Tech Insider January 2017


Earlier this month Purdue President Mitch Daniels released his annual Open Letter to the People of Purdue focusing on the theme of “calculated risk.” The letter featured, among the University’s calculated risks, the Purdue Polytechnic Institute’s learning transformation efforts. More prominently featured in the letter is the launching of the Purdue Polytechnic High School in Indianapolis, which will be followed by additional high schools near the other Polytechnic locations throughout the state.

There is no doubt both ventures involve risk. But there is bigger risk in keeping the status quo. As Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg says, “The biggest risk is not taking any risk ... In a world that is changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.”

We are very much in the middle of a transformational process that challenges the status quo. We are creating a learning environment that is better aligned for the digital age. By using our industrial age experiences in teaching and learning as a foundation and then adding in elements that prepare students for the digital age, our risks are calculated with measures of reflection and control. We are not cliff jumping and merely hoping the parachute will open.

We can learn from our flight program in the School of Aviation and Transportation Technology. Every day our instructors and students fly a heavier-than-air tube with stationary wings, a great example of calculated risk. Sometimes we forget, too, that one of the primary reasons for faculty tenure is to encourage the taking of calculated risks in an effort to question the status quo while not fearing for our jobs. Our foundation allows us to take these calculated risks and feel confident that doing so will allow us and our students to be more successful.

Similarly, our faculty members who serve the on the Purdue University Senate are critical to the college’s success. I want to recognize the important work they do representing the college. Current Polytechnic faculty senators are Kirk Alter, Bill Hutzel, Todd Kelley, Julie Mariga, Helen McNally, Jamie Mohler, Carlos Morales, and Mark Thom.

Gary R. Bertoline is dean of the Purdue Polytechnic Institute.

Richard Voyles, Xiaoming Wang, Xiumin Diao, Ayhan Ince, Nate Hartman, Austin Creasy and John Piller


Seven Purdue Polytechnic professors will be part of the national Advanced Robotics Manufacturing Institute announced January 13 by the U.S. Department of Defense. Richard Voyles, Xiaoming Wang, Xiumin Diao, Ayhan Ince, Nate Hartman, Austin Creasy and John Piller will be part of the new network, which is the latest public-private Manufacturing USA Institute created by the U.S. government, industry, academia and the nonprofit sector to assist the advanced manufacturing sector in the country.

The new organization will leverage artificial intelligence, autonomy, 3-D printing and other emerging technologies to make industrial robotics more affordable for businesses of all sizes, adaptable for many uses and able to achieve more.

The new TechConnect Portal


The Office of Engagement launched its TechConnect portal this year to more easily connect the college’s industry partners with its students.

The internship function of the website is the first to be rolled out. As the spring semester progresses, more functionality related to capstone courses will be added. In addition, the portal includes information about important dates, campus resources and other research and global opportunities.

TechConnect offers account access to Purdue Polytechnic students, capstone faculty and industry partners. Each has access to specific information within the portal. As more functionality is added, access will be expanded to all Polytechnic faculty.


Game studies major proves popular. In the two years since the new game studies major was first offered by Purdue Polytechnic, it already makes up a large percentage of students in Department of Computer Graphics Technology. WLFI recently talked with David Whittinghill, associate professor of computer graphics technology, and several of his students about the new major and where it can take today’s students.

Anderson students create BoilerBot, a robotic greenhouse. Students enrolled in TECH 12000 (Design Thinking in Technology) at Purdue Polytechnic Anderson are working with every discipline at the location to create BoilerBot, a prototype of a robotic greenhouse, automating the process of planting and growing fresh produce.


Career fairs — and special sessions to help prepare for them — are coming soon for Purdue Polytechnic students:

  • Career Fair Prep Night, 5 - 7 p.m., Tuesday, January 24 in ARMS 1010.
  • Company Information Sessions, 6 - 9 p.m., Tuesday, January 31 in STEW 202, 211 & 313.
  • Purdue Polytechnic Career Fair, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., Wednesday, February 1 in the Purdue Memorial Union's North & South Ballrooms.
  • School of Aviation and Transportation Technology Career Fair, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., Thursday, February 2 in the Niswonger Aviation Technology Building.
  • School of Construction Management Technology Career Fair, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., Friday, February 10 in the Cordova Recreation Center.

Purdue Polytechnic Institute • Tech Insider • January 2017

© 2017 Purdue University • EA/EOU


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