November 14, 2016

Distinguished and named professors, medal recipient honored in ceremony

Ratified professors 2015-16 Distinguished and named professors recently ratified by trustees: (front row, from left) Michael Harris, Srinivas Peeta, Arkady Plotnitsky, Danzhou Yang, Zhong-Yin Zhang, Haiyan Wang; (back row, from left) Hilkka Kenttämaa, Michael Manfra, Nathan Hartman, Donald Lynam, Peide Ye, Miko Cakmak and Provost Deba Dutta. Not pictured: Frederick Davis, James Lowenberg-DeBoer, Issam Mudawar and Wojciech Szpankowski. (Purdue University photo/Mark Simons) Download image

A reception and ceremony Friday (Nov. 11) celebrated 16 recently ratified distinguished and named professors at Purdue and honored Nancy Ho, the University's newest recipient of the National Medal of Technology and Innovation.

The inaugural Distinguished and Named Professorship Ceremony featured bestowal of medallions by Deba Dutta, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs and diversity, who led the ceremony. The event was in the Feature Gym of the Córdova Recreational Sports Center.

President Mitch Daniels presented remarks about the value of such professorships. Dutta summarized the "innovative and productive" contributions of Purdue's distinguished and named professors, beginning with George A. Hawkins in 1943.

The 16 recent holders of professorships, all ratified by the Board of Trustees from December 2015 through August 2016, are:

Miko Cakmak -- Reilly Professor of Materials Engineering and Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering

Frederick Davis -- R. Mark Lubbers History of Science Chair, College of Liberal Arts

Michael Harris -- Robert B. and Virginia V. Covalt Professor of Chemical Engineering, College of Engineering

Nathan Hartman -- Dauch Family Endowed Professor in Advanced Manufacturing, Purdue Polytechnic Institute

Hilkka Kenttämaa -- Frank Brown Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, College of Science

James Lowenberg-DeBoer -- College of Agriculture Professor of Excellence in International Entrepreneurship, College of Agriculture

Donald Lynam -- Distinguished Professor of Psychological Sciences, College of Health and Human Sciences

Michael Manfra -- Bill and Dee O’Brien Chair in Physics and Astronomy, College of Science

Issam Mudawar -- Betty Ruth and Milton B. Hollander Family Professor in Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering

Srinivas Peeta -- Jack and Kay Hockema Professor in Civil Engineering, College of Engineering

Arkady Plotnitsky -- Distinguished Professor of English, College of Liberal Arts

Wojciech Szpankowski -- Saul Rosen Distinguished Professor of Computer Science, College of Science

Haiyan Wang -- Basil S. Turner Professor of Engineering, College of Engineering  

Danzhou Yang -- Martha and Fred Borch Chair in Cancer Therapeutics, College of Pharmacy

Peide Ye -- Richard J. and Mary Jo Schwartz Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering, College of Engineering

Zhong-Yin Zhang – Distinguished Professor of Medicinal Chemistry and Robert C. and Charlotte P. Anderson Chair in Pharmacology, College of Pharmacy

Nancy Ho Nancy Ho, recipient of the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, and Deba Dutta, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs and diversity. (Purdue University photo/Mark Simons) Download image

Davis and Lowenberg-DeBoer were away from campus honoring research commitments and could not attend the ceremony.

Ho, research professor emerita of chemical engineering, received the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, the nation's highest honor of its kind, from President Barack Obama on May 19 at the White House. At Purdue's ceremony, Dutta presented her a memento with an engraved citation reading: "For her pioneering contributions to the production of renewable biofuels — specifically, cellulosic ethanol productions — through the development of recombinant Saccharomyces yeast." Ho is the third Purdue faculty member to receive the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, along with Rakesh Agrawal and the late Leslie Geddes.

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