Materials Engineering

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.


Spotlights

February 19, 2024

Fixing the pothole problem

As pothole season continues, professor Luna Lu's smart concrete research continues to get media coverage. Lu’s innovative concrete sensors, which allow concrete to "communicate" with engineers about its strength, were recently featured in a CBS Boston story. The reporter used video from the Purdue News YouTube page to showcase how Lu’s sensors are cutting down construction time and saving taxpayers millions of dollars.
September 28, 2023

Purdue researchers develop a new type of intelligent architected materials for industry applications

A team of researchers led by Pablo Zavattieri, the Jerry M. and Lynda T. Engelhardt Professor in Civil Engineering, have developed patent-pending intelligent architected materials that can dissipate energy caused by bending, compression, torque and tensile stresses, avoiding permanent plastic deformation or damage, and may also exhibit shape memory properties that allow them to have actuation capacity.
August 21, 2023

AI-assisted materials discovery paper by Luna Lu and Yining Feng featured as cover article of Advanced Electronic Materials

With the development of artificial intelligence, many industries have undergone a technological revolution, and the field of materials science is no different. In this article, Luna Lu, Yining Feng and their co-authors combine advanced materials science theory and AI technology to design a framework for rapidly discovering high-performance thermoelectric materials.
April 20, 2023

Enabling a sustainable future

Yining Feng's research goal is to enable sustainable built environments and human-environmental health through multidisciplinary research into materials and related device technology.
March 22, 2023

Luna Lu appointed associate dean

Luna Lu, the Reilly Professor and acting head of Purdue's Lyles School of Civil Engineering, will serve as associate dean of the faculty for the College, effective April 1.
February 22, 2023

Pablo Zavattieri recognized as ASME Fellow

Pablo Zavattieri, Jerry M. and Lynda T. Engelhardt Professor in Civil Engineering, has been elected a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. The Fellow grade of membership recognizes exceptional engineering achievements and contributions to the engineering profession and to ASME.
January 17, 2023

3D printed homes becoming more of a possibility

In a recent news segment airing on KTBC Austin and other affiliates, Jan Olek, James H. and Carol H. Cure Professor in Civil Engineering and Director of the North Central Superpave Center, discusses the application of 3D printing in the present and future of home construction.
December 21, 2022

Office Hours: A Conversation with Luna Lu

Luna Lu, ACPA Professor of Civil Engineering, chats with chemical engineering student Rithika Athreya in the College of Engineering's new series, "Office Hours."
August 31, 2022

Fabian Rodriguez receives ACAAEF John Faber Scholarship

PhD student Fabian B. Rodriguez has received a 2022 John Faber Scholarship from the American Coal Ash Association Educational Foundation (ACAAEF). The ACAAEF awards scholarships to graduate and undergraduate students with demonstrated interest in the management and beneficial use of coal combustion products (CCP).
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