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 20, 2020
Roads always seem to need repairs. Luna Lu is giving concrete the ability to "talk" and even heal itself. Her lab at Purdue University is developing technology that would allow concrete-paved bridges and highways to reveal more accurately when they need repairs and to come equipped with materials that respond to potential damage.
May 11, 2020
Congratulations to the Purdue Civil Engineering undergraduate research team, advised by Assistant Professor Mirian Velay-Lizancos! They were named a top three presenter at the 2020 Spring Undergraduate Research Conference Symposium for their poster titled, "Effect of elevated temperatures on Recycled PP fiber-reinforced cementitious composites performance under flexural stresses." This event highlights the scholarly work and creative endeavors undergraduate students have been engaged in through oral or poster presentations and awards top students with both financial and non-financial awards.
April 21, 2020
PhD candidate Miguel Montoya has been appointed a member of the Transportation Research Board (TRB) Standing Committee on Asphalt Pavement Construction and Rehabilitation (AFH60). This committee is concerned with the construction, rehabilitation and recycling of asphalt pavements. Areas of interest include: construction methods and procedures, in-place recycling techniques, plant production issues which impact construction operations, and paving equipment.
February 13, 2020
PhD student Miguel Montoya has been selected as one of four students nationwide to receive the Association of Modified Asphalt Producers (AMAP) Dr. David R. Jones IV scholarships for 2020.
December 9, 2019
What do bones and 3D-printed buildings have in common? They both have columns and beams on the inside that determine how long they last. Now, the discovery of how a "beam" in human bone material handles a lifetime's worth of wear and tear could translate to the development of 3D-printed lightweight materials that last long enough for more practical use in buildings, aircraft and other structures.
October 23, 2019
The next Leonard E. Wood Lecture will be held Tuesday, October 29th. Dr. Rebecca McDaniel, Technical Director of the North Central Superpave Center at Purdue University, will share lessons about life and a career in civil engineering that she learned from her mentor, Professor Leonard Wood.
September 9, 2019
Luna Lu, Associate Professor of Civil Engineering, has recently been named the ACPA Scholar in Concrete Pavement and Materials Science by the Indiana Chapter of the American Concrete Pavement Association.
August 28, 2019
A research team, led by Associate Professor Luna Lu, is collecting data through sensors to track concrete strength development in real time. This data can be used to select optimal times to open up traffic following a construction project.
June 14, 2019
The Purdue University Board of Trustees on Friday (June 14) ratified the naming of Jan Olek as the James H. and Carol H. Cure Professor in Civil Engineering.
June 11, 2019
The mantis shrimp, one of the ocean's most ornery creatures, can take on attacks from its own species without getting injured. Its strategy could solve a big manufacturing problem: Creating lighter materials that absorb a lot of energy from a sharp impact within a limited amount of space.
May 2, 2019
CE graduate student Reza Moini advanced to the final round of the Three Minute Thesis competition with his presentation titled, "Mimicking nature: can we 3D-print stronger buildings?"
April 11, 2019
A team of Purdue civil engineering undergraduate and graduate students has won the inaugural national asphalt mixture design competition. Sponsored by CRH Materials Americas, Inc., the largest construction materials provider in North America, a total of 10 university teams competed to see which team could design the best performing asphalt mixture at the lowest cost.
December 17, 2018
Rebecca S. McDaniel, P.E., Ph.D., technical director at the North Central Superpave Center at Purdue University, has been elected to the board of directors of ASTM International, an international standards organization that develops and publishes voluntary consensus technical standards for a wide range of materials, products, systems, and services.
November 20, 2018
As we approach the holiday season, Purdue Civil Engineering Professor and Indiana Local Technical Assistance Program Director John Haddock offers some advice for travelers.
October 17, 2018
Sometimes big innovations are made through small steps. Civil engineering researchers at Purdue are developing a way to test the quality of newly laid concrete — through vibrations. Currently, quality testing for laid concrete consists of retrieving a sample from the site, taking it back to a laboratory, and then testing its compression strength. Associate Professor Na "Luna" Lu of the Lyles School believes she and her graduate students have developed a better, faster method.
October 15, 2018
By infusing concrete with microscopic crystals made from wood cellulose, Purdue Professor Pablo Zavattieri, along with researchers from Purdue's School of Materials Engineering and Oregon State University, have shown they can make concrete stronger. This project, which started in 2011 with a National Science Foundation grant, is now moving from the laboratory to the real world with a bridge under construction in northern California this year.
October 3, 2018
Purdue University researchers have 3D-printed cement paste, a key ingredient of the concrete and mortar used to build various elements of infrastructure, that gets tougher under pressure like the shells of arthropods such as lobsters and beetles. The technique could eventually contribute to more resilient structures during natural disasters.
August 24, 2018
Luna Lu, Associate Professor of Civil Engineering, along with graduate student Aline Elquist and a team of several researchers from Indiana University, has won the 2018 Disease Diagnostics INventors Challenge with $30,000 in funding for a one-year project period.
June 28, 2018
Super-resilient materials found in the animal kingdom owe their strength and toughness to a design strategy that causes cracks to follow the twisting pattern of fibers, preventing catastrophic failure. Researchers in a recent series of papers have documented this behavior in precise detail and also are creating new composite materials modeled after the phenomenon. The work was performed by a team of researchers at Purdue University in collaboration with University of California, Riverside.
March 29, 2018
Current Civil Engineering PhD student Miguel A. Montoya was selected by the Association of Asphalt Paving Technologists (AAPT) to receive the 2018 AAPT scholarship. The scholarship is funded by the association with the purpose of increasing the number of scientists and engineers available for careers in the general area of asphalt binder and mixture technologies.