Purdue trustees ratify 3 distinguished professors, approve Office of Research and Partnerships, recognize donors

July 18, 2014  

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue University's Board of Trustees on Friday (July 18) ratified the appointment of three distinguished professors, approved the previously announced reorganization of the offices of Research and Global Affairs, and approved a resolution of appreciation for those who have donated $1 million or more to Purdue.

Trustees approved Farshid Sadeghi as Distinguished Professor of Mechanical Engineering; J. George Shanthikumar as Distinguished Professor of Management; and Paul Shepson as Distinguished Professor of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences/Chemistry.

Farshid Sadeghi
Farshid Sadeghi 
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Sadeghi is the Cummins Professor of Mechanical Engineering and founder and director of Purdue's Mechanical Engineering Tribology Laboratory (METL). He has been a faculty member at Purdue since 1986.

Sadeghi has made contributions to the field of tribology, which is the science and engineering of interacting surfaces in relative motion. He has received more than 140 research contracts from international governmental agencies and industries, published more than 130 archival papers in various tribology-related journals, and given more than 250 presentations at various society meetings. His research has resulted in four patents.

An award-winning educator, Sadeghi has mentored 64 graduate students who now have successful careers in academia, industry or research. He is a leader in tribology's professional community and has served as a leader, reviewer and editor for several organizations and journals, including Tribology Transactions, where he is editor in chief.

J. George Shanthikumar
J. Geroge Shanthikumar 
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Shanthikumar is the Richard E. Dauch Chair in Manufacturing and Operations Management. He has been a faculty member since 2009, when he came to Purdue from the University of California, Berkeley.

Shanthikumar has made fundamental contributions to the mathematical formulation of pricing, price negotiation and asset allocation scenarios that occur during buyer-seller negotiations. He has published in his field's most distinguished peer-reviewed journals and has authored two books on manufacturing systems and stochastic orders. Together, the books have achieved 4,500 citations.

During his tenure at Purdue, Shanthikumar has consistently earned high instructor ratings from his students. His service contributions include roles on several university committees and involvement in the Indiana Next Generation Manufacturing Competitiveness Center, which works to attract, retain and grow high-value manufacturing industries in Indiana.

Paul Shepson
Paul Shepson
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Shepson is a professor in the departments of Chemistry and Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, and he is founder of the Purdue Climate Change Research Center. He has been a faculty member at Purdue since 1994.

Shepson is a recognized national and international leader in atmospheric chemistry. He is a leading figure in the field of Arctic chemistry and climate change and is known for employing aircraft-based measurements of emission rates of greenhouse gases. He has published 169 peer-reviewed journal articles and has raised more than $16 million in federal funding to support his research group, which has been cited in other publications more than 8,700 times.

In addition to his scholarly work, Shepson has mentored nearly 40 successful graduate students, and he currently works with a group of 10 graduate students and two postdoctoral researchers.

Trustees also ratified consolidation of the offices of Research and Global Affairs into the Office of Research and Partnerships. Trustees approved the previously announced appointment of Suresh Garimella, who headed the global partnerships organization, as executive vice president for research and partnerships. Garimella has assumed leadership of the newly combined entity.

The board also approved a resolution of appreciation for those who have donated $1 million or more to Purdue.

The resolution acknowledges and thanks donors Raymond and Mary Bonhomme, Exa Corp., Dale and Suzi Gallagher, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, William C. O'Brien, Schlumberger Information Systems, and Frances Anderson Todd.

The Bonhommes, through their estate plan, have pledged $1.2 million to establish the Mary Scherger Bonhomme and Raymond F. Bonhomme Scholarship in Education through the College of Education.

Exa Corp. donated $1.65 million in academic software licenses to the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics in the College of Engineering.

The Gallaghers, through their estate plan, have pledged $5 million in unrestricted support to be equally split between the colleges of Education and Engineering.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation donated $10 million to the College of Agriculture to develop a program to improve market access and food security in sub-Saharan Africa.

The estate of William C. O'Brien donated $1.36 million to establish the Bill and Dee O'Brien Professorship in the Department of Physics and Astronomy in the College of Science.

Schlumberger Information Systems donated $3.13 million in software licenses to the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences in the College of Science.

Frances Anderson Todd donated $3.5 million to establish the Zane and Frances Todd Merit Scholarship, which will benefit students in the colleges of Engineering, Science and Technology and in the School of Nursing. 

Writer: Amanda Hamon Kunz, 765-496-1325, ahamon@purdue.edu 

Sources: Debasish Dutta, dutta@purdue.edu

Farshid Sadeghi, farshid.sadeghi.1@purdue.edu

J. George Shanthikumar, shanthikumar@purdue.edu

Paul Shepson, pshepson@purdue.edu

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