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.


January 4, 2023

Robert Frosch named Vice Provost for Academic Facilities

Robert J. Frosch, professor of civil engineering, will become vice provost for academic facilities, a newly created position, effective January 9th. In the position, Frosch will work closely with all academic units and the Office of Administrative Operations to advance facilities for faculty and student success.
September 15, 2022

Applications invited for faculty position in structural engineering

The Lyles School of Civil Engineering at Purdue University invites applications for a tenure-track faculty position at the rank of Assistant or Associate Professor. Applicants who have a strong interest and expertise in the structural engineering area of hardened infrastructure are of particular interest.
September 1, 2022

Steel-and-concrete composite core fast-tracks construction

CE alumnus Ron Klemencic and Professor Amit Varma have worked together to design and test a concrete-filled, composite steel-plate shear wall core system for high-rise construction – dubbed SpeedCore – with the benefit of speeding construction by as much as 43% over a traditional cast-in-place reinforced-concrete core design
August 26, 2022

Amit Varma, Ron Klemencic to present 2022 Zia Lecture

The 21st Annual Paul Zia Distinguished Lecture, “Design and Construction of the Rainier Square Redevelopment Project,” will be presented on Monday, Sept. 19, 2022. Presenters include Ron Klemencic (BSCE 1985), PE, SE, Hon AIA, chairman and CEO, Magnusson Klemencic Associates and Dr. Amit Varma, Ph.D., Karl H. Kettelhut Professor of Civil Engineering and director of the Bowen Laboratory for Large-Scale Civil Engineering Research.
June 28, 2022

CE grad students place among top at international SHM competition

A group of CE grad students advised by Associate Professor Mohammad Jahanshahi placed among the top of team entrants at the 2nd International Competition for Structural Health Monitoring. Tarutal Ghosh Mondal, Abhishek Subedi, Wen Tang, and Rih-Teng Wu placed third in the Project 1 category, while Mondal, Tang and Wu took second place in the Project 2 category.
June 21, 2022

Shirley Dyke delivers keynote lectures at major conferences

Shirley Dyke, Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Civil Engineering, delivered keynote lectures at both the ASCE Engineering Mechanics Conference on June 1st and the 8th World Conference on Structural Control and Monitoring on June 6th.
April 28, 2022

Frosch reelected as trustee of ACI Foundation

Robert J. Frosch is senior associate dean of the College of Engineering, executive director of strategic initiatives in the Office of the Executive Vice President for Research & Partnerships and professor of civil engineering.
April 19, 2022

Shirley Dyke receives ASCE George W. Housner Medal

Shirley Dyke, Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Civil Engineering, has been named the recipient of the 2022 George W. Housner Structural Control & Monitoring Medal, presented by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).
December 7, 2021

Can predictive modeling mitigate infrastructure failure?

Can computer modeling and simulation be used to predict and mitigate infrastructure failure? CE‘s Arun Prakash pairs these tools with “digital twins” that constantly update the structure’s condition to detect structural damage and evaluate performance.
December 7, 2021

The forensics of infrastructure failure

Via Medium, CE‘s Robert J. Frosch discusses infrastructure failures and the need for regular forensic investigations to help prevent such tragedies as the June 2021 Surfside condominium collapse.
August 26, 2021

Amit Varma, Zhichao Lai receive 2021 ASCE Alfred Noble Prize

Amit H. Varma, Karl H. Kettelhut Professor of Civil Engineering and Director of the Bowen Laboratory of Large-Scale CE Research at Purdue University's Lyles School of Civil Engineering, and his former student Zhichao Lai, Professor at Fuzhou University in China, have received the 2021 Alfred Noble Prize awarded by the American Society of Civil Engineers for their paper, "High Strength Rectangular CFT Members: Database, Modeling, and Design of Short Columns."
June 21, 2021

Julio Ramirez named ASCE Distinguished Member

Julio A. Ramirez, Ph.D., P.E., Dist.M.ASCE, the Karl H. Kettelhut professor in civil engineering at Purdue University, has been honored with inclusion by ASCE in its 2021 class of Distinguished Members for outstanding leadership in worldwide data collection, research, and education to enhance resilience of civil infrastructure and communities against natural hazards.
May 7, 2021

Smart, connected testing for resilient, sustainable infrastructure

Professor Shirley Dyke is using real-time hybrid simulation (RTHS) to measure what's happening in the physical specimen and feed the data into a computer model, which, in turn, feeds back commands from the numerically modeled part of the structure into actuators that drive a physical specimen.
October 28, 2020

Amit Varma receives Higgins Lectureship Award

AISC has awarded its 2021 T.R. Higgins Lectureship Award to Amit H. Varma, Karl H. Kettelhut Professor of Civil Engineering and Director of the Bowen Laboratory of Large-Scale CE Research at Purdue University's Lyles School of Civil Engineering.
September 29, 2020

NSF EAGER grant to reexamine hazard mitigation during COVID-19 pandemic

With many people stuck inside for months on end, the built environment has played a significant role in the COVID-19 pandemic. With support from a new National Science Foundation EAGER grant, a team of engineers including Karl H. Kettelhut Professor in Civil Engineering and NHERI-NCO Center Director Julio Ramirez will study the ways in which that built environment mitigates or exacerbates the pandemic.
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