Materials Engineering

Material engineers improve the road you travel on, the coal used to fuel a factory, and the sidewalk in your neighborhood. Through their study of asphalt and bituminous materials, roads and sidewalks last longer and fuels, like coal, are more energy efficient.

The Materials area of emphasis in Civil Engineering provides freedom for students to develop a plan of study that will meet individual goals. Students take a broad range of courses including chemistry, construction, geology, mathematics, mechanics, and other engineering disciplines. Historically, the area has continuously maintained a balance between theoretical, experimental and practice-based approaches to solving problems. The Materials Engineering faculty are dedicated to teaching and research. The Materials Engineering Research Facilities offer hands-on experiences to undergraduate and graduate students.

Civil Engineering's Materials group has a loyal alumni network in both academia and private practice around the world. Research is divided into two broad themes: Asphalt and Bituminous Materials, and Portland Cement and Concrete. The American Concrete Institute at Purdue University also offers opportunities for students to bridge the gap between academic learning and professional practice.


May 14, 2024

Jan Olek elected to ACI Committee on Nominations

Jan Olek, James H. and Carol H. Cure Professor in Civil Engineering and Director of the North Central Superpave Center, has been elected to serve on the American Concrete Institute's Committee on Nominations for 2024-2025.
May 5, 2024

Reducing greenhouse gases at the source by capturing CO2 in a liquid filter

The biggest contributor to climate change is the emission of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere, especially by heavy industry such as power production and manufacturing. Purdue University researchers have patented a process using liquid filters to remove CO2 at the source, resulting in by-products that can also be recycled and reused.
May 3, 2024

Luna Lu featured on "Boilermaker Engenuity" podcast

Purdue's Luna Lu, a recent recipient of the Edison Award, spoke with Purdue Engineering Dean Arvind Raman about "breathing new life into U.S. infrastructure" for the Engenuity podcast. Lu is leveraging IoT via smart, materials-based sensor technology and interpretive data-processing methods.
April 19, 2024

Purdue-invented concrete strength sensing system wins Edison Award

Luna Lu, Purdue's Reilly Professor of Civil Engineering, has led development of a sensor technology that has been recognized as a gold winner of an Edison Award in the Critical Human Infrastructure category. The Edison Awards, considered the "Oscars of innovation," are given annually to "recognize the persistence and excellence that also characterized Thomas Edison's work."
February 19, 2024

Fixing the pothole problem

As pothole season continues, professor Luna Lu's smart concrete research continues to get media coverage. Lu’s innovative concrete sensors, which allow concrete to "communicate" with engineers about its strength, were recently featured in a CBS Boston story. The reporter used video from the Purdue News YouTube page to showcase how Lu’s sensors are cutting down construction time and saving taxpayers millions of dollars.
September 28, 2023

Purdue researchers develop a new type of intelligent architected materials for industry applications

A team of researchers led by Pablo Zavattieri, the Jerry M. and Lynda T. Engelhardt Professor in Civil Engineering, have developed patent-pending intelligent architected materials that can dissipate energy caused by bending, compression, torque and tensile stresses, avoiding permanent plastic deformation or damage, and may also exhibit shape memory properties that allow them to have actuation capacity.
August 21, 2023

AI-assisted materials discovery paper by Luna Lu and Yining Feng featured as cover article of Advanced Electronic Materials

With the development of artificial intelligence, many industries have undergone a technological revolution, and the field of materials science is no different. In this article, Luna Lu, Yining Feng and their co-authors combine advanced materials science theory and AI technology to design a framework for rapidly discovering high-performance thermoelectric materials.
April 20, 2023

Enabling a sustainable future

Yining Feng's research goal is to enable sustainable built environments and human-environmental health through multidisciplinary research into materials and related device technology.
March 22, 2023

Luna Lu appointed associate dean

Luna Lu, the Reilly Professor and acting head of Purdue's Lyles School of Civil Engineering, will serve as associate dean of the faculty for the College, effective April 1.
February 22, 2023

Pablo Zavattieri recognized as ASME Fellow

Pablo Zavattieri, Jerry M. and Lynda T. Engelhardt Professor in Civil Engineering, has been elected a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. The Fellow grade of membership recognizes exceptional engineering achievements and contributions to the engineering profession and to ASME.
January 17, 2023

3D printed homes becoming more of a possibility

In a recent news segment airing on KTBC Austin and other affiliates, Jan Olek, James H. and Carol H. Cure Professor in Civil Engineering and Director of the North Central Superpave Center, discusses the application of 3D printing in the present and future of home construction.
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