Trustees approve appointments, academic changes and honor former trustee

October 15, 2010

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The Purdue University Board of Trustees on Friday (Oct. 15) ratified the appointments of three named and distinguished professors and approved a master's degree in aviation and aerospace management.

The board also ratified the appointment of a dean and distinguished professor for the College of Engineering, Technology and Computer Science at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne and the restructuring of a school and division at IPFW.

In addition, the board passed a resolution of appreciation for trustee William S. Oesterle.

Trustees approved the appointments of Melissa J. Dark as the W.C. Furnas Professor in the College of Technology, Stephen D. Heister as the Raisbeck Engineering Distinguished Professor for Engineering and Technology Integration, and Richard Mattes as Distinguished Professor of Foods and Nutrition.

Melissa Dark

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Dark, a professor of computer and information technology, is the associate dean for research and strategic planning in the College of Technology. Her research interests include cybersecurity, education, information assurance ethics and information security risk assessment. Dark also serves as an associate director in the Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security at Purdue. She recently edited a book on information assurance and security ethics, which is due out this month. In addition, she has authored 15 book chapters and 40 papers and was appointed as a faculty scholar in 2006.

Dark earned all three of her degrees from Purdue, including a bachelor's degree in 1983, a master's degree in education technology in 1995, and a doctorate in curriculum and instruction in 2000.

Heister, who has been on the Purdue faculty since 1990, is a professor of aeronautics and astronautics. His research interests are in aerospace propulsion systems, including both airbreathing and rocket propulsion applications.

Stephen Heister

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In 2003 he helped form the Rolls-Royce University Technology Center in High Mach Propulsion and has been its director since that date. He also has been an active researcher at Purdue's Maurice J. Zucrow Laboratory in both gas turbine and rocket propulsion areas.

He has authored 69 archival papers and six book chapters in propulsion and has been a University Faculty Scholar. He received his bachelor's degree in aerospace engineering and his master's degree in 1981 and 1983, respectively, at the University of Michigan. He received his doctorate in aerospace engineering from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1988.

Mattes is a professor of foods and nutrition. His work focuses on the controls of human feeding. His more recent studies have sought to elucidate differences in the associations between hunger and eating compared to thirst and drinking to better understand the role of beverages in body weight regulation. He also has been exploring the mechanism and functions of oral fat detection.

Richard Mattes

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This work is challenging current views that there are only five basic taste qualities with implications for food choice, nutrient metabolism and disease risk. He has been the principal investigator of one or more National Institutes of Health-funded projects for the last 27 years and has more than 180 scientific publications.

Mattes has been at Purdue since 1995. He is the current director of Purdue's Ingestive Behavior Research Center and has been the chair of the University Institutional Review Board for more than eight years. He has been the recipient of the University Faculty Scholar award and Graduate Faculty Mentor award.

The trustees also approved a master of science degree program in aviation and aerospace management. The degree will prepare students for aviation and aerospace industry leadership, said Purdue Provost Timothy D. Sands.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates the number of air transportation industry workers will increase by 12.4 percent between 2006 and 2016.

"Economic forecasts suggest that a steady increase in traveling passenger and air cargo requirements will fuel a dramatic expansion of the aviation industry and require a complete restructuring of the aviation system," Sands said. "This degree addresses the needs of the aviation and aerospace industry to meet these challenges."

Enrollment is projected to be 40 students in the program's first year, rising to 70 over the next five years, Sands said. No university or state funding is being sought for the new program. The degree is subject to approval from the Indiana Commission for Higher Education.

S.C. Max Yen

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The trustees also approved the appointment of S.C. Max Yen as dean of the College of Engineering, Technology and Computer Science and Steel Dynamics Distinguished Professor of Engineering at IPFW.

Yen comes to IPFW from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, where he has been a professor of civil and environmental engineering since 1994. He also has been director of the Materials Technology Center at SIU since 1997 and an adjunct professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering since 2006.

He received his bachelor's degree in hydraulic engineering from Chung Yuan Christian College in Taiwan in 1977 and his master's degree in engineering mechanics in 1980 from the University of Missouri-Rolla. He earned a doctorate in engineering science and mechanics from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in 1984.

In other business, the trustees approved consolidating the School of Education and the Division of Public and Environmental Affairs at IPFW into the College of Education and Public Policy, which will include a Department of Public Policy.

The change from a school to a college recognizes the broader scope of programs in the new unit, said IPFW Chancellor Michael A. Wartell. The reorganization also is consistent with agreements between the public and environmental affairs programs at IPFW and the IU school in Bloomington, with which the IPFW programs are affiliated.

Trustees also approved changing the name of IPFW's Richard T. Doermer School of Business and Management Sciences to the Richard T. Doermer School of Business. Wartell said the new name reflects earlier changes in academic structure that removed two departments from the school, leaving only programs in business.

The trustees also approved a resolution of appreciation for trustee William Oesterle. Oesterle was appointed to serve as a trustee in 2005 and resigned earlier this year to focus more attention to his business. Oesterle has been a longtime benefactor of the university. His gifts have endowed professorships in information technology and history and benefited the Presidents and Trustee scholarship programs as well as the Emerging Leadership Scholarship program.

Osterle is CEO and a co-founder of Angie's List, a company that helps consumers choose service companies based on reviews and experiences posted by its members. He was previously a partner with CID Equity Partners, a Midwest-based venture capital firm. He earned a bachelor's degree in economics from Purdue in 1987 and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Writer: Greg McClure, 765-496-9711,

Sources:   Timothy D. Sands, 765-494-9709,

                    Melissa Dark, 765-494-2554,

                    Stephen Heister, 765-494-5126,

                    Richard Mattes, 765-494-0662,

                    S.C. Max Yen, 260-481-6839,

                    Susan Alderman, IPFW media director, 260-481-6165,