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.
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.
In cooperation with the Purdue Student Chapter of the Institute of Transportation Engineers, Dr. Benjamin Colucci-Rios delivered his Leonard E. Wood Lecture on September 8, 2015, entitled, "Innovation in Transportation in the 21st Century."
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."
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).
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.
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.