Joe and Lisa Shetterley dedicate $1.1 million gift to Innovation Lab
A professor’s inspiring research has sparked an incredible gift to a Lyles School of Civil Engineering laboratory.
In October 2021, the Purdue University Board of Trustees ratified a $1.1 million gift made by Specification Products, Inc. The gift goes to further the education and research efforts at the Sustainable Materials and Renewable Technology (SMART) Laboratory — and has been renamed the Joe and Lisa Shetterley Innovation Lab.
“After seeing the amazing work and research being done through our partnership, I felt like this was something I should do to further support it,” Specification Products President and CEO Joe Shetterley said. “The work being done at Purdue and in this lab is of great importance to people.”
ACPA Professor of Civil Engineering, Na “Luna” Lu, has been named the inaugural director of the lab., Shetterley said, “Dr. Lu is the key reason why I felt compelled to make this gift.”
“We partnered with Dr. Lu and her lab in 2019 for research on concrete — and from there our relationship grew and I gained such a deep appreciation for what she does,” Shetterley said. “Seeing her work and her passion for — more than just academic research — making a lasting impact on society, I knew we had to continue working with her as much as possible.”
Specification Products Executive Vice President, Megan Gumbel, said the relationship developed between her company and Purdue Civil Engineering has already proven to be of immeasurable benefit.
“What we witnessed with Dr. Lu was her passion for research and education, her incredible working relationship with her students, and how she navigates her professional relationships to make an impact on industry and society at large. All of these qualities were beyond impressive to us,” Gumbel said. “You can tell she genuinely cares about what she’s doing and the people she’s working with. From our very first encounter with her, we knew we had to make this a lasting partnership.”
Lu said she feels that she and her lab have also benefited tremendously from their partnership, and “is very grateful for the partnership.”
“I’ve always felt like civil engineering’s true purpose was to work toward benefitting others and the society,” Dr. Lu said. “Our work is meant to contribute to society and I look forward to seeing what we can accomplish together. I feel very fortunate to be where I am, and I greatly respect and appreciate what Joe and his company have done. This gift will result in a great benefit to research and education in civil materials engineering. As a result, it will make a profound impact in civil engineering and our society at large.”