story, page 7)
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Innovation is not solely about the creating of something new. It’s about seeing things ina new way, discovering new applications for old ide...