CE Impact Magazine - Fall 2017

Impact Cover - Fall 2017
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Engineering sustainable materials

Na (Luna) Lu, associate professor of civil engineering, leads two teams in separate but connected research endeavors. The first involves developing cost-effective thermoelectric materials and systems for civil infrastructure applications. The second involves developing high-performance piezoelectric sensors for nondestructive testing and structural health monitoring. Simply put: Lu's team is researching how to create reliable, effective devices that can convert heat and vibrations into electricity.

Engineering dwellings to survive on the moon or Mars

If you've seen the movie "The Martian," starring Matt Damon as an astronaut presumed dead and left behind on Mars, then you know he manages to stay alive for years inside an artificial habitat nicknamed "The Hab." Just how realistic is that structure? Not very, says Antonio Bobet, professor of civil engineering.

Satellite data: Iraq's Mosul Dam in danger

Through studying satellite images over a 12-year period, Purdue Civil Engineering researchers have made an alarming discovery: Iraq's Mosul Dam is destabilizing and in danger of failing.

Nonlinear testing

Purdue Civil Engineering is approaching structural systems analysis from a new, digital angle. Shirley Dyke, professor of civil engineering and mechanical engineering, and Arun Prakash, associate professor of civil engineering, are co-principal investigators leading a team that hopes to transform structural evaluation through cyber-physical experimentation.

Grateful alum recalls caring faculty

Alumnus Ed Copeland says Purdue Civil Engineering not only gave him the education necessary to succeed, but opened professional doors for him as well.

Low-flow systems at risk

Low-flow water systems in buildings are designed to conserve water, but they pose potential health hazards because they may cause an increase in disease-causing organisms and harmful chemicals. A new Environmental Protection Agency-funded project led by Andrew Whelton, assistant professor of civil engineering, aims to help solve the problem.

Old tool, new research

The Purdue University Civil Engineering Hydraulics and Hydrology Group will be making waves — literally — this school year. This fall, the Lyles School towing and wave tank will be fully operational. The 150-foot-long, 11-foot-wide and 5-foot-deep water basin will be used for coastal engineering and fluid dynamics research. It is located in the basement of Hampton Hall, in the Christopher and Susan Burke Hydraulics and Hydrology Laboratory.

Improving the safety of nuclear power

Purdue Civil Engineering researchers have developed an automated system that detects cracks in the steel components of nuclear power plants — and it has already proven to be more accurate than its predecessors.

Pankow-funded projects

With more than $700,000 in funding from the Charles Pankow Foundation and support from the American Institute of Steel Construction, Amit Varma, professor of civil engineering and Bowen Lab director, is leading a pair of research efforts on the use of concrete-filled composite plate shear walls (CF-CPSW). The three-year project aims to generate experimental data and numerical models that will lead to guidelines for optimizing design and speeding construction schedules for high-rise buildings.
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