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CE Newsletter
October 2004

Welcoming New Faculty

Dr. David Bonen has accepted our offer to join Purdue as Associate Professor in the School of Civil Engineering . His research focuses on fundamental understanding of the relationships of the physical, chemical, and rheological properties of cementitious systems with emphasis on the underlying science and correlation to microstructure on one hand, and applicable research related to mix design, self-consolidating concrete, resistance of concrete to high temperature, and deterioration of cementitious materials. His degrees are from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. After his Ph.D. in 1980, he spent about 10 years with Nesher; a midsize cement company, in the capacity of the manager and research director for the central laboratories. He then spent seven years with USG, focusing on formulation and development of construction materials and structural fiber reinforced thin sheets. In 2002, he returned to the academia assuming a position of research professor at Northwestern University before joining Purdue in 2004.

Professor Joe Sinfield

Dr. Joe Sinfield joins Purdue University as an Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering in the Construction and Engineering Management Group. His research interests include the development and application of advanced sensing technologies for civil engineering applications (e.g., laser-based sensing, wireless sensor systems, and piezoelectric devices) as well as engineering business management, strategic planning, and innovation. Prior to Purdue, Joe spent five years with McKinsey & Company advising leaders of Fortune 100 companies on issues of growth, technology investment, innovation management and go-to-market strategy in the areas of materials, chemicals, manufacturing, and telecommunications. He has also worked as a geotechnical engineer for Haley & Aldrich, an engineering consulting firm based in Cambridge , MA , and as a Post-doctoral Researcher with MIT's Departments of Civil Engineering and Nuclear Engineering. He graduated from Bucknell University, summa cum laude, with a Bachelor's Degree in Civil Engineering, and completed both his masters and doctorial programs at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in civil and environmental engineering.

Professor Amit Varma

Dr. Amit Varma has accepted our offer to join Purdue as an Assistant Professor in the School of Civil Engineering . His research focuses on the behavior, analysis, and design of civil structures under extreme loading, for example, earthquakes or fire events, and the evaluation and repair of damaged or deteriorating civil infrastructure. His research will be in the Bowen Large-Scale Structures laboratory. His areas of expertise include: large-scale experimental investigations of structural components and sub-systems under static, dynamic, or thermal loading, development of analytical models for structural components, and analytical investigations of the elastic, inelastic, and collapse behavior of structural systems. After he completed his doctorial program at Lehigh University in 2001, he served as an assistant professor at Michigan State University for three years. He is the recipient of the 2003-2007 AISC Faculty Fellowship Award for the development of innovative long-span floor systems for multistory residential structures.

Congratulations to Bryan Hubbard

Dr. Bryan Hubbard, the Director of Internships in the Division of Construction Engineering and Management (CEM) is the recipient of the 2004 Purdue College of Engineering New Employee (Administrative and Professional) Award. He has played a vital role in enhancing the quality of construction engineering education at Purdue University. He has initiated key initiatives to enhance the role of internships in the CEM curriculum and to enhance the recognition of the CEM program in the construction industry.  Dr. Hubbard has gained the respect and admiration of the students in the program, alumni, his colleagues, both faculty and staff, and industry practitioners.  He has worked closely with the faculty in integrating theory and practice in courses and also forming bridges between courses so that students have a holistic learning experience.

The award recognizes Dr. Hubbard's exemplary manner in fulfilling the responsibilities of the internship director, his uncommon initiative,  contagious enthusiasm and attitude of service. The School of Civil Engineering is honored to have Dr. Bryan Hubbard as part of our team and congratulate him on his outstanding dedication to his new position.

From the Graduate Office

Javier Irizarry, doctoral student in the School of Civil Engineering, will receive the HENAAC/SHPE Foundation scholarship at the 2004 HENAAC Careers Conference and Awards Show in October 2004. HENAAC is the Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Awards Corporation, whose their mission is to enlighten the nation about the achievements of Hispanics in engineering, science, technology, and math; to motivate and educate more students to pursue careers in these fields; to increase the role of Hispanic community plays in maintaining America's status as the world technology leader. The scholarships are awarded based on academic excellence, exceptional leadership skills, campus and community involvement, and commitment to the Hispanic community. Javier is specializing in construction engineering and management and is attending Purdue on a George Washington Carver Fellowship.

Zakia Parrish (PhD, 2003) will be an Assistant Professor at the University of Southern Alabama beginning in October.  Over the past year, Dr. Parrish was a post-doctoral research associate at the University of Connecticut.  While attending Purdue, Dr. Parrish was awarded the GE Engineers for the Future and Martha Dicks Stevens Fellowships.

Avery Rhodes, a graduate student in Transportation Engineering, received a U.S.DOT Eisenhower Fellowship for the 2004-05 Academic year.

Narissa Cofield, a graduate student in Environmental Engineering, received a Ford Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship for the 2004-05 Academic year.

August 2004 three International Road Federation Scholars join the Transportation Engineering group to begin studies.

