Trustees confirm 6 named, distinguished professors; recommend approval of 2 doctoral degrees at IUPUI

May 15, 2015  

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — The Purdue University Board of Trustees on Friday (May 15) ratified six named and distinguished professorships, and also recommended approval of two doctoral degrees at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

Trustees also approved a resolution of appreciation for outgoing student trustee Kelsey Quin and resolutions of appreciation for donors who have given $1 million or more to Purdue.

Trustees approved Muhammad Ashraful Alam as the Jai N. Gupta Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Patrice Buzzanell as a distinguished professor of communication, Melanie Kuhn as the Jean Adamson Stanley Professor of Literacy, Robert P. Lucht as the Ralph and Bettye Bailey Distinguished Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Larry L. Murdock as a distinguished professor of entomology, and Scott D. Sudhoff as the Michael and Katherine Birck Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Muhammad Ashraful Alam

Muhammad Ashraful Alam 
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Alam is a professor of electrical and computer engineering and has been at Purdue since 2004. His research and teaching focus on physics, simulation, characterization and technology of classical and novel semiconductor devices. He has made fundamental contributions to, and innovative computational models for, spatially and temporally complex materials relevant for flexible electronics, solar cells and scaled transistors.

He is a fellow of Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering, American Physical Society, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Alam received his bachelor's degree from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology and his master's degree from Clarkson University. He earned his doctorate at Purdue.

Patrice Buzzanell

Patrice Buzzanell

Buzzanell is the Susan Bulkeley Butler Chair for Leadership Excellence and a professor of communication. She serves as director of the Susan Bulkeley Butler Center for Leadership Excellence, leading its research and education efforts to promote inclusive leadership and facilitate collaborations among academic and business leaders.

She is a professor of communication in the Brian Lamb School of Communication and has a courtesy appointment in the School of Engineering Education. She joined Purdue in 1999. Her research focuses on the intersections of career, leadership, gender and resilience. She is the editor of three books and author of more than 160 articles and chapters. Her work has been published in journals including Human Relations, Communication Monographs and Human Communication Research as well as in handbooks on organizational, professional, family, conflict, ethics and gender communication, and proceedings in engineering education.

She has been president of the International Communication Association; Council of Communication Associations; and the Organization for the Study of Communication, Language and Gender. She was named ICA Fellow in 2011. She served on the research board of the National Communication Association and on the advisory board for the Global Media Institute of Shanghai Jiaotong University, where she recently has been awarded an endowed visiting professorship. In 2014 she was awarded the Velux Research Fellowship from Copenhagen Business School and the Provost’s Outstanding Mentor Award from Purdue.  

Buzzanell earned her bachelor's degree from Towson University, her master's degree from Ohio University and her doctorate from Purdue.

Melanie Kuhn

Melanie Kuhn 
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Kuhn will start her position at Purdue in August in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction in the College of Education. She is currently an associate professor of language and literacy education at Boston University's School of Education. Kuhn began her teaching career in the Boston Public Schools, worked as a literacy coordinator for an adult education program and spent three years as an instructor for learning disabled students at the American School in London.

Her primary focus is on struggling readers and closing the achievement gap through research on the ways young, diverse learners become fluent readers. She has authored three books and 21 refereed articles in research and practitioner journals such as Reading Research Quarterly, Journal of Educational Psychology, Journal of Literacy Research, and Reading and Writing Quarterly. She also has published 26 book chapters.

She has served on the editorial review board for the Journal of Educational Psychology, Reading Research Quarterly and The Reading Teacher. She has chaired or co-chaired committees for the Literacy Research Association and the International Reading Association.

Kuhn earned her bachelor's degree from Boston College, master's degrees from Harvard University and Cambridge University, and her doctorate from the University of Georgia.

Robert P. Lucht

Robert P. Lucht 
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Lucht is the Ralph and Bettye Bailey Professor of Combustion in the School of Mechanical Engineering with a courtesy appointment in the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics. He joined Purdue in 2002 after spending nearly a decade at Sandia National Laboratories, and with academic appointments at the University of Illinois and Texas A&M.

