Purdue Enterprise Co. matches faculty consultants, businesses

June 5, 2012

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue Enterprise Co., started more than a year ago to offer a new way for engineering faculty to provide technical consulting services for private and public companies, has grown to include faculty and staff from throughout the university.

"It started as a gateway between Purdue University engineering and industry," said Bob Davis, PEC general manager. "But as word spread across campus and through the business community, we've expanded to bring in expertise from other colleges and schools."

PEC serves as a conduit, matching companies with tough problems and Purdue faculty who can provide solutions.

So far, PEC has matched companies with faculty in technology, agriculture and communications, as well as engineering. Faculty consultants have looked at issues ranging from the use of non-wood fibers for consumer products to the market for biofuels to the reasons behind a product failure. A company engineering manager used faculty to do workshops that helped his staff members improve their communication skills for work sent to senior management.

Time Compressions Strategies of Indianapolis worked with Vijay Pai, an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, to get independent confirmation of the speed of its Ancelus database, which has the capacity to exceed 1 billion transactions per minute.

 "Dr. Pai independently audited the test software, monitored the execution of the benchmarks, audited the stored and retrieved results, and confirmed the recording of results," said John Layden, Time Compression Strategies CEO and a Purdue alumnus.

"We wanted to make sure we could back up our claims. Dr. Pai's work gave us that confidence."

As part of the program, PEC provides marketing, contract negotiation and other business support, as well as professional liability insurance.

"Purdue faculty consultants have extensive technical knowledge and experience in their own fields plus a cross-disciplinary, collaborative approach to solving problems," Davis said. "It's that body of knowledge that PEC offers to industry.

"We also help Purdue and its faculty forge stronger ties to business and industry."

For more information about PEC, contact Davis at 765-494-3897 or rndavis@purdue.edu

Writer:  Judith Barra Austin, 765-494-2432, jbaustin@purdue.edu  

Sources:  Robert Davis, 765-494-3897, rndavis@purdue.edu  

                   John Layden, 317-842-6417, jlayden@timecompressionstrategies.com