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.


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.
July 21, 2020

Key tests say SpeedCore needs no fire protection

Research performed at the Bowen Laboratory on a modular system of tied dual-plate walls field-filled with concrete, dubbed SpeedCore, shows that the Lego-like system's walls do not need costly fire protection, known to slow construction, especially inside elevator hoistways. SpeedCore is the brainchild of CE alumnus Ron Klemencic, chairman and CEO of Magnusson Klemencic Associates.
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

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."
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.
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.
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