Purdue News

July 25, 2006

Purdue leader honored for global approach in teaching engineering

Daniel Hirleman
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — The head of Purdue University's School of Mechanical Engineering is being recognized by an international organization for an engineering program that promotes a global exchange of education and research.

E. Daniel Hirleman, a professor and the William E. and Florence E. Perry Head of the School of Mechanical Engineering and interim director of Purdue's Global Engineering Programs, will receive the 2006 Achievement Award from the International Network for Engineering Education and Research (iNEER). He receives the honor at the organization's annual International Conference on Engineering Education today (July 25) in Puerto Rico.

The organization gives only two to three awards annually to engineering educators from around the world. The other two are leadership and recognition awards.

Among other achievements, Hirleman is being recognized for his vision and role in the development of Purdue's Global Engineering Alliance for Research and Education, or GEARE. The program integrates domestic and international internships, study abroad and multi-national design and research team experiences for engineering students.

"When I came to Purdue in 1999, less than one percent of our mechanical engineering students had a global experience related to the engineering profession," he said. "In the past two years, 18 percent of our graduating students have had overseas courses or internships in their chosen field of mechanical engineering."

Through the program, Purdue students have studied and worked in Germany, China, India and Mexico. The project has expanded to include students from other engineering schools at Purdue, including chemical, civil, electrical and computer, and aeronautics and astronautics.

"We have also partnered with Purdue faculty in foreign languages and literature," Hirleman said. "The project now involves short-term courses, long-term undergraduate exchange, graduate-level collaborative research projects, sabbatical exchanges and distance design projects. I credit my colleagues at Purdue and at the global alliance universities, our supportive alumni and strong industry partnerships for the success of the programs."

Hirleman also is being recognized for his leadership in international organizations, including the Organizing Committee for the Colloquia on International Engineering Education and the International Congress on Optical Particle Sizing. In addition, he is being recognized for co-chairing the first conference on engineering education jointly sponsored by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and its Chinese counterpart, the Chinese Mechanical Engineering Society.

Prior to joining Purdue, Hirleman was on the faculty at Arizona State. He earned his bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in mechanical engineering from Purdue. His research is in the area of optical diagnostics, including surface characterization and sensors for semiconductor manufacturing, particle and flow diagnostics, biohazard detection and design for inspectability. He has authored more than 150 technical papers, has edited a book, been invited to give 60 lectures in 10 countries and holds four patents. He has received National Science Foundation, Howard Hughes and Alexander von Humboldt Foundation fellowships.

The U.S. News and World Report ranked the Purdue School of Mechanical Engineering seventh in the nation in undergraduate studies and eighth in the nation for graduate studies.

Writer: Cynthia Sequin, (765) 494-4192, csequin@purdue.edu

Source: E. Daniel Hirleman, (765) 494-5688, hirleman@purdue.edu

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; purduenews@purdue.edu


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