Christopher B. and Susan S. Burke Graduate Program in Civil Engineering

The Christopher B. and Susan S. Burke Graduate Program in Civil Engineering has approximately 400 active students. It has been consistently ranked in the top 10 of U.S. News and World Reports and is currently ranked 6th.  Students can get a specialization in one of nine concentration areas: Architectural, Construction, Environmental, Geomatics, Geotechnical, Hydraulics and Hydrology, Materials, Structural, Transportation and Infrastructure Systems.  Interdisciplinary programs in Computational Science and Engineering (CSE) and Ecological Sciences and Engineering (ESE) are also available.


In April 2017, in recognition of the Burke Family generosity and commitment to Purdue, the School named its graduate program the Christopher B. and Susan S. Burke Graduate Program.

Chris Burke said the unique educational opportunities and experiences he and his family received are among the reasons for the gift to Civil Engineering.

"We feel very close to this university," he said.

The Burkes also are excited about the progress of the school, ranked last year as the top civil engineering institution in the world by Shanghai Rankings.

"We think that the direction the university is headed is fantastic and we really want to do our part and to keep that great tradition of excellence," Burke said. "We believe this will help carry that tradition on."

Four generations of the Burke family have received 38 degrees at Purdue over the years.

Rao S. Govindaraju, Bowen Engineering Head and Christopher B. and Susan S. Burke Professor of Civil Engineering, said Lyles School of Civil Engineering is delighted to have its graduate program associated with Chris and Susan Burke.

"This program has grown in recent years in keeping with the increase in faculty numbers," he said. "We continue to receive ever-increasing number of top applicants to our graduate program from within the U.S. and abroad. This gift will enable us to develop and support new initiatives that enhance graduate student experiences."

The Burkes' gift will allow the Lyles School of Civil Engineering to set yet another benchmark among the best programs in the world. It is one of the first named graduate programs in a civil engineering program in the U.S.

The Burkes are major benefactors and supporters of the Lyles School of Civil Engineering, including the Christopher and Susan Burke Hydraulics and Hydrology Research and Teaching Laboratory, the Christopher and Susan Burke Undergraduate Hydraulics Teaching Laboratory and funding for the Center for UAV Applications for Physical and Environmental Infrastructure.

Christopher B. and Susan S. Burke

Burke Graduate Program Naming Event