His research involves the development of laser-based measurement techniques for applications in combusting flows. He has developed and applied new types of a multibeam nonlinear techniques known as coherent anti-Stokes Raman spectroscopy, dual-pump CARS for multispecies measurements and femtosecond CARS for high-data-rate temperature measurements. He has also been a leader in the application of laser techniques in high-pressure combustion test rigs. His measurements provide insight to help combustion designers optimize the combustion process and minimize pollutant emissions. 

Lucht has authored or co-authored more than 150 archival journal articles. He is a fellow of the Optical Society of America, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

He earned a bachelor's degree in nuclear engineering from Purdue and a master's degree and doctorate, both in mechanical engineering, also at Purdue.

Larry L. Murdock

Larry L. Murdock 
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Murdock has been at Purdue since 1977, when he was named an assistant professor of entomology. He became associate professor in 1980 and professor in 1984. Before coming to Purdue, he was a research associate in pediatrics at the University of Wisconsin, and a Wissenchaftlicher Assistent (instructor) at the Universitaet Konstanz in West Germany.

He has been researching basic insect physiology, as well as pest-management techniques in Africa since the early 1980s. He developed the technology that led to the three Purdue Improved Cowpea Storage (PICS) projects, multiyear initiatives to improve crop storage by low-resource people in Africa and beyond. His research also led to the invention of a device for the detection of insects feeding in seeds, woods and other hard materials by their ultrasonic emissions, and he developed a solar technology for disinfesting insect-infested cowpea grain on low-resource farms in Africa. His research shed new light on how hermetic storage protects grain against insects.

In 2012, he and James Lowenberg-DeBoer received the Chevalier de l'Ordre National du Burkina Faso, the equivalent to the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom and rarely given to foreigners, for their work in improving storage of the staple cowpea crops. He is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

He earned his bachelor's degree in chemistry from DePauw University and his master's degree and doctorate in entomology from Kansas State University.

Scott D. Sudhoff

Scott D. Sudhoff 
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Sudhoff is a professor of electrical and computer engineering and has been at Purdue since 1997. He became a full professor in 2001.

His research interests include the analysis, design and simulation of electric machines, power electronics and power systems. It also involves the development of new power system components for naval, aerospace and vehicular systems. He is particularly interested in the use of evolutionary computing and multi-objective optimization techniques to establish the theoretical performance boundaries of new types of motors and generators – particularly those for especially demanding applications in terms of efficiency and size. His work has been continuously funded by the U.S. Office of Naval Research since he came to Purdue.

He earned his bachelor's degree, master's degree and doctorate from Purdue.

Trustees also voted to recommend site-administered Purdue Ph.D. programs in biology and in chemistry and chemical biology at the Purdue University School of Science at the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis campus. The designation will help the two departments compete nationally for faculty and students, said Mark J.T. Smith, dean of the Purdue Graduate School.

The programs, which must be approved by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, will not require any new resources, Smith said.

Trustees also approved a resolution of appreciation for Kelsey E. Quin, who has served a two-year term as student trustee. She will receive her Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences with a pre-medicine concentration from the College of Health and Human Sciences on Sunday (May 17).

Resolutions of appreciation also were approved for donors James O. and Ann L. Berger (College of Science), Michael J. and Kay R. Birck (Intercollegiate Athletics), David O. and Linda I. Swain (College of Engineering), the Wilmeth family (Purdue Libraries), and an anonymous donor (Center for Drug Discovery). The donors contributed $1 million or more. 

Writer: Greg McClure, 765-496-9711, 

Sources: Debasish Dutta, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs,

Muhammad Ashraful Alam, 765-494-5988,

Patrice Buzzanell, 765-494-3317,

Melanie Kuhn,

Robert P. Lucht, 765-494-5623,

Larry L. Murdock, 765-494-4592,

Scott Sudhoff, 765-494-3246,

Mark J.T. Smith, 765-494-2604, 

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