sealPurdue Story Ideas

January 14, 2002

JOURNALISTS: Here are story ideas and a list of selected Purdue events during the next two weeks.

Students design high-tech vehicle

A team of Purdue engineering students has designed a high-tech, self-balancing vehicle similar to the scooter-like machine created by inventor Dean Kamen, who received worldwide publicity when he unveiled his Segway transport in December. The team of four women and one man, all mechanical engineering undergraduate students, received much less fanfare than Kamen last month when they also unveiled their One New Ultimate Transportation vehicle. Unlike Kamen's two-wheel Segway vehicle, the Purdue machine would have one wheel. But its design is similar to Segway's in that it would use a special "GyroChip" to keep from tipping over. The Purdue students designed their personal transport vehicle in a sophomore-level design class under the supervision of mechanical engineer John Nolfi, manager of the university's Product Engineering and Realization Laboratory, and Professor David Anderson in the School of Mechanical Engineering.

"This course is designed to give mechanical engineering students their first taste of what engineering is really like in the industrial and commercial world," said Professor Jim Jones, associate head of the school. "It acclimates them to project engineering in industry."

CONTACT: Dan Hirleman, (765) 494-5688,

Indiana tops in Midwest milk production growth

Indiana leads the Midwest in milk production growth and is the only state to experience increased output in the past year. Dairy production is growing in the Hoosier state, making it the 15th largest dairy producer in the nation. Established dairies in Indiana are expanding, and new startup dairies are emerging from other parts of the country and the world. Purdue Extension dairy specialist Mike Schutz can talk about the dairy industry's impact on Indiana.

CONTACT: Mike Schutz, assistant professor of animal sciences, (765) 494-9478.

Oliver North to speak at Purdue

Oliver North will provide the keynote address Thursday (1/17) at the Purdue College Republicans fifth annual Governor Harry G. Leslie Day Dinner. The speech, with begins at 8 p.m. in Loeb Playhouse, is entitled "Patriotism in Public Service."

CONTACT: Alex Housten, Purdue College Republicans president, (765) 746-5970,

Former white freedom rider to speak at Purdue

David Fankhauser, a professor of biology and chemistry at Cleremont College in Cincinnati, Ohio, and a white freedom rider of the 1960s civil rights movement, will speak at 7 p.m. Jan. 21 in the Loeb Playhouse. The speech is entitled "Service Learning as a Life Changing Experience: A White Freedom Rider Speaks."

Fankhauser will reflect on what it felt like to be a 19-year-old white student arrested for sitting in a "colored only" waiting room in the South. Fankhauser spent 40 days in a maximum security prison. The speech is a highlight of the Affirming the Dream VII: Acts of Kindness /Acts of Justice program sponsored by the Diversity Resource Office.

CONTACT: Angela Walker, (765) 494-7307,

Purdue community to volunteer on MLK day

Staff, faculty and students will use part of their University holiday on Monday, Jan. 21., to participate in Affirming the Dream VII: A Day of Service in honor Martin Luther King Jr. From 9 a.m. to noon., volunteers will assist more than 25 non-profit agencies in the Greater Lafayette area and then share a luncheon. The media are welcome to shoot footage and interview the volunteers.

CONTACT: Angela Walker at the Diversity Resource Office at (765) 494-7307.

Union Club Hotel opens newly renovated wing

The Union Club Hotel at Purdue University will welcome guests to its newly renovated north wing Friday, Jan. 18.

The 18-month modernization project, at a cost $ 9.5 million, features several infrastructure improvements, including a new heating and air conditioning system, new water heaters and softeners, passenger elevator upgrades and a new service elevator.

New furnishings and an updated color scheme are featured in the 131 refurbished rooms.

Tours are available for the media.

CONTACT: Jerry Day, hotel manager, (765) 494-8919,


• Friday, Feb. 8. Board of Trustees meeting.

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

* To the Purdue News and Photos Page