Purdue Industrial Engineering to celebrate Grissom Hall's 'new era'

September 21, 2015  

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue University's School of Industrial Engineering will hold a celebration and open house for its "reimagined" home in Grissom Hall on Oct. 9.

The event at Grissom Hall is hosted by the College of Engineering and School of Industrial Engineering, and Purdue President Mitch Daniels will speak.

The "A New Era at Grissom Hall" celebration event will include a 2 p.m. reception, a 2:30 p.m. ceremony and building tours from 3-5 p.m. The event is open to the public. Those planning to attend should RSVP by going online to giving.purdue.edu/grissom by Oct. 6.

The Grissom Hall project is part of Daniels' Purdue Moves effort, which includes expansion of Purdue Engineering as one of its major priorities. Grissom Hall's reinvention also is one phase of the College of Engineering Strategic Growth Initiative project, an effort to integrate increasing undergraduate and graduate enrollments, new faculty hires and encourage collaboration.

"We're creating better usability of existing spaces," said Robert Frosch, associate dean of engineering for resource planning and management and professor of civil engineering. "The renovated Grissom ties together elements of the past with modern technologies. The improved look and feel of the building will provide enhanced capabilities for the School of Industrial Engineering while providing a great space for both undergraduate and graduate students."

Project construction took less than a year to complete, and the three-story building was gutted and "reimagined." The School of Industrial Engineering moved temporarily to Seng-Liang Wang Hall during the past academic year and has returned to its home in Grissom.

The repurposed space includes a striking visual focal point for the building and the school - the Peter Wang Student Excellence Center on the first floor. The majority of the changes add light and improve space usage, particularly with a "hot desking" style of desk sharing for graduate and undergraduate students. With this system, more students are able to use the available space and collaboration is facilitated.

"The new Grissom will revolutionize how our students work, collaborate and study," said Abhijit Deshmukh, James J. Solberg Head and Professor of Industrial Engineering.

The new space also includes electronic interactive whiteboards in classrooms; image-capturing equipment that automatically transcribes lecture notes to Internet-accessible documents; and updated lecture rooms, classrooms, laboratories, meeting spaces, and faculty and staff offices. Adding LED lights, better insulation, improved electrical systems and windows that allow for increased natural light make the building more energy efficient.

Students who remember the old Grissom Hall are enthusiastic about the reinvented space.

"In my old space there were no windows. This is new and clean, and feels modern and professional," says third-year industrial engineering graduate student Michelle Jahn. "But little things like the brick walls that were kept make it still feel homey."

Baback Vaziri, a senior industrial engineering graduate student, said, "It feels open, collaborative and gives a better opportunity to network with other people in IE."

The building is named for the late Virgil I. "Gus" Grissom, one of the original NASA Project Mercury astronauts and the second American to fly in space. He was killed with two other astronauts, including Purdue Engineering alumnus Roger Chaffee, during a pre-launch test for the Apollo 1 mission at the then-Cape Kennedy Air Force Station in Florida in 1967, and was posthumously awarded the Congressional Space Medal of Honor. A veteran of World War II and the Korean War, Grissom graduated from Purdue with a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering in 1950.

For more information, contact Special Events at 800-213-3044 or 765-494-0900, or email SpecialEvents@prf.org

Writer: DeEtte Starr, communications specialist and liaison, School of Industrial Engineering, 765-494-7952, starrd@purdue.edu 

Source: Abhijit Deshmukh, 765-496-6007, abhi@purdue.edu 

Media Contact: Emil Venere, 765-494-4709, venere@purdue.edu 

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