CE Transitions - January 2019

January 2019 Transitions Cover
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Message From School Head, "G.S." Govindaraju

In civil engineering, numbers are at the heart of our calculations, measurements and formulas. Equally, historical numbers are integral to detailing time, scope and magnitude of events — including Purdue's 150th year, a truly significant milestone that we are celebrating now. By the time the 2019 Homecoming weekend rolls around, Purdue will be officially 150 years old. However, we have no intention of waiting until the day-of to celebrate our sesquicentennial.

Couple builds opportunities for female faculty

Two important elements of the Lyles School of Civil Engineering's vision are "amplifying our impact on society" and underpinning all our endeavors with an "unwavering commitment to ethics and diversity." Nancy Uridil (BSCE '74) and Francis (Frank) Bossu (PhD Chemistry '76) are supporting this vision by endowing a named professorship in the school, with a preference for using it to recruit or retain a female faculty member.

Wabash National helps preserve steel infrastructure

As the civil engineers who've designed our current infrastructure begin to retire from the workforce, the next generation of professionals faces a challenge: a knowledge gap. Purdue provides an answer to this problem with the Center for Aging Infrastructure (CAI). Robert Connor, professor of civil engineering, directs the 22-acre center and its current tenant, the Steel Bridge Research Inspection Training and Engineering Center (S-BRITE). The CAI is home to infrastructure components from all over the country that have been removed and replaced — including three full-scale bridges.

Lyles School of Civil Engineering - We made our mark!

A BIG THANK YOU to everyone who participated in the 2018 Purdue Day of Giving! In just 24 hours, the Lyles School of Civil Engineering received 325 gifts totaling nearly $690,000. Overall, Purdue University raised more than $37.6 million — a record for the daylong fundraising event.

Q&A with Purdue golfer Filippo Massobrio

Purdue men's golf headed into the offseason after a spring with several strong showings: one tie for first place in the 2018 Big Ten Match Play Championship and a first-place finish in the Robert Kepler Intercollegiate outing in April. On the nine-man roster is Filippo Massobrio, a junior in the Lyles School of Civil Engineering. Just before he left for his summer internship at the geotechnical firm Hayward Baker Inc. in Chicago, he sat down with us for a Q&A.

Awards and Honors

In the past two years, the Lyles School of Civil Engineering has seen more than a dozen of its alumni earn awards from Purdue. Honors from the College of Engineering and our school show tremendous Boilermaker pride in our alumni for their impressive careers and accomplishments.

The EXCEL Fund

Did you know that the Lyles School of Civil Engineering has a specific fund to help us recruit students to civil engineering and also help us retain current students? For over a decade, the EXCEL Fund has provided direct support for our efforts to develop outreach programs for K-12 students, recruit outstanding high school students to study civil engineering, and help us retain and support current students as they move into their professional careers. These engagement programs are vital to helping potential students and parents understand the essential role of civil engineering in our world.

Purdue Civil Engineering: A traveler feels welcome

Originally from Iran, Shahin Ariaey-Nejad (BSCE '82) says he had never heard of Purdue University until he met a few American expatriates who suggested the university after hearing he had an interest in engineering. Though the Midwestern university was certainly far from home, Ariaey-Nejad wanted to secure the best education possible and was quickly convinced that Purdue was where he would attain it.

Rodolfo Gedeon - Civic leader in Colombia

Many Purdue alumni are part of a long and proud Boilermaker family tradition. And some alumni are the ones who actually start the Boilermaker tradition. Count Rodolfo Gedeon among them. In the 58 years since Gedeon graduated from Purdue's School of Civil Engineering, 14 members of his family have made the trip from Cartagena, Colombia, to become Purdue University students — and now alumni. All of them — his daughter, son, and 12 nieces and nephews — were strongly encouraged by Gedeon, who says it is thanks to Purdue that he was able to accomplish so much in his life.

Brumund receives ASCE OPAL Award

In March 2018, Purdue Civil Engineering alumnus William F. Brumund (BSCE '64, MSCE '65, PhD '69) received the Outstanding Projects and Leaders (OPAL) Award from the American Society of Civil Engineers. The OPAL award recognizes a person's extraordinary contributions to the civil engineering industry throughout their career.

A loss for civil engineering: Professor Mete Sozen

Purdue Engineering mourns the loss of a beloved mentor, researcher and friend: Mete A. Sozen. He died on April 5, 2018, while visiting family in suburban London. He was 87 years old. Sozen's research revolutionized the field of earthquake engineering. Over the course of his 60-year academic career, he consulted and lectured around the world, earned dozens of honors, and was revered as a teacher and mentor. He taught at the University of Illinois until 1994, and then at Purdue University, where he was the Karl H. Kettelhut Distinguished Professor of Civil Engineering. He advised 58 graduate students earning their PhDs — many of whom are now leaders in the field.

Honoring Purdue's first black graduate, David Robert Lewis

"To make each one think, to make him self-reliant, to feel the responsibility of his own effort is a constant aim and endeavor," wrote educator David Robert Lewis. The statement reveals the character of the man who was Purdue University's first black graduate. Lewis earned his bachelor's degree in civil engineering in 1894.

Greetings From Don Fry, Chief Development Officer

Welcome to the party! A rare moment is upon us at Purdue: a convergence in time that compels us to reflect on the past, celebrate the present, and imagine what the future holds for our University and the Lyles School of Civil Engineering.
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