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.
It is both a show of progress and a reminder that we still have a long way to go before life fully returns to normal. However, unlike in 2020 — where it seemed like the mindset was "just make it through the year" — 2021 has a far more hopeful light shining upon it.
Thanks to the incredible work of researchers around the world, an end to this pandemic is finally in sight. And it is just another reminder how vital our role here at the Lyles School of Civil Engineering really is.
The students we educate today could very well be among those who make a similar, world-changing impact tomorrow. The ongoing research our students, faculty and staff are engaged in has the potential to affect our lives for the better.
That is what it means to be an engineer and an educator — to strive to improve the world around us and ensure the next generation of students have the knowledge, skills and opportunity to do the same.
Simply put: we endeavor to create a better future.
In this edition of IMPACT, you will see what our students, faculty and staff are researching to secure that better future. These stories include developing a database to aid in flood response, creating better-performing concrete that will leave a greatly-reduced carbon footprint and advances in how we teach and train our students using 3D technology.
While it is still relatively early in the year and many aspects of it remain uncertain, the one thing I can confidently say is that the Lyles School of Civil Engineering is, and continues to be, a source of progress that will ensure the lives of our students — and everyone else — will improve as times goes on.
All the best,
Rao S. Govindaraju
Bowen Engineering Head of Civil Engineering and
The Christopher B. and Susan S. Burke Professor of Civil Engineering