August 3, 2017

DeLaurentis named director of Institute for Global Security and Defense Innovation

Dan DeLaurentis Dan DeLaurentis
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Discovery Park has announced that effective this month, Dan DeLaurentis, professor in the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics and director of the Center for Integrated Systems in Aerospace, will serve as the inaugural director for the Institute for Global Security and Defense Innovation (i-GSDI).

DeLaurentis has served as the interim director of the institute since its launch in December. The vision of i-GSDI is to help Purdue become the preeminent university in security and defense innovation by converging and catalyzing Purdue’s interdisciplinary resources and deliver responsive and transformative solutions to the most pressing security and defense challenges facing the nation and the world. The institute builds on Purdue’s strengths in scientific, engineering, policy, economic and social science problem-solving capabilities.

“Dan’s strong qualifications and background will serve the new institute well, and have already set the institute on an upward trajectory during his term as interim director.” says Laurel Weldon, director of the Purdue Policy Research Institute and Distinguished Professor of Political Science. “He has considerable people skills and works well with everyone, which will help the institute in building new relationships and trust across disciplinary boundaries, both inside and outside the University. We couldn’t be more pleased to continue working with Dan in his leadership of the i-GSDI.” PPRI worked closely with Discovery Park to launch the institute and played a major role in the launch event, the Global Security and Defense Innovation Symposium.

As interim director, DeLaurentis has worked to connect and integrate these crosscutting, interdisciplinary capabilities in the areas of autonomous and cognitive research, cyber-physical systems and security, propulsion, energetics and novel materials, advanced electronics and photonics, among others.

“Dan’s appointment as the President’s Faculty Fellow for Defense Initiatives in June 2015 combined with his expertise in the field make him an ideal candidate to fill the role of director of the i-GSDI;” says Tom Shih, the J. William Uhrig and Anastasia Vournas Head and professor in the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

Since the launch of i-GSDI, DeLaurentis and his team have worked to forge the key partnerships critical to delivering on the mission of i-GSDI, exemplified by a recently announced new partnership with the Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane Division and growing collaborations with local and national industry.

“Given my own research background in ‘systems of systems’ design, I’m thrilled with the opportunity through i-GSDI to network and integrate great Purdue research teams and systematically connect them to most pressing defense and security needs. The engagement we already see from stakeholders gives me confidence that we will succeed,” DeLaurentis says.

DeLaurentis’ appointment is scheduled to last three years, concluding in July 2020.

Writer: Amy Schlueter, 765-496-7823,
Source: Cliff Wojtalewicz, 765-496-3961,

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