We're Not Just Different. We're Making a Difference.

As the only interdisciplinary department of Polytechnic, TLI is focused on the human side of technology, preparing students to be leaders on day one.


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TLI has more females leading the way than any other STEM program, school, major, or department at Purdue. We wouldn't have it any other way because the workforce comprises more than half of women. It only makes sense that our student body is more than half women. To meet the demands of our labor force, we need more women in STEM. We will always welcome diversity in TLI.



Why Industry Needs Technology Leadership & Innovation Students

2020 brought unprecedented change and disruption to organizations. Organizations understand innovation requires technology leadership.


Leadership skills are no longer considered traits exclusive to top management. According to Moldoveanu and Narayandas (2019), organizations across various industries realize all employees need technical and interpersonal skills to survive today's complex and unstable business environment. The demand for diverse work structures and multiple uses of digital platforms requires all employees to think strategically and make essential decisions for the organization to thrive.

Today’s leaders must understand employees' personal and professional struggles and their organizational implications. From


mental and physical health benefits to understanding current social and political issues, employees want to work for companies that care about the greater good. Gartner research shows that 74% of employees expect their employer to become more actively engaged in cultural debates. Consulting firm McKinsey notes priorities for leadership include sustainability, cloud transformation, cultivating talent, increasing efficiency, and operating with a purpose. From understanding management theory to working with people of all ages, TLI provides future technology leaders with the skills they need to thrive in a challenging global environment.


"...organizations need dynamic, change-oriented technology leaders—kinetic leaders—to help envision the technology-driven future, lead complex transformations, and be the chief architect of innovation and change for the business. But becoming a kinetic leader is typically not a natural evolution—it’s an intentional act that requires purposeful planning, organizational will, executive sponsorship, and most importantly the leadership skills to pull it off.”

Deloitte 2020 Global Leadership Study



The Department of Technology Leadership and Innovation (TLI) has a long history in the College. What is now known as TLI was established in 1964 when Purdue University created the School of Technology and the Department of Industrial Education.  In 1966 the school formed the Department of Industrial Supervision. Seven years later, the "Industrial" part of the name was dropped to simply "Supervision" to appeal to a broader range of students. 1983 the Department of Industrial Education changed to Industrial Technology (IT). The Supervision department changed to Organizational Leadership and Supervision (OLS) in 1990. In 2011, IT, Industrial Distribution (ID), and OLS departments merged to form the Department of Technology Leadership and Innovation.

As business and industry expectations evolved, TLI academic programs restructured to address technology's rapid integration into human organization studies. Industrial Technology and Supply Chain Management Technology moved to the School of Engineering Technology (SOET) in 2017/2018 to facilitate better alignment with the academic focus of the majors. The remaining programs reflect the goals and objectives of today’s TLI department degree offerings which include Engineering-Technology Teacher Education (ETTE), Human Resource Development (HRD), and Organizational Leadership (OL). TLI emerged with 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 in these three key areas.









Department of Industrial Education is part of the new School of Technology The School of Technology creates the Department of Industrial Supervision Industrial Supervision changes to Supervision Industrial Education changes to Industrial Technology (IT) Supervision changes to Organizational Leadership and Supervision (OLS)

IT and OLS departments merge to form TLI Department

IT and Supply Chain Management move to the School of Engineering Technology Engineering-Technology Teacher Education (ETTE), Human Resource Development (HRD), and Organizational Leadership (OL)