Trustees confirm 6 named, distinguished professors

December 20, 2014  

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — The Purdue University Board of Trustees on Saturday (Dec. 20) ratified six named and distinguished professorships, and also approved resolutions of appreciation for donors who have given $1 million or more to Purdue.

Trustees approved Weinong Wayne Chen as the Reilly Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics and Materials Engineering, Michael T. Harris as the Reilly Professor of Chemical Engineering, Wendy Kline as the Dema G. Seelye Chair in the History of Medicine, Nien-Hwa Linda Wang as the Maxine Spencer Nichols Professor in Chemical Engineering, S. Laurel Weldon as a distinguished professor, and Alan Zillich as the William S. Bucke Professor.

Weinong Chen

Weinong Chen 
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Chen is a professor of aeronautics and astronautics and materials engineering. He has been associate head of graduate education in the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics since 2012 and came to Purdue in 2005 as a professor of aeronautics and astronautics and materials engineering. Before that he was an associate professor and assistant professor of aerospace and mechanical engineering at the University of Arizona, Tucson, from 1995-2004. He worked in the aerospace industry before returning to graduate school at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

His research areas involve the development of dynamic material characterization techniques and the determination of dynamic responses of advanced engineering materials at high loading rates. He built dynamic material characterization laboratories at Purdue, the California Institute of Technology and the University of Arizona, and assisted in the development of such laboratories at government labs such as Sandia National Laboratories, the Army Research Laboratory and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. He is the author or co-author of a book and 148 archival journal publications.

Chen is a fellow in the Society for Experimental Mechanics and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and an associate fellow in the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. He was a University Faculty Scholar at Purdue in 2005 and five times has received Purdue's Acorn Research Award.

He received his bachelor's and master's degrees from Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics and his doctorate from the California Institute of Technology.

Michael T. Harris

Michael T. Harris 
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Harris is associate dean for undergraduate education and a professor of chemical engineering and environmental and ecological engineering in the College of Engineering. He came to Purdue in 2002 as an associate professor in the School of Chemical Engineering. He previously was an associate professor of chemical engineering at the University of Maryland, College Park, from 1996-2002. He also worked for several years at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

His research is in the areas of nanomaterials, colloids and interfacial phenomena, transport phenomena, particle science and technology, microwave sensing of pharmaceutical powders, solidification of drug/excipient matrices, environmental control technology, and electrodispersion precipitation processes.

He is a fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE). He received the AIChE Grimes Award for Excellence in Chemical Engineering in 2005 and in 2009 was the recipient of the AIChE Minority Affairs Distinguished Serviced Award. He was a Purdue Faculty Scholar from 2002-2007 and is the author of 86 peer-reviewed publications and holds 10 patents.

Harris received his bachelor's degree from Mississippi State University and both his master's and doctorate from the University of Tennessee.

Vincent P. Reilly, who received his bachelor's degree from Purdue in 1922, was founder of Illinois Gear and Machine Co. The Vincent P. Reilly endowment was created through a bequest of approximately $4.5 million after his death in 1969 for the purpose of promoting excellence in engineering education.

Wendy Kline

Wendy Kline 
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Kline came to Purdue this semester from the University of Cincinnati, where she was assistant professor, associate professor and professor of history from 2000-2014. Before that she was a lecturer in American Studies at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitat in Munich, Germany, and a lecturer in history at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

She is the author of several articles and two books, "Bodies of Knowledge: Sexuality, Reproduction, and Women's Health in the Second Wave" and "Building a Better Race: Gender, Sexuality, and Eugenics from the Turn of the Century to the Baby Boom." Her current book project is entitled "Coming Home: Medicine, Midwives, and the Transformation of Birth in Late-Twentieth-Century America." It is under contract with Oxford University Press.

A member of the American Historical Association, the Organization of American Historians and the American Association of the History of Medicine, Kline served from 2010-2013 on the AAHM's executive council. This year the Organization of American Historians named her a distinguished lecturer.

Kline received her bachelor's degree from Smith College and her doctorate from the University of California, Davis.

The Dema G. Seelye Chair in the History of Medicine is made possible through a gift from an anonymous donor.

Nien-Hwa Linda Wang

Nien-Hwa Linda Wang 
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Wang joined Purdue in 1980 as an assistant professor and was the first female professor in chemical engineering. She became an associate professor in 1985 and a professor in 1992.

Her research is in separations of complex mixtures. She invented the seminal Standing Wave Design method for Simulated Moving Bed (SMB) processes. She also developed the first tandem SMB process for insulin purification and the first five-zone SMB for the recovery of six sugars from biomass hydrolysates. Recent inventions from her research group include a new extraction method for recovering high-purity polymers from electronic wastes, a new adsorption method for producing a medical isotope, and a new chromatography method for producing high-purity rare-earth elements.

Wang is a fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering and a fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. She was director of the Separations Division of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers from 2001-2004 and director of the International Adsorption Society from 2001-2007. She was chair of the Separations Division of the AIChE in 2013. She has consulted for the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health and several national laboratories.

She received her bachelor's degree from National Taiwan University in Taipei, Taiwan, her master's degree from the University of Wyoming and her doctorate from the University of Minnesota.

