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.
February 23, 2018
Purdue University researchers studying whether concrete is made stronger by infusing it with microscopic-sized nanocrystals from wood are moving from the laboratory to the real world with a bridge that will be built in California this spring. The researchers have been working with cellulose nanocrystals, byproducts generated by the paper, bioenergy, agriculture and pulp industries, to find the best mixture to strengthen concrete, the most common man-made material in the world.
February 19, 2018
Jan Olek, Professor of Civil Engineering and Director of the North Central Superpave Center (NCSC), will give the Della Roy Lecture at the 9th Advances in Cement Based Materials conference to be held June 11-12, 2018 in State College, PA.
February 8, 2018
Leila Sadeghi, recent PhD graduate and current postdoc research associate of the Lyles School of Civil Engineering, was named a winner in the Graduate category of the 2016-17 Long-Term Pavement Performance (LTPP) International Data Analysis Contest at the 97th Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board in Washington, D.C.
January 26, 2018
Motorists enjoying days of above-freezing temperatures after shivering through frigid single digits may encounter a jarring reality by spring. Incidents of freezing-thawing temperatures this winter may result in troublesome potholes as the season progresses. John Haddock, a civil engineering professor and director of Indiana Local Technical Assistance Program, said the drastic nature of temperature swings isn't as much of a factor as the temperatures themselves.
April 26, 2017
Warda Ashraf, a PhD Candidate working with Professor Jan Olek in the Lyles School of Civil Engineering, has been named as recipient of the 2017 Outstanding Graduate Student Research Award. This award by the Purdue College of Engineering recognizes an outstanding PhD candidate who has demonstrated excellence in research through peer-reviewed publications, awards for research, leadership, academic achievements and participation in professional societies.
November 28, 2016
New research has shown that honeycomb "cellular" materials made of a shape-memory polymer might be programmed for specific purposes, from shock-absorbing football helmets to biomedical implants.
October 24, 2016
Professor Pablo Zavattieri's research laboratory in the basement of Purdue's Hampton Hall of Civil Engineering looks like a toy shop or carpenter's workshop. Geometric models, connected with splices of metal measuring tape and aluminum tubing, are scattered about. Nearby is a handful of brightly colored, triangular models made of orange, yellow, pink and green bendy straws. There are several foot-long, accordion-shaped origami paper models connected with a nut and bolt at each end that, when fully spun on their ends, rotate and collapse into an inch-thick disk.
July 7, 2016
Jan Olek, Professor of Civil Engineering, has been selected to receive the ACI Foundation - Concrete Research Council - Robert E. Philleo Award. The award will be presented at the 2016 ACI Concrete Convention and Exposition this October in Philadelphia.
June 3, 2016
New research findings revealing the structure of a sea creature's impact-resistant appendage are inspiring development of advanced materials for possible applications in body armor, helmets and components for buildings and cars.
March 31, 2016
Daniel Castaneda, a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, presented his seminar on March 31. His research seeks to understand the consequence of design, handling, and placement of fresh concrete and cementitious materials as they relate to the long-term durability of civil infrastructure.
March 29, 2016
Ali Hekmatfar, Ayesha Shah, Rebecca McDaniel, Gerald Huber and John E. Haddock received the 2016 Emmons Award for best paper presented, while Leila Sadeghi received the best student poster award at the 2016 Annual Meeting of the Association of Asphalt Paving Technologists.
November 10, 2015
Purdue University is collaborating with General Motors to develop a new type of energy-absorbing material that might be 3-D printed and that could have an impact in areas ranging from earthquake engineering to safer football helmets.
June 17, 2015
The "smasher" peacock mantis shrimp is able to repeatedly pummel the shells of prey using a bizarre hammer-like appendage that, new research shows, can withstand rapid-fire blows by neutralizing certain frequencies of "shear waves."
May 26, 2015
Pablo Zavattieri, Associate Professor of Civil Engineering, has been invited to participate in the fifth Indonesian-American Kavli Frontiers of Science symposium July 28-31, 2015 in Makassar, Indonesia. The symposium is sponsored by the Indonesian Academy of Sciences, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
April 17, 2015
CE grad students Nate Todd and Robert Spragg volunteer their time in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program to help make a positive impact in the lives of area youth.
April 1, 2015
Cellulose nanocrystals derived from industrial byproducts have been shown to increase the strength of concrete, representing a potential renewable additive to improve the ubiquitous construction material.
August 25, 2014
Pablo Zavattieri, Associate Professor of Civil Engineering, has been selected as one of the nation's 83 outstanding young engineers to attend the National Academy of Engineering's 2014 U.S. Frontiers of Engineering Symposium.
June 19, 2014
Yaghoob Farnam, Ph.D. candidate working under the supervision of Professor Jason Weiss, has received the 2014 Portland Cement Association (PCA) Education Foundation's J. P. Gleason Fellowship.
April 21, 2014
Associate Prof. Pablo Zavattieri and his collaborators selected for $7.5 million grant to study more than 20 organisms to develop strong, tough materials based on their design structures.
January 15, 2014
Assistant professor Pablo Zavattieri is part of a research team exploring the strength of cellulose nanocrystals and their potential applications in products such as construction materials and automotive components.