Structural Engineering

What gives an engineer confidence to project and build something as large and graceful as the Golden Gate Bridge (the creation of late Purdue professor Charles A. Ellis) knowing that it has to withstand the demands of gravity, wind, and earthquakes?

Golden Gate Bridge
The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California

Why did Gaudi think of the Sagrada Familia “upside-down” before he started building it?

Sagrada Familia
The Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain (inverted model on the left, actual structure on the right)

Who decides how much reinforcing steel goes into a reinforced concrete column supporting 100 floors in a skyscraper? And how do they make that decision?

How far apart can we place the supports of steel girders in our bridges?

If these questions spark your interest, if you would like to test to failure structural models in one of the largest laboratories in the country, then structural engineering is the right career choice for you. Join Purdue’s School Civil Engineering and enroll in structural engineering courses to leave a mark that will benefit and inspire many, and last the test of time as the Golden Gate has.


Spotlights

June 27, 2019

Rih-Teng Wu receives best student paper award at ASCE Engineering Mechanics Institute Conference, Fu-Chen Chen named finalist

Rih-Teng Wu, a PhD candidate from Smart Informatix Laboratory directed by Assistant Professor Mohammad Jahanshahi, received the best student paper award by the Structural Control and Health Monitoring Committee at ASCE Engineering Mechanics Institute (EMI) conference which was held at Caltech, Pasadena, CA on June 18-21, 2019. The title of Rih-Teng's paper is "Pruning Deep Convolutional Neural Networks for Efficient Edge Computing in Structural Health Monitoring."
June 12, 2019

Bridging the Gap

In the spring semester, Edward M. Curtis Visiting Professor Luis B. Fargier-Gabaldon created and ran a new class for our graduate students called Sizing Bridges. As the name implies, the class focused on the design of bridges — both historical and modern.
June 6, 2019

AI technology improves critical crack detection in nuclear reactors, bridges, buildings

A tiny crack in a nuclear reactor, skyscraper, bridge or dam can cause catastrophic consequences. The Minneapolis bridge collapse, which killed 13 people in 2007, is just one example of what can happen when structural integrity is compromised. Unidentified or underidentified structural damage in nuclear reactors can be cataclysmic. Inspection of critical systems such as nuclear reactors is complicated and time-consuming. Videos captured by an automatic crack detection system can easily misidentify small scratches or welds as cracks, so technicians must review videos frame by frame. It is a time-consuming process with opportunities for human errors.
April 2, 2019

Amit Varma receives ASCE-SEI Shortridge Hardesty Award

Amit Varma, Karl H. Kettelhut Professor in Civil Engineering and Director of Bowen Laboratory, has been selected to receive the 2019 Shortridge Hardesty Award from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and the Structural Engineering Institute (SEI). He will be presented the award on April 27, 2019, at the Structures Congress in Orlando, Florida.
January 22, 2019

Graduate student team places second in inaugural image-based structural damage recognition competition

A team of graduate students from the Lyles School of Civil Engineering placed first runner-up in the first image-based structural damage recognition competition, namely PEER Hub ImageNet (PHI) Challenge organized by the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research (PEER) Center. Rih-Teng Wu, Tarutal Ghosh Mondal, Yu-Ting Huang and Cheng Qian are the team members from Smart Informatix Laboratory directed by Assistant Professor Mohammad Jahanshahi.
December 11, 2018

Purdue student team wins 2018 International Bridge Competition

Purdue civil engineering students took first place in the 2018 International Bridge Competition, tied with Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan. The team consisted of undergraduate students Hassan Bin Ammar, Eshana Kolli, Ziyan Lu, Darryl Sexton, Tianlong Sun, Ertica Susanto, Charley Yang, and PhD student Kinsey Skillen. Support for the team was provided by Prof. Santiago Pujol, Associate Professor Ayhan Irfanoglu, and Visiting Professor Luis Fargier.
November 27, 2018

Future wildfires: Stronger buildings could delay, but not stop, destruction alone

California's deadly Camp Fire is now 100 percent contained, but low humidity and strong winds in the state mean that wildfires could strike again. Unfortunately, better building materials and planning can only offer so much protection, says Julio Ramirez, the center director for the National Science Foundation's Natural Hazards Engineering Research Infrastructure Network Coordination Office, and Purdue's Karl H. Kettelhut Professor of Civil Engineering.
October 10, 2018

Dennis & Leslie Drag Distinguished Lecture Series

James O. Malley, S.E., Senior Principal of Degenkolb Engineers, will present his lecture titled, "Seismic Upgrade of a 15-Story Steel Moment Frame Building – Satisfying Performance Criteria with Application of Experimental and Advanced Analytical Procedures" on Tuesday, November 6th, 2018 at 4:30pm in PHYS 114. There will be a reception in Wood Commons starting at 3:30pm.
August 18, 2018

New engineering center CRISP makes three seed grant awards

A recently-established College of Engineering center has made three seed grant awards in the first year of its seed grant competition. Researchers with the Center for Resilient Infrastructures, Systems, and Processes (CRISP) develop solutions to questions such as: What causes some systems - computing, cyber physical, or large-scale engineered systems - to be resilient to disruptions of various kinds? And what causes some systems to “bounce back” from a failure quickly? The projects chosen for seed funding will address different aspects of these broad questions.
August 9, 2018

Ting-Wei Wang receives Daniel P. Jenny Research Fellowship, Alan Mattock Graduate Scholarship

Civil Engineering grad student Ting-Wei Wang has been named one of five students to receive the 2018-2019 Daniel P. Jenny Research Fellowship from the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute. The program connects professors and students with industry experts to advance research in precast concrete. In addition, Ting-Wei was also selected as the recipient of the Alan Mattock Graduate Scholarship. This scholarship is awarded to only one of the five students who received the PCI Fellowship.
August 2, 2018

Mohammad Jahanshahi receives Kobori Prize

Mohammad Jahanshahi, Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering, was awarded the 2017 Kobori Prize recognizing the best paper published in Structural Control and Health Monitoring (SCHM).
April 12, 2018

Mete A. Sözen: A Collection of Personal Remembrances

Mete A. Sözen, Karl H. Kettelhut Distinguished Professor, Emeritus of Civil Engineering, Purdue University died unexpectedly on April 5, 2018, just a few weeks before what would have been his 88th birthday. Mete was in London, England, with his wife Joan visiting their daughter Ayshe and two grandsons when he fell peacefully to sleep. For all of us who knew Mete, this marked the end of an era. Few people have guided and nurtured a field the way Mete led earthquake and structural engineering related to reinforced concrete systems over a period spanning six decades. He had a profound effect on many people and will long be remembered fondly by those who came into contact with him during his career. A celebration of Dr. Sözen's career in teaching will take place on October 11th as the last seminar in The Art of Teaching | Engineering Art series. Dr. Polat Gülkan will deliver the seminar, to which all family, alumni, friends and colleagues are invited to attend and share memories of Dr. Sözen.
December 22, 2017

Rainier Square Tower's Composite Steel Frame Called a Game-Changer

A team in earthquake-prone Seattle is daring to deliver an 850-ft-tall "proof of concept" for a composite structural-steel frame, instead of a steel frame around a reinforced concrete core. The $570-million Rainier Square Tower project is the culmination of three decades of exploration into composite steel structures for CE alumnus Ron Klemencic, with research being conducted at Bowen Laboratory since 2006.
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