CE Impact Magazine - Spring 2021

Impact Cover Spring 2021
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Head's Message

It is a new semester and a new year — both of which, I think, most of us were all very much looking forward to seeing. It is a bit of an odd feeling when I look outside my window. The warmer days are coming, Purdue University's beautiful campus is turning green again and scattered, masked students are making their way to their socially-distanced classrooms.

Ironclad Insights

Getting run over by a car is not a near-death experience for the diabolical ironclad beetle. How the beetle survives could inspire the development of new material joints with the same herculean toughness, said Pablo Zavattieri, the Jerry M. and Lynda T. Engelhardt Professor in Civil Engineering.

River Studies

Indiana's rivers are being mapped out like never before. Venkatesh Merwade, professor of civil engineering, is leading a research effort to compile flood models for the state of Indiana. The goal of this work is to create a platform for mining information from these models for constructing river geometry and support river morphology studies.

Embracing Complexity to Foster the Blue Economy

Work completed by the Purdue Innovation Science Team, led by Joe Sinfield, professor of civil engineering, indicates that impact can be framed as the achievement of shifts in the paradigms underpinning one’s field; influence on the human condition along dimensions such as health, culture, the environment and economics; reach in the sharing or effects of ideas across individuals, groups or society as a whole; and change that has lasting effect.

An Eco-Friendly Upgrade

Concrete is an essential material in the developed world, but its production is also one of the biggest emitters of carbon dioxide. Na (Luna) Lu, American Concrete Pavement Association professor of civil engineering, is testing a new cementitious material that appears to be more durable than standard concrete and has a significantly smaller carbon footprint.

Improving Worker Safety

Transmission and distribution line workers face numerous on-the-job hazards every day. The risk of falls, electrical shocks, burns and other injuries is inherent in their work. Add to that long hours, working in adverse weather conditions and the expectation to work quickly to restore power to communities, and it is no wonder the occupation is frequently cited as one of America’s most dangerous jobs.

In the Field

In summer 2020, a team of graduate and undergraduate students assisted in the construction of two testing strips at the Purdue Center for Aging Infrastructure (CAI) Steel Bridge Research, Inspection, Training and Engineering (S-BRITE) Center. The project, aimed at developing guidelines for control of the properties of aggregate drainage layers used in pavement structures, is funded by the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT).

Be the Change

With a focus on improving the quality of life for everyone, Jarvis Jointer (BSCE '04) says he sees it as his responsibility to be an active participant in his community, his profession and his alma mater.

Online Master's Degree

To meet the needs of professional civil engineers who aspire to earn their graduate degree, the Lyles School of Civil Engineering has developed an online master's degree program.
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