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.


March 12, 2020

Professor Connor's research serving as basis for new bridge inspection rules

A Purdue University professor's research is helping shape how bridges are inspected across the nation. Robert Connor, the Jack and Kay Hockema Professor in Civil Engineering, collaborated on research for the report "Proposed Guideline for Reliability-Based Bridge Inspection Practices" under the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP).
February 20, 2020

Robert J. Connor receives 2020 Richard S. Fountain Award

The Steel Bridge Task Force of the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI); the National Steel Bridge Alliance (NSBA); and the American Association of State and Highway Transportation Officials (AASHTO) T-14 Technical Committee for Structural Steel Design have named Robert J. Connor, the Jack and Kay Hockema Professor in Civil Engineering and Director of CAI and S-BRITE at Purdue University's Lyles School of Engineering, as the recipient of the 2020 Richard S. Fountain Award.
January 30, 2020

Robert Frosch receives Joe W. Kelly Award from American Concrete Institute

Robert Frosch, Senior Associate Dean of Engineering for Facilities & Operations and Professor of Civil Engineering, has been awarded the American Concrete Institute's Joe W. Kelly Award In recognition of his outstanding contributions to engineering education, insightful research to improve the performance of structural concrete systems, and dedicated service to ACI.
December 17, 2019

ANCRiSST2020 Workshop at Purdue

Purdue University will host the 15th International Workshop on Advanced Smart Materials and Smart Structures Technology in West Lafayette, IN, USA from July 17-19th, 2020. ANCRiSST 2020 aims to explore the application and integration of smart materials and structures technologies into our everyday world. We invite researchers to share their progress toward these common objectives and to facilitate a strong community on this important and timely theme. Topics and interests include, for instance, dynamics, structural control, real-time hybrid simulation, metamaterials, robotics for inspection, computer vision, etc — really, all applications of smart structures and materials. Abstract submission will open around February 1, 2020.
December 17, 2019

APESS 2020 Summer School at Purdue

Purdue University will host the 13th Asia-Pacific-Euro Summer School on Smart Structures Technology in West Lafayette, IN from July 12th-August 1, 2020. The 2020 APESS program is intended for graduate students and post-doctoral researchers in civil and mechanical engineering, and related disciplines.
November 22, 2019

Robert Frosch honored as ASCE Fellow

Robert J. Frosch, Ph.D., P.E., F.ASCE, a professor of civil engineering and senior associate dean of Facilities & Operations in the College of Engineering at Purdue University, has been named a Fellow by the ASCE Board of Direction.
November 22, 2019

Bowen Laboratory awarded Charles S. Whitney Medal

The Bowen Laboratory has been selected to receive the Charles S. Whitney Medal by the American Concrete Institute (ACI). This honor was bestowed by the ACI Board of Direction specifically "In recognition for its large-scale civil engineering research in systems, materials and technologies, and for its long time and consistent contribution to the economy and safety of buildings and infrastructure."
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.
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