December 2013

Welcome!

Welcome to CE Connections, the online newsletter for the School of Civil Engineering. We have enjoyed celebrating the 125th anniversary of Purdue Civil Engineering with many events over the last year. Since the founding of our School of Civil Engineering in 1887, our students and graduates played a major role in the establishment of civil engineering infrastructure, not only throughout the United States, but indeed throughout the world.

Thanks to the ongoing generosity of our alumni, in October we were able to honor many of our students with more than $620,000 in scholarships and awards - a significant increase over previous years. Among our celebrations throughout the year were commencement receptions for more than 170 new CE alumni in May and another 140 in December as our newest graduates.

Since our last communication we have enjoyed many celebrations, including the renaming of the Civil Engineering Building, as the Delon and Elizabeth Hampton Hall of Civil Engineering. This was made possible by the outstanding leadership and commitment of CE alumnus, Delon Hampton. We continue to celebrate top 10 US News & World Report rankings with our undergraduate program remaining 7th and the graduate program ranked 6th. This is a direct reflection of the hard work and dedication of our faculty, students, and staff.

To better prepare our students for the challenges that lie ahead, we have enhanced our global experience opportunities through our study abroad program - for example, our students have participated in six CE Study abroad courses over the past five years to Turkey, China, twice to London, Brazil, and most recently this past summer to Australia. Students will be traveling in May 2014 to New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Through these programs and a variety of other opportunities, more than 15% of our civil engineering students have some global experience before graduation.

We are excited about the impact these students will have out in the world. Purdue Civil Engineering and our graduates have made outstanding contributions in the past, and it is our job to continue to shape the future of civil engineering with pioneering research and new advances in student learning.

R.S. Govindaraju

Bowen Engineering Head and
Christopher B. and Susan S. Burke Professor of Civil Engineering

 

Students who move the World Forward: Kevin McKeon

From relationships to bridges, Kevin McKeon moves the world forward with what he builds. As a head facilitator at the Boiler Challenge Course for the Division of Recreational Sports, he transforms groups into teams. As a resident assistant in Cary Quadrangle, he molds the character of first-year students. And as a civil engineering major, he creates the structures that will sustain our future. Kevin is as comfortable at a building site as he is in the classroom, bringing an ethic of hard work and attention to detail to everything he does. "I've always wanted to be involved with construction and the multitude of things that go along with it, and felt that a degree in civil engineering would give me the most opportunities," he says.

Read more >>

 

Plaque to honor Golden Gate Bridge designer Charles Ellis


Fred and Yvonne Apsey

Charles Ellis, a Purdue University civil engineering professor long overlooked for his role in the Golden Gate Bridge project, was honored with a plaque on Thursday, Nov. 21st. Until recently, Ellis, a Purdue civil engineering professor from 1934-1946, had not received credit for his pivotal role in the project.

Paul Giroux, a nationally recognized construction engineering expert, presented the plaque to Purdue and the School of Civil Engineering during a luncheon in the Purdue Memorial Union ballrooms, honoring Ellis' work as the structural design engineer for the span. Giroux, a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, was ASCE's chairman for a Golden Gate Bridge 75th Anniversary event in 2012. The plaque, a duplicate of one installed at the bridge last year, was presented on behalf of ASCE.

Also during the luncheon, Purdue recognized a $250,000 estate donation made by one of Ellis's students, Purdue alumnus Fred W. Apsey Jr., and his wife, D. Yvonne Apsey. Fred Apsey received a bachelor's degree in civil engineering from Purdue in 1941. The Apseys' gift will be used for civil engineering scholarships in honor of Ellis.

 

Making the Roadways Safer for You

At Purdue University's Center for Roadway Safety (CRS), students use real-world modeling tools and are at the forefront of collaborative, cutting-edge safety research with applications beyond transportationincluding homeland security, criminal justice, health, and human factors. With the development of the Safety Needs Identification Package (SNIP), CRS engineering students collaborated with core CRS staff in IT and economics to develop SNIP, a safety-needs evaluation tool used by the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) to identify area-wide safety issues, including speeding, young driver crashes and alcohol-related crashes. The tool gives INDOT the locations of road segments, bridges, ramps, and intersections that experience excessive numbers of crashes. These geo-coded locations can be visualized with display features offered by ArcGIS or Google Earth. SNIP helps INDOT identify and prioritize roadway safety interventions and programs. SNIP is also evolving into a platform for informing the development of safety strategies across agencies. For example, the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute is interested in using SNIP to help the Indiana State Police develop effective enforcement programs. SNIP is believed to play in the future an important role in coordinating the development of safety programs by multiple agencies.

 

Students explore real-world construction during Study Abroad in Australia

This past May, twenty-six Purdue students traveled to Australia on a two week Study Abroad experience to explore the culture and work environment in a foreign country. This course was geared toward the analysis of civil engineering and global issues linked to the sustainability of facilities and infrastructure being developed and built in Australia. With the generous support of Bechtel Corporation and Fugro Australia, students were able experience hands-on civil engineering at job sites around Australia.

A visit to the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Sydney gave a glimpse of student life abroad. Purdue students were given tours of the UNSW campus as well as lectures from local faculty and a chance to interact with Australian students. Architectural tours of the Sydney Opera House and Harbor Bay Bridge were also on the agenda.

Site visits included LNG projects with Bechtel on Curtis Island outside of Gladstone. Students were given the rare opportunity of living on the island at the work camp for three days. Experiencing life as a local worker, students were given an opportunity to visit three separate LNG sites and view the various stages of plant development. Work on the island provided an opportunity for students to explore methods of transporting goods and workers to and from a remote worksite, procurement of goods, and construction issues in a foreign country.

