CE Impact Magazine - Spring 2018

Impact Cover Spring 2018
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Head's Message

The spring semester is in full swing at Purdue University, which means we are rapidly approaching the end of yet another incredible academic year at the Lyles School of Civil Engineering. Throughout the year, our students, faculty and staff have invested a tremendous amount of effort in both their academic and research-oriented pursuits. It has been a pleasure to see the passion and drive exhibited by everyone, every day, to succeed in their endeavors. This longstanding culture of diligence and innovation is something one cannot find simply anywhere.

Engineering students meet Shakespeare

Shakespeare and civil engineering might seem incompatible – but Purdue has found a way for these seemingly star-crossed disciplines to form a fruitful union. Today, more than ever, civil engineers who want to rise in their profession need to be effective communicators. Realizing this, the Lyles School and its Advisory Council decided to expand communication offerings.

Student groups: assets for future leaders

Whether it is networking to create business contacts, engaging in competitions or inspiring Purdue University students to help others, the student groups active in the Lyles School of Civil Engineering are organizations students can be proud to join.

Undergraduate research — a top priority

Purdue Civil Engineering strongly supports the belief that one of the best ways for undergrads to truly understand their studies is through hands-on research. In 2017, the Lyles School of Civil Engineering participated in three programs aimed at giving undergraduates an opportunity to take an active role in ongoing research conducted by our graduate students, faculty and staff. The three programs are Purdue University’s Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF), the Purdue Undergraduate Research Experience (PURE) and the S.N. Bose Scholars Program.

Environmental engineer succeeds as lobbyist and lawyer

Martha Rees (BSCE '73) has never been one to back down from a challenge — and she spends much of her time encouraging others to adopt the same attitude. In the 40-plus years since graduating from Purdue University, Rees established an impressive career at DuPont. She retired as the company's vice president and assistant general counsel in 2015.

Detecting potholes

A team of Purdue University students are working to bring automated pothole detection to Greater Lafayette. The students are part of EPICS, or Engineering Projects in Community Service, a service-learning program that gives students real-world experiences in engineering — and helps the community in the process. The project partner is the City of West Lafayette.

Research gains from 3-D printing technology

The advent of 3-D printing has afforded the Lyles School of Civil Engineering a new dimension of data across multiple research areas. Researchers have been finding many beneficial ways to incorporate the tool in applications across a wide range of topics. They include creating 3-D printouts of traffic areas and crash sites, printing objects mimicking an insect shell for structure joints and re-creating soil from Mars.

Innovation: new undergraduate minor prepares students to lead

Many future engineering challenges will require innovation — new or different ideas introduced into use or practice that have a positive impact on society — and Purdue wants to ensure that today's students are prepared to tackle them. In January 2017, the College of Engineering began offering courses for a new minor: innovation and transformational change. Joseph Sinfield, director of the college's Innovation and Leadership Studies Program, is spearheading the effort.
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