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Raytheon donates $4 million to Purdue for business and STEM initiative

New professorship will focus on using ‘innovative solutions’ to address ‘complex challenges’

Purdue University has received a $4 million donation from Raytheon Technologies to create a new chair that will focus on the intersection of business and STEM.

The Raytheon Technologies Chair for Integrated Business and Engineering will be responsible for “support[ing] faculty leadership, discovery and engagement within business and STEM” at Purdue University according to a news release.

This donation from Raytheon reinforces an existing relationship between the company and Purdue University—approximately 30 of Raytheon’s engineers are enrolled in Purdue University’s “executive training program,” and the Big Ten school’s alumni are frequently employed at Raytheon after graduation, according to the Journal & Courier.

The company has an Indianapolis facility.

The College Fix reached out via email to Derek Schultz, media contact for Purdue University, twice in the past month. The Fix inquired about how Purdue University envisioned its future relationship with Raytheon.

The Fix also asked about how Purdue University hoped to accelerate technological development towards the end goal of enhancing “American competitiveness on the global stage” in accordance with Raytheon’s stated goals. The Fix did not receive a response from Purdue University.

The Fix also reached out via email to Raytheon Technologies’ corporate media department twice in the past month. The Fix asked Raytheon how it intended to increase “American competitiveness on the global stage” through its relationship with Purdue and what benefits it hoped to see from its relationship with the university. The military contractor did not respond.

“Fully integrating business and engineering expertise is essential to the future of both our industry and American competitiveness on the global stage,” Greg Hayes, CEO of Raytheon, stated in the university news release. “Continuing to evolve the way that we teach – and learn – about developing innovative solutions to the world’s most complex challenges is the only way forward. This chair position is part of our commitment to that end.”

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Purdue’s relationship with Raytheon is reflected well in the current cycle of technological innovation & development. Purdue, along with many other universities, are working alongside Raytheon in the field of aerospace defense by assisting in the research and testing of hypersonic missiles for military purposes.

According to Raytheon, partnerships with universities allow the company to develop “new degree and certification programs” that will serve to “develop future hypersonic engineers.”

Purdue University’s resources for constructing and testing hypersonic systems is unparalleled. The university possesses a hypersonics research program, Purdue Hypersonics, with access to unique, state-of-the-art testing and research facilities.

These facilities include the Mach 6 Quiet Tunnel, a wind tunnel capable of running at speeds up to six times the speed of sound, as well as Zucrow Laboratories, which is the largest academic laboratory for turbine machinery and aerodynamics research in the world.

The new partnership fits in with the university’s reorganization of its business school to “give future business leaders and entrepreneurs a new competitive advantage.”

During the same month, School of Management Dean David Hummels stated in an interview that “the change is the result of a sharp increase in demand from students” and “builds on the school’s original mission of combining science and engineering training.”

President Mung Chiang said of Raytheon’s donation that she hoped it would facilitate Purdue’s goal of “develop[ing] leaders at the intersection of business and technology who can create growth and make breakthroughs.”

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About the Author
Joseph Hobbs -- Massachusetts Institute of Technology