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Featured Department Head


Kenneth Burbank
Professor and Head, School of Engineering Technology

After being an educator in engineering and engineering technology for more than 20 years, I am very proud of the culminating efforts underway to include engineering technology graduates as part of the wider engineering profession.  The Engineering Technology Council of ASEE and its standing group, the ET National Forum, have been leading a long effort to have engineering technology recognized by the Office of Personnel Management so that ET graduates can formally hold Federal engineering jobs.  A parallel effort with the National Academy of Engineering is underway to refine the relationship between academic degree programs and industry workforce needs. Purdue has helped open doors in Washington to bring these initiatives forward.  Purdue is nationally recognized for its strong engineering technology and engineering programs, and the complementary nature of these two types of academic programs is a great asset to Indiana and the nation.  I am glad to be here at this time, when more doors are being opened for more students.

After graduating from Brown University, Dr. Burbank entered the world of manufacturing.  He went from Process Engineer to Section Head for Process Development, all in the analog integrated circuit industry.  After 10 years in industry, he went "back to school", and has been teaching in engineering and engineering technology programs since.  While in Rhode Island, he taught electronics engineering technology and participated in thin flim device research.  After moving to Virginia and then North Carolina, his role became program development and leadership.  Integrating the university with the engineering community has become a passion, and he has been active in local sections of SME and IEEE.

Dr. Burbank came to Purdue in 2011 as the Department Head for the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology.  Starting in January 2012, he also served as Interim Department Head for Mechanical Engineering Technology.  Over the past two years, the faculty in the two departments have decided to merge; Dr. Burbank is now the Head for the newly created School of Engineering Technology.  At the national level, Dr. Burbank is the chair-elect of the Engineering Technology Council of ASEE.  He is a senior member of IEEE and a member of ASEE.

Dr. Burbank received his BS, MS and PhD degrees in Electrical Engineering, all from Brown University.  Both his MS and PhD research efforts were centered on the optical and electrical properties of compound semiconductors.