D. Edward Nichols, who received his doctorate in industrial engineering from Purdue in 1958, established the endowment fund for the professorship in 1998 in memory of his wife, Maxine Spencer Nichols, who received her bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from Purdue in 1949.

S. Laurel Weldon

S. Laurel Weldon 
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Weldon came to Purdue as an assistant professor of political science in 1999. She became associate professor in 2005 and professor in 2010. She also has served as interim vice provost for faculty affairs since June 2013 and was interim provost in June. She has served as an expert lecturer on gender equality abroad for the U.S. Department of State, and has acted as a consultant to the World Bank and UN Women.

Her research explores the role of social movements in shaping public policy, especially as it affects violence against women and other dimensions of women's human rights. With Mala Htun, she has developed an original dataset on women's rights in 70 countries over several decades. She is the author of two books, "Protest, Policy and the Problem of Violence Against Women: A Cross-National Comparison" and "When Protest Makes Policy: How Social Movements Represent Disadvantaged Groups," which won the Victoria Schuck Award from the American Political Science Association. She is the co-editor of the first "Oxford Handbook on Politics and Gender" and founding co-editor of the journal "Politics, Groups and Identity."

Weldon chaired the task force that led to the establishment of the Global Policy Research Institute and served as the inaugural director of the College of Liberal Arts Center for Research on Diversity and Inclusion. She received the Violet Haas Award in 2012 and this year was awarded the Outstanding Professional Achievement Award by the Women's Caucus of the Midwest Political Science Association. She served as president of the Women and Politics research section of the American Political Science Association and has served on the executive council of the American Political Science Association as well as the Midwest Political Science Association. She is president-elect of the Women's Caucus of the American Political Science Association.

She received her bachelor's degree from Simon Fraser University, her master's degree from the University of British Columbia and her doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh.

Alan Zillich

Alan Zillich 
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Zillich is professor and head of the Department of Pharmacy Practice in the College of Pharmacy. He came to Purdue in 2003 as an assistant professor and in 2009 became associate professor. He also holds appointments as health services research scientist at the Regenstrief Institute and the Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center in Indianapolis and is an adjunct professor at the Center for Health Services and Outcomes Research in the Indiana University School of Medicine.

He researches health services and outcomes focusing on the relationships between pharmacists and other health care providers; the effectiveness of pharmacy-based services on improved medication prescribing, patient safety and patient health outcomes; and methods to improve prescribing and utilization of medications through systems redesign and health informatics.

Zillich is a fellow of the American College of Clinical Pharmacy and in 2010 he received the society's New Investigator Award. He also serves on the board of trustees for the society’s Research Institute.

He received his bachelor's degree and doctorate from Purdue.

The board also approved resolutions of appreciation for donors Cadence Design Systems Inc., Delta Air Lines Inc., Mary Arlien Findling, Jim Hicks & Co., Robert G. Krause, Ophelia C. Weitzman and four anonymous donors.

Cadence Design Systems donated $9.73 million to the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering for custom integrated circuit bundles, the Verification bundle and the Silicon-Package-Board bundle, which are used by faculty and staff.

A gift of $1.5 million was given to the Department of Aviation Technology in the College of Technology by Delta Air Lines for a commercial regional jet aircraft to be used for on-the-ground research and teaching at Purdue Airport.

The Mary Arlien Findling Liberal Arts Scholarship Challenge will match up to $1 million over the next two years for College of Liberal Arts scholarships including funds to support study abroad.

Jim Hicks & Co. has given gifts of $250,000 to the College of Agriculture for the installation of the John Wooden Memorial Sculpture and $1.7 million to establish the Jim and Neta Hicks Endowment for Leadership in Agriculture to support the College of Agriculture Transformational Experiences program.

A will provision of $1.19 million established the Robert G. Krause Aquatics Endowment in support of restoration and remodeling of buildings and equipment in the Purdue Aquatics Center.

A $3.39 million estate gift from Ophelia C. Weitzman has been given in support of the scholarship fund for Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne students.

An anonymous deferred gift of $4.47 will create an endowment to support research in the Office of the Executive Vice President for Research and Partnerships. An anonymous alumnus has established a $3.6 million pledge to be equally split between the Civil Engineering Gift Fund and a fund to be determined by the university. An anonymous donor has made a $2 million unrestricted estate gift to the College of Pharmacy for scholarships, graduate support, equipment purchases, renovations, student travel and updating technology. An anonymous donor has given $ 1 million to the College of Engineering for the Colombia Purdue Institute, a partnership between Purdue and the Ministry of Education of Colombia that strives to cultivate leaders who drive economic prosperity in Colombia, Indiana and the United States.

In other business, the board voted to endorse a comprehensive review of Purdue's student academic regulations by the Office of the Provost in coordination with the Educational Policy Committee of the University Senate. This follows a comprehensive review of all the university's system-wide policies that began after President Mitch Daniels' arrival in 2013.

Writer: Greg McClure, 765-496-9711, 

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

Weinong Wayne Chen, 765-494-1788,

Michael T. Harris, 765-494-0963,

Wendy Kline, 765-494-4132,

Nien-Hwa Linda Wang, 765-494-4081,

S. Laurel Weldon, 765-494-4185,

Alan Zillich, 765-613-2315, 

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