Scaling solar energy for mass consumption … harnessing energy from fusion … developing carbon sequestration methods … providing clean water … advancing health informatics … developing better medicine … preventing chemical and biological warfare and nuclear terror — these are the global grand challenges that can only be addressed by the field of engineering. Yet, the number of engineering students in the U.S. is actually declining. With other countries outpacing us, Purdue will be the university who steps up to address this problem with a revolutionary expansion to dramatically increase the number of students and faculty with the passion, curiosity and drive to engineer pathways to change.
Every day, staggering amounts of digital data are being produced. They come from mobile sources such as cell phones, from the Internet, research labs, classrooms and social media. Getting access to, and meaning from, the enormous amounts of data produced each day is a priority for businesses and government. Yet there is a dramatic shortfall in the number of people who have the skills to provide meaningful analysis and insights from this information. Purdue will lead the world in collecting, analyzing and disseminating data with new models for computer software. Computer science at Purdue will be central to funded research and serve as a national model as we prepare more students to design and use technology to identify trends, help forecast events and develop models that will inform policy and drive decision making on the local, national and global levels in all sectors of society.
In our fast-moving global economy, the ability to innovate directly impacts economic growth and a nation’s ability to compete and prosper. The Purdue College of Technology, transformed into the Purdue Polytechnic Institute, will meet this need. The institute will be a hub for consumer-oriented research, offering students transformational experiences through a curriculum focused on the science of demand-driven innovation and entrepreneurship. Students will learn from experts through industry-sponsored research projects, “study-away” experiences, and internships. And every student will earn either an innovation certification through the development of a market-ready product or technology, or an entrepreneurship certification through the development of a business plan. Students will be equipped to be leaders in an innovation-based future.