The grant includes $13 million for the university's Innovation Design Center, which will provide engineering and technology students with open-bay space and computer-aided design studios in which they can develop, build, and test extracurricular and course-based projects; $5 million to expand the Maurice J. Zucrow Laboratories in the College of Engineering, $13.5 million in support of the $54 million Flex Lab project, which will house wet-lab, dry-lab, and open collaboration spaces; $5 million for the Active Learning Center, which will fuse classrooms, libraries, and study and collaboration areas into one adaptable space; and $3.5 million for the College of Technology's transformation into the Polytechnic Institute, which will introduce student-driven project-based courses designed to address the needs of industries in Indiana that employ many of Purdue's tech graduates.
With the help of the funds from the endowment, Purdue hopes to boost its population of engineering students and contribute 5 percent of the new engineers in response to the Obama administration’s call for U.S. institutions of higher education to graduate an additional ten thousand engineers a year.
"This support from Lilly Endowment accelerates engineering's expansion in ways that will make a real difference for students and drive innovations that will have impact in our state and the world," said Leah Jamieson, the John A. Edwardson Dean of Engineering and Ransburg Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering. "Growth in engineering contributes to economic development. Engineering discoveries, and translation of those discoveries to market, build the innovation economy. Moreover, engineering jobs pay well and create fulfilling opportunities for our students."