The course also took students across Australia to the western town of Perth to explore several of the Fugro geospatial and geotechnical projects. Topics covered there included global impact, project management, transportation and infrastructure issues, labor relations, and safety standards.

 

100th Purdue Road School
Governor Mike Pence

Planning is underway for the 100th Purdue Road School scheduled for March 11-13, 2014. Over 140 hours of technical sessions are planned and attendance is expected to exceed 2500. Indiana Governor Mike Pence will deliver the keynote address at the luncheon on Wednesday, March 12.

The Joint Transportation Research Program (JTRP), the Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP), and Purdue Extended Campus (PEC) collaborate on developing the technical program and managing the conference.

Follow along @PudueRDSchool for the 100-Day Twitter Countdown to learn historical facts that helped shape Indiana’s transportation system, view photos dating back to the early 1900’s, and see links to 2014 Purdue Road School information.

 

Geospatial data project can help predict floods

Purdue researchers and ITaP are embarking on a $4.5 million, four-year project to create a powerful Web-based system that will allow researchers worldwide to manage, curate, share, analyze and visualize geospatial data for purposes ranging from predicting damaging floods to projecting climate change effects on the poor.

Geospatial data can include maps, aerial photos, satellite imagery, sensor output and almost anything able to be "georeferenced," or located on a map. Mapping such data, particularly in layers that integrate information on an array of factors and can show how they may interact, is a powerful way for researchers to glean new and improved knowledge from data collections, as well as to explain the results to policymakers and the public.

Professor Venkatesh Merwade is a member of the Purdue research team. His work will mount test projects to demonstrate the power of a geospatial-capable hub. This involves building a hydrologic model of the entire Mississippi River Basin incorporating large amounts of data on factors such as weather, land use, topography, soil and more. When done, the tool should allow users to generate stream flow projections and predict when floods may occur anywhere in the Mississippi Basin, which encompasses all or parts of 31 U.S. states and two Canadian provinces between the Rocky and Appalachian mountains.

Read more >>

 

In September 2013, the Indiana Department of Transportation launched an accelerated project that closed I-65 and I-70 between the north and south splits in downtown Indianapolis to reconstruct and lower one-half mile of pavement beneath seven bridges. The project was necessary to increase bridge clearances and reduce the potential for collisions from unpermitted and off-route trucks with oversize and unsecure loads. A Joint Transportation Research Program (JTRP) project, led by Professor Robert Connor, documented several of those collisions which are shown in the following YouTube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HoisCDmpSsU&feature=youtu.be. A section of the girder removed from the Virginia Avenue Bridge over northbound I-65/70 is being sent to Purdue University’s School of Civil Engineering for use in bridge inspection training courses.

Professor Darcy Bullock's team deployed a series of time lapse cameras throughout the construction period to document the accelerated project for subsequent use in Purdue Civil Engineering Classes. A sampling of those construction activities can be viewed in the following YouTube links:

 

CE Alumni Awards and Recognition

Richard J. Anderson (MSCE '85) was recently elected as a new vice president for GEI Consultants, Inc., one of the nation’s leading geotechnical, environmental, water resources, and ecological science and engineering firms.

Dr. Christopher B. Burke (BSCE '77, MSCE '79, CEPhD '83, HDR '10) was the latest Purdue Boilermaker recognized as an ASCE Distinguished Member at the annual convention in October 2013. An ASCE Distinguished member is designated to a person who has attained acknowledged eminence in some branch of engineering, including the fields of engineering education and construction.

Domenico Grasso (MSCE '79) has been named provost of the University of Delaware.

Fred Groth (BSCE '78, MSCE '79) has received the 2013 Professional Engineer of the Year Award from the Wisconsin Society of Professional Engineers (WSPE). Groth has served as principal/project manager of GRAEF’s Madison, WI office for more than 19 years.

Mike Kamp (BSCE '79) was named Vice President of Operations for Holiday World in Santa Claus, Indiana.

Jose Kreutz (BSCE '93) has been named partner with Thompson Thrift Construction.

Dr. Fred Moavenzadeh (CE PhD '62), President of the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology was honored as the Education CEO of the Year by the Gulf Business Industry Awards.

CE Faculty Awards and Recognition

Bowen Laboratory celebrated its 10 year anniversary on November 9, 2013. Bowen Laboratory for Large-Scale Civil Engineering Research was made possible by a gift from Robert and Terry Bowen in 2003. The 66,000 square-foot laboratory provides the space and technical capability needed to investigate the behavior of large structural models and elements subjected to loads representing extreme events, such as earthquakes, blasts, and impact, so that future structures will be designed to better withstand these extreme events.

Professors Panagiota Karava and Thanos Tzempelikos from CE, together with Professor Patricia Davies (ME), Jim Braun (ME) and Professor Robert Proctor (PSYCH) formed a Purdue team that received one of the six grants awarded from the new Pillars of Sustainable Education program. The Purdue project is focused on sustainable building systems, indoor environmental conditions and human interaction with buildings in order to develop better design guidelines and operational strategies.

Professors Fred Mannering and Larry Nies have been selected for Purdue University's Book of Great Teachers, which honors outstanding teaching faculty who have demonstrated sustained excellence in the classroom. The Book of Great Teachers, a permanent wall display in the west foyer of the Purdue Memorial Union, was first unveiled in 1999. The book bears the names of past and present faculty members who have devoted their lives to excellence in teaching and scholarship.

Professor Fred Mannering was recently inducted into the Purdue Teaching Academy. The academy was developed in 1996 to provide a means to elevate teaching and learning at Purdue, and to recognize outstanding faculty and staff who contribute to the learning environment.

 


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