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February 8, 2008

Purdue trustees OK IUPUI motorsports program, honor professor, ratify administrator, name change

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Purdue University board of trustees on Friday (Feb. 8) ratified a bachelor's degree program in motorsports engineering at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

Trustees also approved the appointment of Bruce R. Hamaker as the Roy Whistler Chair in Carbohydrate Science in the Department of Food Science and the appointment of Lawrence M. Barrett as the vice chancellor for student services and enrollment management at Purdue North Central.

In addition, trustees approved a department name change in the College of Engineering.

The bachelor's degree program in motorsports engineering at IUPUI is designed to augment a currently existing program on the campus. The School of Engineering and Technology currently offers a motorsports technology certificate program, in which more than 30 students are currently enrolled.

"Positioned in Indianapolis, the self-proclaimed Capital of Auto Racing, IUPUI offers an ideal location for students training in this field to connect within the industry, learning opportunities, internships and postgraduation employment opportunities," said interim Provost Victor L. Lechtenberg. "The program will educate graduates for careers in automotive-related companies, either in motorsports or in the broader automotive industry, which could include airplanes, boats, trucks, off-road vehicles and unmanned competition vehicles."

Enrollment for the new program is expected to be 21 students over the first years and increase to 106 students by the fourth year.

The program will first be offered in the fall semester of 2008, pending approval by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education. Lechtenberg said it is believed that there are currently no comparable programs in the central part of the United States and only a limited number of similar programs in the country.

The program was developed by Purdue faculty in the mechanical engineering, engineering technology, and electrical and computer engineering programs at IUPUI.

During the first three years, 11 news courses will be developed for the curriculum and two new full-time faculty positions and a full-time technician will be needed. A Motorsports Lab already exists on the campus, Lechtenberg said.

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Hamaker's appointment as the Whistler Chair brings the university's total of named and distinguished professors to 150.

"Dr. Hamaker epitomizes the kind of faculty member that makes Purdue one of the leaders in food science," Lechtenberg said. "The Whistler Center is the premier food carbohydrate center in the United States, and Dr. Hamaker will continue the center's mission through his groundbreaking research and leadership."

As director of the Whistler Center for Carbohydrate Research and a professor of food science, Hamaker performs research on carbohydrates and health, cereal starch and protein structure-function relationships, and cereal chemistry and processing. His research ranges from designing carbohydrates for potential health benefits to ways to improve cereal utilization in developing countries.

Hamaker earned his bachelor's degree in biological sciences from Indiana University in 1977. He received his master's degree in human nutrition in 1983 and doctoral degree in food chemistry in 1986, both from Purdue. Prior to joining the Purdue faculty in 1992, he was a postdoctoral researcher at the Instituto de Investigación Nutricional/Johns Hopkins University in Lima, Peru, and was an assistant professor at the University of Arkansas.

Hamaker has published more than 90 articles in refereed research publications, nine book chapters and holds one patent. He also has lectured throughout the world on his research.

Trustees voted to ratify Barrett's appointment as vice chancellor for student services and enrollment management at Purdue North Central. Barrett served as associate vice chancellor for student services and enrollment management at North Central since 2005.

Previously, he was responsible for areas including admissions, financial aid, registration, dean of students, student counseling, student athletics, student activities, academic advising, library and media services, and school partnerships. Following his promotion, Barrett also will be responsible for correctional education, including the programs at Westville Correctional Facility and the Indiana State Prison, and K-12 outreach programs, including the Success Through Education Program and Purdue North Central College Bound Program.

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Barrett earned a bachelor's degree in communications from the State University of New York at Plattsburgh in 1986. In 1993 he earned a master's degree in educational administration from the State University of New York at New Paltz. He currently is working toward his doctoral degree in higher educational leadership.

Prior to working at North Central, Barrett held positions as dean of enrollment and lifelong learning at the State University of New York at Delhi and associate dean of students for enrollment and marketing at Sullivan County Community College in Loch Sheldrake, N.Y.

Trustees also approved changing the name of the Department of Engineering Education to the School of Engineering Education. The change reflects the full range of academic programs, from the undergraduate to doctorate level, that are offered by the department. The department has a total of 18 faculty members as well of seven courtesy faculty members from the colleges of Agriculture, Education, Technology, Science and Engineering.

It currently administers an array of interdisciplinary graduate programs, including a master of science, a master of science in engineering education and a doctorate. Since the 2003-04 academic year, research awards in the area have grown by more than 700 percent, Lechtenberg said.

Writer: Christy Jones, (765) 494-1089,

Source: Victor L. Lechtenberg, (765) 494-9095,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

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