When Purdue University created the School of Technology in 1964, it was an exciting time, and we were at the cusp of something new and revolutionary. We find ourselves in a similar position today: a renewed sense of purpose, a transformed college and curricula, and the resolve to offer the best education for the 21st century student and workforce.

The Department of Technology Leadership & Innovation helps students and employers lead change and create success. As society and expectations have evolved, so have the academic programs and the research that complements them.

About TLI History


The Department of Technology Leadership & Innovation prepares students to lead the development and successful introduction of high-tech solutions in business, industry, and the classroom. Faculty members are experts in helping organizations improve, and their research reflects the latest in helpful solutions. From teaching tomorrow’s teachers to understanding the nuances in each technological challenge, the department focuses on improving and shaping the future of technology and its uses.

Global Reach

  • M.S. in Biotechnology Innovation and Regulatory Science is rst Purdue degree offered in Africa, funded by Merck and the U.N.
  • Dual master’s degree program for Fall 2016: M.S. in TLI from Purdue University and Master’s in Engineering Management from Tsinghua University in China
  • Munich University of Applied Sciences: Study abroad experience for M.S. in TLI students; Maymester course for TLI undergraduates
  • Kilimanjaro School of Pharmacy: exchange agreement for students, faculty and researchers
  • Panama Canal: Maymester program for supply chain management and construction master’s students 

Faculty Leadership

  • LINDA NAIMI is included among Elite American Educators, vice president of the International Leadership Council and chair of the Golden Key National Honor Society.
  • CHAD LAUX is a U.S. delegate to the ISO’s Technical Committee 34 with the mission of creation and maintenance of international quality management system standards for global food safety.
  • SABINE BRUNSWICKER is a permanent member of the European Commission’s Open Innovation Strategy & Policy Group.
  • PAUL ASUNDA is vice president of the Engineering and Technology Education Division of the Association of Career and Technical Education.
  • STEPHEN ELLIOTT serves on the National Programs Task Group of the ANSI Emerging Professionals Joint Task Force.
  • NATHALIE DUVAL-COUETIL is the senior research advisor for the Stanford University Epicenter and vice president for research for U.S. Association of Small Business and Entrepreneurship. 
  • MESUT AKDERE is appointed to serve on the Board of Examiners of the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) by the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Recent Student Accomplishments

  • Ph.D. student SHWETA CHOPRA was accepted into the Clinton Global Initiative University while she worked on her food security project involving the food supply chain in India.
  • Ph.D. student PRIYANKA BRUNESE is one of two Purdue students selected for the Emerging Leaders in Science and Society (ELISS) leadership development program.
  • KURTIS HOMAN, HELEN NUNEZ, and SOFIA ZHAO made a clean sweep at the ATMAE Grad Student Research Competition, winning all three places at the annual ATMAE conference in St. Louis.
  • A paper by graduate student ZIYU LONG and Prof. Nathalie Duval-Couetil received the Journal of Small Business Management Editor’s Choice Award.
  • A paper by graduate student JAKE WHEADON and Prof. Nathalie Duval- Couetil won best paper for the ASEE Entrepreneurship and Engineering Innovation Division at the ASEE Annual Conference.
  • A paper by graduate students TANNER HUFFMAN and HILDE THAYER, written with Prof. Nathan Mentzer, received the Outstanding Research Award Engineering and Technology Education Division of ACTE.
  • EIGHTEEN TLI STUDENTS presented their research at national and international conferences during the 2014-15 academic year. 

Research Highlights

  • Two years of record research grants and expenditures from 2013-15.
  • NATHAN MENTZER, National Science Foundation grant to broaden the STEM pipeline through the development of soft robotics curricula.
  • STEPHEN ELLIOTT and KEVIN O’CONNOR, funding from Google, U.S. Border Patrol, Paycasso, and the Department of Homeland Security for biometrics research and testing.
  • PAUL ASUNDA, Indiana Department of Education funding to improve STEM integration in the state.
  • SABINE BRUNSWICKER, National Science Foundation grant to design innovation competitions for government open data.
  • JENNY DAUGHERTY, Black Hills State University grant for STEM leadership research.
  • NATHALIE DUVAL-COUETIL, grants from National Science Foundation, Korean Federation of Information Industries, Kern Foundation, and University of Niznhi, Novgrood.
  • TODD KELLEY, Eli Lilly and Co. grant to support the development of a new integrated STEM teacher education program at the University.
  • RODNEY VANDEVEER, Purdue Technical Assistance Program funding to engage graduate students in business and industry projects.
  • Four research centers established in the department:

    • Biotechnology Innovation and Regulatory Science Center (BIRSC), 2014
    • International Center for Biometric Research (ICBR), 2013
    • Joint Purdue-Tsinghua Center of Innovation (JPTCI), 2015
    • Research Center for Open Digital Innovation (RCODI), 2013