Purdue Looks to Strengthen Industry Ties

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Purdue University's College of Engineering is increasing efforts to boost research and recruiting relationships with industry. It has hired Eric Holloway as its senior director of corporate and foundation relations. He previously served as managing director for Purdue's School of Engineering Education.

August 21, 2013

News Release

West Lafayette, Ind. - Working to expand and strengthen research relationships with industry, Purdue University's College of Engineering has named a senior director of Corporate and Foundation Relations.

Named to the position was Eric Holloway, a former managing director in Purdue's School of Engineering Education.

"He is going to be working to increase interaction between the College of Engineering and our corporate partners in support of strategic research initiatives, collaborative research projects and opportunities for recruitment of graduate students," said Melba Crawford, associate dean of engineering for research and a professor of agronomy, civil and electrical and computer engineering. "One of our chief goals in collaborative research is building and maintaining research relationships with industry. This includes not only large corporations but also small and medium-size companies."

Holloway, an engineer by training, will work with the associate dean for research in the College of Engineering and the Office of the Vice President for Research. The appointment was effective Aug. 1.

The position addresses the need to add staff with technical expertise to help faculty members engage industry and corporations in research-related initiatives. It is critical to develop and retain relationships with industry in areas of research, philanthropy and student recruitment, Holloway said.

"When a relationship is going very well with a company you have all three of those things going on at the same time," he said. "Our focus is to both leverage recent relationships we already have into some research activities and to develop new relationships. Some companies can't afford to conduct research and development or need to cut back, and we may be able to help fill a void."

The position expands the traditional role of engaging corporate partners in student recruitment and philanthropy to add the focus on strengthening and expanding the research relationships.

The effort dovetails with a new Indiana Next Generation Manufacturing Competitiveness Center (IN-MaC) led by Purdue to build partnerships with manufacturing companies by providing assistance to strengthen competitiveness and add or preserve jobs in Indiana.

From 2007-2013, Holloway served as managing director and the director of Instructional Laboratories in the School of Engineering Education. As director he was in charge of the building and implementation of the Ideas to Innovation (i2i) Laboratory, which opened in August 2008 and houses classrooms and laboratories used by the 2,000 students in Purdue's First-Year Engineering program.

He oversaw the daily operation of the i2i lab and was responsible for the personnel, logistics and technology used in the classroom and labs. He also helped build and direct the College of Engineering-sponsored Artisan and Fabrication Lab (AFL), which houses machine and carpentry shops and a prototyping lab used by all students in the College of Engineering for project work.

He received a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering from Purdue in 1992 and has more than 15 years of industrial experience, specializing in manufacturing and electronic controls, for which he holds three patents. His industrial experience includes positions at Toyota, Cummins, Woodward, and TRW Automotive.

Source: Purdue University