February 6, 2023

Arvind Raman selected as the next dean of Purdue’s College of Engineering, the largest top-ranked program in the nation

pt-raman-mug-772x772 Arvind Raman
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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Longtime Purdue University administrator, faculty member and Boilermaker alumnus Arvind Raman is the new John A. Edwardson Dean of the College of Engineering.

Raman, currently Purdue’s executive associate dean of engineering and the Robert V. Adams Professor in Mechanical Engineering, brings an impressive record of academic leadership experience to this new role, Patrick Wolfe, Purdue provost and executive vice president for academic affairs and diversity, said in making the announcement today (Feb. 6).

“Professor Raman is passionate about the role of engineering in creating innovative solutions for people and society. We’re confident that as our next engineering dean, he will lead the college to new levels of excellence and impact,” Wolfe said.

Starting April 1, Raman succeeds Mark Lundstrom, the Don and Carol Scifres Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, who has served as interim dean of the college since July 1, 2022. After April 1, Lundstrom will continue to lead the semiconductors activities across Purdue and its representation in statewide efforts as a senior advisor to the president and chief semiconductor officer.

Raman and Julie Swann, the A. Doug Allison Distinguished Professor and department head of the Edward P. Fitts Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at North Carolina State University, were the two finalists selected by the university’s search advisory committee to make on-campus presentations and hold Q&A sessions the week of Jan. 16.

Out of many strong applicants, the search committee first interviewed 10 semifinalists in December, including a sitting provost, senior associate deans of top engineering colleges, and heads of large departments in AAU universities.  

Purdue’s undergraduate and graduate engineering programs are among the top 10 and top five in the country, according to the last two years of the U.S. News and World Report college rankings. Roughly 30% of Purdue undergraduates are enrolled in the engineering college.

In his role as executive associate dean since December 2019, Raman has led activities aimed at recruiting excellent and diverse faculty talent, enhancing the success of faculty and staff programs, elevating the prestige of Purdue engineering, and supporting the overall quality of academic programs and faculty development. He also oversaw the offices of graduate and undergraduate education. Prior, he was the inaugural associate dean for global engineering programs, where, within three years, he helped more than double the number of international experiences taken by engineering students, and established new partnerships in Latin America, sub-Saharan Africa, Europe, and Asia.

Raman said it’s an especially exciting time for Purdue and engineering, as Mung Chiang, predecessor to Mark Lundstrom, begins his term as Purdue president and Provost Wolfe is coming into his role after serving five years as dean of Purdue College of Science. He also notes the transformative development underway for Purdue’s presence in Indianapolis and the momentum from a decade of unprecedented success and growth for engineering and across the Purdue campus.

“The College of Engineering, in partnership with our faculty, students, staff, alumni and industry partners, is poised for excellence at scale and the promise to pursue and lead truly game-changing initiatives that will impact the state, nation and world,” Raman said. “It is truly an honor to be selected to lead the nation’s largest top-ranked college of engineering at a university with a tremendous legacy and a record of innovation and impact on a global scale.”

Raman was named a Purdue University Faculty Scholar from 2008-12 and a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers in 2012. He also has a courtesy professorship appointment in materials engineering.

His research interests are in nonlinear dynamics and its applications to atomic force microscopy, human biomechanics, and roll-to-roll flexible electronics manufacturing. In addition, he is co-founder of the Shah Family Global Innovation Lab, which has supported over 30 faculty-led technology development and scale-up projects with top nongovernmental organizations for sustainable development. 

He also served as director of the USAID-funded LASER (Long-term Assistance and SErvices for Research) PULSE (Partners for University-Led Solutions Engine) consortium, leading the five-year, $70 million program. Through its partners Catholic Relief Services, Indiana University, Makerere University and the University of Notre Dame, LASER delivered research-driven solutions to field-sourced development challenges in USAID (United States Agency for International Development) partner countries. 

Raman is a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and an ASME Gustus Larson Memorial Award recipient, as well as a Keeley fellow (Oxford), College of Engineering outstanding young investigator awardee, and a National Science Foundation CAREER awardee. Through the Purdue-led nanoHUB, Raman’s atomic force microscopy simulation tools are used by thousands of researchers worldwide.

He received his PhD in mechanical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, a master’s degree, also in mechanical engineering, from Purdue and a Bachelor of Technology degree from the Indian Institute of Technology in Delhi.

Under Dean Chiang’s leadership, Purdue’s College of Engineering achieved record levels in undergraduate admissions selectivity, yield rate and graduation rate, as well as enrollment of women and underrepresented minorities. Meantime, the college’s online program size more than quadrupled while its ranking advanced to the top three in the nation. Additionally, new degrees were launched, and the professional master’s program’s enrollment more than quadrupled. Annual research awards surged over 70%, including the largest federal and the largest industry funding awards in college history, and 12 national research centers. The college also contributed to Purdue’s Ever True campaign in excess of $1 billion and completed 15 facility construction or renovation projects over the past six years. 

The Search Advisory Committee for the new engineering dean was co-chaired by Sasha Boltasseva, the Ron and Dotty Garven Tonjes Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Dan DeLaurentis, vice president for research institutes and centers in Discovery Park District at Purdue and professor of aeronautics and astronautics.

Additional search committee members were Barrett Caldwell, professor of industrial engineering; Luciano Castillo, the Kenninger Professor of Renewal Energy and Power Systems in Mechanical Engineering; Panagiota Karava, the Jack and Kay Hockema Professor in Civil Engineering; Sangtae Kim, Distinguished Professor and the Jay and Cynthia Ihlenfeld Head of Chemical Engineering; Bill Oakes, the 150th Anniversary Professor of Engineering Education; Chi Hwan Lee, the Leslie A. Geddes Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering; Morgan Broberg, graduate student, civil engineering; and Christine Babick, director of communications for the College of Engineering.

About Purdue University

Purdue University is a top public research institution developing practical solutions to today’s toughest challenges. Ranked in each of the last five years as one of the 10 Most Innovative universities in the United States by U.S. News & World Report, Purdue delivers world-changing research and out-of-this-world discovery. Committed to hands-on and online, real-world learning, Purdue offers a transformative education to all. Committed to affordability and accessibility, Purdue has frozen tuition and most fees at 2012-13 levels, enabling more students than ever to graduate debt-free. See how Purdue never stops in the persistent pursuit of the next giant leap at https://purdue.edu/.

Writer: Phillip Fiorini, pfiorini@purdue.edu, 765-430-6189

Sources: Patrick Wolfe

Arvind Raman

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