May 21, 2019

Eckhard A. Groll named head of Purdue Mechanical Engineering

Eckhard A. Groll Eckhard A. Groll
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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — The Purdue College of Engineering has selected a seasoned leader to be its new head of the School of Mechanical Engineering.

On July 1, Eckhard A. Groll will become the William E. and Florence E. Perry Head of Mechanical Engineering. Currently, Groll serves as associate dean for undergraduate and graduate education for the College of Engineering and the Reilly Professor of Mechanical Engineering. His successor as associate dean will be announced at a later date, said Mung Chiang, the John A. Edwardson Dean of the College of Engineering.

Groll came to Purdue in 1994 as an assistant professor, moving to associate professor in 2000 and full professor in 2005. He was named a Reilly Professor in 2013. He holds a Pre-Diploma of Engineering and Diploma of Engineering, both in mechanical engineering from Ruhr-University of Bochum, Germany. He earned his Doctor of Engineering degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Hanover, Germany.

“I consider it the right time to reinvent the School of Mechanical Engineering as an interdisciplinary, unique entity that provides exceptional cross-disciplinary and transformational learning, discovery, and engagement activities for our students, faculty and staff,” Groll said. “I am deeply honored and excited about the opportunity to lead our school.”

His research interests include fundamental thermal sciences as applied to advanced energy conversion systems, components, and their working fluids. Select recognitions include the Ritter von Rittinger International Heat Pump Award, Institute of Refrigeration International Gold Medal in Refrigeration, ACE (American Council on Education) Fellow, ASHRAE Distinguished Lecturer and a Purdue Book of Great Teachers inductee.

Groll also worked on creating two living lab research homes: the ReNEWW House, sponsored by Whirlpool and retrofitted with renewable technologies to be net-zero energy, water and waste; and the DC Nano-Grid House, sponsored by the Center for High Performance Buildings, which focused on converting an AC-powered home to DC power. Both research homes are 1920s-style residential buildings in West Lafayette.

Groll succeeds Anil K. Bajaj, who has been the head of mechanical engineering since 2011. After a one-year sabbatical, he will return to the ME faculty.

“Eckhard is a stellar researcher who has been recognized by his field’s top awards and an outstanding teacher who received five teaching/mentoring awards and transformed Purdue’s treasured co-op program,” Chiang said. “He also has a strong track record of administrative experience and success. Building upon the proud heritage developed over the decades, including over the past years by Anil, whose many accomplishments we celebrated last month, Eckhard will lead Purdue ME to the Pinnacle of Excellence at Scale.”

A nine-person committee, led by Ali Shakouri, the Mary Jo and Robert L. Kirk Director of Purdue’s Birck Nanotechnology Center and a professor of electrical and computer engineering, conducted the nationwide search. “We appreciate the dedication of the search committee and all the input provided by faculty, students, staff and alumni,” Chiang said. 

Media Contact: Brian Huchel, 765-494-2084, 

Sources: Mung Chiang,

Eckhard Groll,

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