The Graduate Programs Office will be changing their open office hours:
Service Hours will be:
Monday 8:00-4:00
Tuesday through Friday 9:30-3:30

Remembering Leonard Wood
  Professor Emeritus Leonard Wood  
June 10, 1923 -
Sept. 8, 2004

A celebration of life will be held October 15. See Event Announcement/Invitation. Any memorials or tributes in his honor will be the individual's choice. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Purdue Foundation for the Leonard E. Wood Memorial Scholarship Fund, 550 Stadium Mall Drive, West Lafayette, IN 47907. To view obituary see Professor Leonard Wood.


Message from the editor- I had the opportunity to interview Leonard and write this article in May of 2004. I had no idea that he would not be here to see it published. His devotion to the School of Civil Engineering, the Co-op Program and his students will be sorely missed by all. I, personally, will miss his great attention to the importance of the written word and his incredible efforts to help his students become better writers.
Suzy Karberg

For almost half a century, parents, students, and employers who have had the opportunity to work with Professor Leonard Wood through the School of Civil Engineering and Purdue's Co-Operative Education program appreciated his caring and interest in both students and the Co-op program. In 1989, satisfied parents of a Co-Op student in a letter to Dean Henry Yang summed up the feelings of many when they stated, "Money cannot provide satisfactory alternatives to an experienced, caring and compassionate professor such as Professor Leonard Wood. No doubt, his interest in young students has made a significant contribution to the world-class reputation that Purdue enjoys." Today, we would say that he was one of many taking Purdue to the level of Preeminence the University is striving to achieve. For nearly 50 years, Leonard Wood gave his expertise and guided students through Civil Engineering and, many, the Co-op experience.

Although he has served as coordinator for more than 10 years, he had been involved serving the Purdue Schools of Engineering Co-Op Program since the early 1970's. In fact, his roots with the Co-op program began in his early teaching and research days of the late 1950's. It was then when he shared an office with Civil's first Co-op Coordinator, William Kaye, that he realized how this unique program provided an important component of a student's education.

As Coordinator for the program, Professor Wood developed job-sites for students to work during their years of study at Purdue. Typically, a student works one term and then studies on campus for the next term. Leonard Wood enjoyed working with both the employer contacts and the students. He enjoyed developing new job-sites, visiting his students at their jobs and also recruiting new students for the program. He monitored each student's progress and was literally thrilled to watch each individual grow and mature professionally as they combined real work experience with their studies.

Leonard Wood visualized incoming students, in his own words, "as a handful of clay that has the potential to be molded into something beautiful and useful." He said, "The Purdue professors and courses do the shaping. However, a vase has to be fired before it can become a work of art. The Co-Op job experience is the kiln for the student." In other words, after students learn formulas and theories in the classroom, their co-op jobs force them to apply what they have learned, make decisions, and develop into professionals while experiencing the "fire" of the workplace.

When he retired from his teaching and research duties in 1993, he offered to remain in the school as a volunteer coordinator. According to the director of Purdue's Co-operative Education Program, Robert Stwalley, III, Professor Wood's valuable knowledge and experience combined with his love for the students made his contributions immeasurable. He worked full-time at making certain each student is gained the best possible placement opportunity and experiences while challenging the students to make the most of their working environments.

Professor Wood also said, "professors often remark that it is easy to spot Co-Op students since they generally pose interesting, well formed questions and appear to be better organized in the laboratory experiments and design courses such as their senior project courses. The university also benefits through an effective Co-op program because of the opportunity it provides to develop ties with employers that lead to other programs and support." Professor Wood not only believed in the Co-op program, he exemplified what a Co-Op Coordinator can accomplish. Civil has, by far, the largest number of placements on campus.

Another aspect of the Co-op program that Professor Wood believed in is that the program provides students the chance to acquire "those intangible talents such as poise, self-confidence, communication skills, and interpersonal skills- all at no cost to the student. Employers are willing to pay very good salaries to Co-op students while they obtain those valuable skills. It is also a good form of job insurance for the students. Many students return to campus for their senior year with a job offer from their Co-op company. Initial salary offers may be up to 25% higher for students who have participated in the Co-op program."

Professor Wood remarked that he has become friends with many of the Co-op students. For example, he was working to complete a second generation co-op poster that included photos of former co-op students' babies. He kept in touch with a large number of the students he has placed in co-op positions over the years. In these volunteer/retirement years, he was thankful every day for the student interaction that the Co-op program provides. Professor Wood believed in the good of the program and combined with his vast experience, he was able to help the students in every aspect as they transitioned from campus to job and back to campus. He truly loved his work and was committed to serving the students. He enjoyed riding his bicycle to work and also exercised to keep fit. His retirement could not have been any busier. Again, he will be sorely missed by all- there is no other way to say it.

Visit the CE Leonard Wood Tribute web site and view shared thoughts/memories. If you would like to add to the tribute page please send email using the Tribute Form.

Civil Engineering Events

Make sure you check out all the upcoming events: Faculty meeting, CE Advisory Council/Campaign Steering Committee, Celebration of Life-Leonard E. Wood, CE Breakfast/Homecoming, CE Indianapolis Reception, OTEC Alumni Breakfast/Columbus, OH, and much more.

Suzy Karberg
Diana Evans