Statement issued Wednesday:
Two endowed faculty positions at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW) can now be funded, thanks to the disbursement of $3 million in grant funds by Community Partnerships Inc., to the IPFW Foundation. The faculty positions are for the Center for Systems Engineering and the Center for Wireless Communications. The funds were made available through the Talent Initiative program funded by the Lilly Endowment and managed regionally by the Northeast Indiana Foundation.
“IPFW’s systems engineering and wireless communications programs are at the forefront of providing university-based educational programs to meet industry specific needs,” said Leonard Helfrich, director of the Talent Initiative. “The endowed faculty positions these funds provide will support the Talent Initiative’s goal of enhancing the quality of education provided in northeast Indiana and increasing IPFW’s ability to meet the engineering needs of the local defense and aerospace industries.”
Half of IPFW’s grant funds will be used to hire an associate director of the Center for Systems Engineering who will also serve as a professor of systems engineering. This individual will teach courses that allow the program to expand its curriculum, provide technical assistance, and contribute to the university’s research portfolio.
The second position will be the associate director of the Center for Wireless Technology and a professor of wireless technology. This addition will allow the Wireless Communications Center to expand its class offerings in degree programs with a concentration in this area and launch a graduate certificate in wireless communication. Ultimately this position is intended to help establish and grow a national-level wireless communication research and trade conference in Fort Wayne.
“IPFW’s Center for Systems Engineering , Center for Wireless Communications, and our students will greatly benefit from this grant,” said IPFW Chancellor Michael A. Wartell. “These funds give crucial support to a long time partner of IPFW, the defense industry, which in turn is a major contributor to northeast Indiana’s economic health. Our students will benefit from the expansion of both of these programs which will allow them to be better trained and ready for the job market.”
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About the Talent Initiative: The Talent Initiative, formerly known as “TOpS 2015,” was developed through strategic collaboration among regional business leaders, economic development and government officials, community foundations, and representatives from K-12 and higher educational systems. Efforts include targeted educational and workforce programs for the aerospace and defense industries spanning northeast Indiana, forming the transformational cornerstone of regional economic growth opportunities, and the promotion of high quality jobs in northeast Indiana. The program receives financial oversight from Community Partnerships, Inc., and operational oversight from the Northeast Indiana Foundation.
About Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne: Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne is the largest public university in northeast Indiana, offering more than 200 prestigious IU and Purdue degrees and certificates. More than 13,000 students of diverse ages, races, and nationalities pursue their education on our 662-acre campus. IPFW combines challenging academic programs with student-centered flexibility at an affordable price. The university’s exemplary standards in teaching and research provide unparalleled value for career preparation and professional development in an ever-changing global market. The university’s commitment to service makes it an economic, cultural, and societal leader in the region. IPFW is an Equal Opportunity/Equal Access University accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.