sealPurdue News

December 16, 2000

Trustees ratify new faculty designations

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The Purdue Board of Trustees today (Saturday, 12/16) approved a new distinguished professor in engineering, a new named professor in veterinary medicine and granted emeritus status for the university airport's retiring director.

Alten F. Grandt Jr

Alten F. Grandt Jr., of the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics, has been appointed the Raisbeck Engineering Distinguished Professor of Engineering and Technology Integration. The distinguished professorship is named for a Seattle engineering firm founded by James Raisbeck, a 1961 Purdue graduate in aeronautical engineering.

Richard B. Borgens

Dr. Richard B. Borgens, director of Purdue's Institute for Applied Neurology and the Center for Paralysis Research, is the new Mari Hulman George Professor of Applied Neuroscience in the School of Veterinary Medicine. This endowed professorship is named for Mrs. Mari Hulman George, an animal lover whose family has a long history of philanthropy. She is chairman of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and is a client of Purdue's Veterinary Teaching Hospital.

"The work being done by professors Grandt and Borgens is an outstanding example of the hands-on research, teaching and scholarship we strive to emphasize at Purdue," said Robert L. Ringel, executive vice president for academic affairs. "With these new professorships, both men are being honored not only by their peers, but also by organizations in the private sector that will benefit from their work by way of new technologies and well-prepared graduates entering the work force."

Purdue now has 48 distinguished professors and 21 named professors.

Grandt earned all of his academic degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, beginning with a bachelor of science degree in general engineering in 1968. He earned a master of science in theoretical applied mechanics the following year and earned his Ph.D. in the same field in 1971.

Grandt spent eight years as a materials research engineer at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, before joining the Purdue engineering faculty in 1979. He served as head of the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics from 1985 to 1992 and won the E.F. Bruhn Best Teacher Award in 1997.

Grandt is highly respected in the fields of aeronautics, applied mechanics and materials science for his work in developing methods to analyze and design damage-tolerant aerospace structures and materials. Earlier this month he was presented with the U.S. Air Force John W. Lincoln Award, which is given annually to a distinguished career expert who has made significant contributions toward advancements in flight vehicle structural integrity and safety. Grandt's current research is focused on the challenge of ensuring the structural integrity of aging aircraft.

Borgens, a professor of developmental anatomy, holds dual faculty appointments at Purdue; one in the department of basic medical sciences at the School of Veterinary Medicine and the other in the department of biomedical engineering in the Schools of Engineering. He received both his bachelor of science and master of science degrees from North Texas State University and earned his Ph.D. at Purdue in 1977.

Borgens was a National Paraplegia Foundation Fellow at Yale University before returning to the Purdue faculty in 1982. He has served as director of Purdue's Center for Paralysis Research since 1987 and is the first director of the Institute for Applied Neurology, which was formed in July of 1999.

Borgens is internationally recognized for his research on spinal cord injuries and is a frequent guest lecturer on paralysis treatments being developed at Purdue. He holds two patents in the field, one for a method and apparatus for regenerating nerves and another for a method in reducing chronic pain and spasticity in patients with spinal cord injuries. A third patent on methods for treating mammalian spinal cord injuries is pending.

Purdue Airport Director Robert E. Stroud will become director emeritus when his retirement becomes effective on Jan. 1, 2001. Stroud has worked for the university 39 years and has served as airport director since 1981.

Source: Robert Ringel, (765) 494-9709,

Writer: Sharon A. Bowker, (765) 494-9723

Additional sources:

Richard B. Borgens, (765) 494-7600,

Alten F. Grandt Jr., (765) 494-5141,

Publication-quality photographs are available at the News Service Web site and at the ftp site. Photo IDs: Borgens.jpeg and Grandt.jpeg.

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