A montage of images from the Discovery Park Open House and Convergence Conference

SEPT.-OCT. 2016 |

Discovery Park at Purdue University hosted an Open House and Convergence Conference on Sept. 23, showcasing interdisciplinary research successes and opportunities through laboratory tours, TED-style talks and presentations by center directors on how their research is addressing grand challenges.

“The open house celebrated Discovery Park’s research with a special emphasis on how we can foster and build new faculty partnerships across the Purdue campus,” says Tomás Díaz de la Rubia, chief scientist and executive director of Discovery Park. “But most importantly, the event gave the entire community a chance to better understand and get a firsthand glance at how Discovery Park is tackling the grand challenges of our world in the areas of energy, the life sciences, health care and the environment.”

Díaz de la Rubia kicked off the event, introducing a series of Voss Talks (TED-style talks) with Purdue researchers Pedro Irazoqui, a professor of biomedical engineering; Greg Deason, senior vice president and director of Innovation and entrepreneurship with Purdue Research Foundation; and Gerhard Klimeck, a professor of electrical and computer engineering. Marietta Harrison, interim director of the Regenstrief Center for Healthcare Engineering and director of the Oncological Sciences Center, hosted a fireside chat with Alexandra Boltasseva, a professor of electrical and computer engineering and Birck Nanotechnology Center researcher. View the videos here.

Throughout the afternoon, guests enjoyed 15-minute quick chats with Discovery Park center directors, toured research facilities, looked at research poster displays, watched nano ice cream and tie-dyed milk demonstrations, and interacted with displays by Soundscapes, a project focused on capturing the vanishing sounds of nature. Research posters were displayed throughout buildings.

The afternoon wrapped up with a parade of future scientists, featuring students from the Patty Jischke and Early Care and Education Centers, and music from members of the Purdue Student Jazz Band.

Founded in 2001, Discovery Park is an interdisciplinary hub where Purdue researchers move beyond traditional boundaries, collaborating across disciplines and with policy makers and business leaders to create solutions for a better world. Grand challenges of global health, global conflict and security, and those that lie at the nexus of sustainable energy, world food supply, water and the environment are the focus of researchers in Discovery Park.

– Phillip Fiorini (

Above: A montage of images from the Discovery Park Open House and Convergence Center. View our Flickr photo album here