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June 17, 2004

Purdue names director of Center for Advanced Manufacturing

John P. Sullivan

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – John P. Sullivan, professor of aeronautical engineering, has been named director of Purdue University's new Center for Advanced Manufacturing, effective July 1.

During an advanced manufacturing summit at Purdue on May 18, university President Martin C. Jischke announced the center's creation. The new center will be the sixth component in Purdue's Discovery Park, the university's central hub for strategic, interdisciplinary research.

"The appointment of John Sullivan as director of the Center for Advanced Manufacturing is a key step in getting the Center for Advanced Manufacturing up and running," Jischke said. "John brings academic stature and respect in the university community together with administrative skills and industry experience to put this center to work immediately for Indiana manufacturers."

Sullivan, who has been at Purdue since 1975, received his master's degree and doctorate in aeronautical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He received his bachelor's degree in mechanical and aerospace sciences from University of Rochester in New York.

Sullivan served as head of Purdue's School of Aeronautics and Astronautics from 1993-98 and was director of the Aerospace Sciences Laboratory from 1983-95. He has an extensive record of academic publications and possesses industrial and consulting experience with NASA, Boeing Commercial Aircraft Co., the Office of Naval Research and General Electric Co.

Sullivan said, "Joining Purdue's deep resources in manufacturing with Indiana's manufacturers will pay dividends for the state. Purdue has along history of cutting-edge research in manufacturing, and we want to continue and enhance this work and transfer these advances to manufacturers. Job No. 1 at the Center for Advanced Manufacturing is to have Indiana manufacturers understand that we're open for business."

Sullivan said Purdue's new center will serve as a resource for existing companies, as well as help attract new businesses to the state, create opportunities for citizens and help to alleviate what many refer to as Indiana's "brain drain."

The Center for Advanced Manufacturing will be located in the $10 million e-Enterprise Center, for which the university's trustees hired Brenner Design, of Indianapolis, as architect and engineering firm in April. The center is designed to house large-scale interdisciplinary projects and programs.

An advanced manufacturing feasibility study and needs assessment was sponsored in 2000 by the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership, a coalition of business and academic leaders that has promoted growth in sectors like advanced manufacturing and the life sciences. Its report, issued last year, found that Indiana needs an advanced manufacturing center.

The CICP study concluded that advanced manufacturing technology needs to be instituted in large and small companies in all of the state's manufacturing sectors, including automotive, food processing, electronics, steel and pharmaceuticals.

CICP President and CEO David Goodrich said he was glad to see the center get up and running so quickly.

"Partnerships between industry and academia are essential in knowledge-based industries like advanced manufacturing," Goodrich said. "Under John Sullivan’s leadership, we’re confident that Purdue's Center for Advanced Manufacturing will encourage this kind of collaboration and be a great source of innovation and new opportunities for Indiana manufacturers."

Purdue will contribute facility space in its Discovery Park and provide start-up expenses over the center's first three years, said Charles O. Rutledge, the park's director.

"While we've placed emphasis on our initiatives in biotechnology and nanotechnology in developing Discovery Park, we believe manufacturing can continue to be a strong contributor to Indiana's economic future by bringing Purdue researchers together with state manufacturers," Rutledge said. "It's appropriate that the Center for Advanced Manufacturing be based at the state's land-grant university."

U.S. Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind., is leading a bipartisan effort by the Indiana congressional delegation to secure an additional $3 million from federal sources to help fund the center. Purdue is developing a proposal for $2 million in funding from the state's 21st Century Research and Technology Fund. Purdue also expects to leverage those funds to attract additional investment from federal agencies and industry partners.

Rutledge said the center will serve as an umbrella for 90 Purdue researchers, existing and future centers and projects that support manufacturing.

Located at the corner of State Street and Intramural Drive in West Lafayette, Discovery Park, which is now under construction, will include six centers: Birck Nanotechnology Center, Bindley Bioscience Center, Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship, Discovery Learning Center, e-Enterprise Center and the Center for Advanced Manufacturing. The new Biomedical Engineering Building also will be located in Discovery Park.

Writer: Mike Lillich, (765) 494-2077,

Sources: Martin Jischke, (765) 494-9708

John Sullivan, (765) 494-3344,

David Goodrich, (317) 638-2440

Charles Rutledge, (765) 494-7766,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

Related news release:
Purdue announces center to advance future of Indiana manufacturing

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