CoT Alumni Newsletter - September, 2010
Information technology, Rawles help wine competition run smoothly
Phil Rawles can locate any of these wines almost instantly with the help of his database.
Amongst 7,000 bottles of wine, 52 judges, and many volunteers sits
Philip Rawles, associate professor of computer and information
technology. For two months every year, his work at the Indy
International Wine Competition helps keep the event organized and
The competition is coordinated by the Wine Grape Team based in the Department of Food Science in Purdue’s College of Agriculture. It is the largest scientifically organized and independent wine competition in the United States.
Rawles has been involved with the competition since 1996 when he worked for the Department of Food Science.
“This is a great example of two colleges working together,” Rawles says. “I bring experience in information technology into play. The College of Technology provides equipment, switches, firewalls and servers for the event. It would be cost prohibitive for them to go out to the open market once a year to make this happen.”
Rawles’s duties revolve around the data about each of the wines entered into the competition. He spends several weeks leading up to the event updating and improving the database to make the task of entering information about the 3,000 entries more efficient.
“His system even sets up the tasting flights,” said Jill Blume, executive director of the competition and enology specialist in the Department of Food Science. “We can pull any wine off a table and tell you all about it and who will be judging it. Each wine record contains lots of information.”
Depending on changes in the competition, Rawles also writes queries that enable organizers to group, compare, and rate wines based on judges’ scoring. In 2010, for example, an award for best wine brand was added to the event.
“You have to parse the data. The code that helps identify that award is about seven pages long,” Rawles says.
The nature of the competition’s subject requires a lot of human input for the database to work properly. For example, sorting the list for all Cabernet Sauvignon wines is quite easy. Sorting for all native American white grapes, however, requires special information from the organizers.
“I had to build the database with a lot of flexibility so that they can do their job,” Rawles says. “Since it is only used once a year, this is an excellent case study on the importance of structured coding and documentation.”
Blume is thankful for Rawles’s involvement.
“Phil’s role is vital to the competition,” she said. “The information flow is accurate and timely. It makes us a well-organized and well-run competition. It’s really a well-oiled machine.”
OLS alumna plans for a living
Tammy (Vandeveer) Wiley has received a lot of attention lately, for her
past success and her future potential. As president and owner of
Brownsburg, Ind.-based Professional Conventions and Meetings Inc.
(ProCaM), she won an Infuse Initiative award to help her successful
company increase its exposure and market share.
Dean Depew announces plan to step down in 2011
Dennis Depew, dean of the Purdue University
College of Technology since 2002, will return to teaching and research after the
2010-2011 academic year.
"Dennis has moved the college forward as demand
grows for its specialties," said Timothy Sands, executive vice
president for academic affairs and provost. "We're fortunate that as he
returns to the role of professor - performing research, mentoring
students and teaching in the classroom - the university will continue
to benefit from his vision."
Sands will name a search committee for a new dean this fall.
Purdue Homecoming: Where else would you be?
The Purdue Technology Alumni Association will participate in Purdue's Homecoming activities Oct. 13-16, 2010.
Meet your Technology Alumni Association board
Thirteen College of Technology alumni and employees serve on the all-volunteer board of the Purdue Technology Alumni Association. Learn about the organization and the people who represent you on the board.
Student team takes first place in FAA competition
As part of an ongoing research project to design the Hangar of the
Future, three aviation management students were honored for innovative
design in a recent Federal Aviation Administration competition.
Kory Aktay, Keaton Aktay, and Jin Young Kim won first place in the
Airport Management and Planning category of the FAA’s 4th Annual
National Design Competition for Universities.
College of Technology research funding reaches all-time high
research funding for the Purdue University College of Technology topped
$11.6 million in 2009-2010, a total that is four times higher than the
previous year and more than double the previous high set in 2007-2008.
The funding is a
reflection of the college’s commitment to research overall and to the
six signature research areas outlined in its five-year strategic plan:
advanced manufacturing, cyberinfrastructure, energy and sustainability,
security and forensics, STEM education and technology and life
Hansen receives Lifetime Achievement Award
The College of Technology honored Richard W.
Hansen with its Lifetime Achievement Award September 9 during a
reception at Ross-Ade Pavilion.
Hansen has exceeded the criteria for this honor,” said Dennis Depew,
dean of the College of Technology. “He has left his mark in the
electrical manufacturing industry as a leader and mentor and has been a
tireless contributor to the aviation industry. He has selflessly given
financially and through his time and talents to enhance access to
education at all levels.”
CoT in the headlines
Read the latest news from the College of Technology on the News and Events page of the Web site. Stories focus on faculty and student accomplishments and activities as well as coverage of the college from other sources.
See the most recent headlines.
How to keep in touch:
Keeping in touch
Share your news
Whether you have moved, changed jobs, or expanded your family, we’d
like to hear about it, and, with your approval, share it with other
College of Technology alumni. Get started by updating your contact information or sharing news.
We’ll share ours
Visit the College of Technology Web site for more news and information
©2010 Purdue University College of Technology, All Rights Reserved
An equal access/equal opportunity university.