Message From School Head, "G.S." Govindaraju
I would venture to guess that one of the words most often associated with civil engineering has to be “landmark” — and I believe that holds especially true for the Lyles School of Civil Engineering.
For more than 130 years, Purdue civil engineering alumni and faculty have been the driving force behind many of the world’s modern landmarks that have stood the test of time and continue to inspire the engineers of today.
We have helped create, preserve and maintain the Golden Gate Bridge, the Panama Canal and the Hoover Dam. We have also been part of many of the world’s most recent and significant international civil engineering achievements, including the Jeddah Tower, the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge and the Riyadh Metro transit system.
Our alumni and faculty are also actively involved in some of the world’s most significant landmarks in civil engineering research. We continue to be on the cutting edge with advances such as incorporating designs found in nature to create stronger materials; improving the way future skyscrapers will be built; and utilizing new technologies to monitor and map shifts in the environment. We are also preparing for humanity’s next historic achievement through our research toward establishing habitats in space.
The achievements and pursuits led by Purdue civil engineers are not simply relegated to our breakthroughs and innovations, either. We have been an integral part of significant cultural landmarks, as well.
2019 marked the 125th anniversary of the graduation of David Robert Lewis, Purdue’s first black graduate and a civil engineering alumnus. I cannot begin to imagine the amount of courage it took to do what Mr. Lewis achieved in 1894, but I can say with certainty that his legacy will never be forgotten.
In this magazine, we detail both the life and accomplishments of Mr. Lewis as well as the heartfelt celebration we held in his honor back in February. The lecture, delivered by alumnus Mamon Powers Jr. (BSCE ’70, HDR ’14), was especially moving.
It is contributions like those of Mamon Powers — along with the efforts and support of so many of our dedicated alumni — that truly sets our school apart as one of the true landmark civil engineering institutions in the world.
In this edition of Transitions, you will see for yourself just how special our alumni base is — in both their loyalty and in their generosity. During 2019 alone, our alumni greatly improved our School, from assisting in physical improvements to Hampton Hall to further aiding in academic research and initiatives.
And, as always, there are many more stories to tell — and I look forward to sharing even more of our School’s accomplishments and successes with you as they come.
All the best,
Rao S. Govindaraju
Bowen Engineering Head of Civil Engineering
and Christopher B. and Susan S. Burke Professor of Civil Engineering