June 2015

Welcome to eConnections

This is always a very exciting time of year on our campus. We recently celebrated the accomplishments of our newest graduates and we are busy meeting and preparing for our incoming students. A lot has happened since the last edition of the newsletter. Below, you can see what our alumni, students, faculty and staff have been up to. And look for the next edition of Civil Engineering IMPACT magazine in your mailboxes in late September.

Please send us your feedback, contact information, and life and career news (see alumni notes below).

Rao S. Govindaraju
Bowen Engineering Head of Civil Engineering
and Christopher B. and Susan S. Burke Professor of Civil Engineering


Upcoming Events

  • August (Date TBD) – Alumni Event, Raleigh, North Carolina
  • August (Date TBD) – Alumni Event, Atlanta, Georgia
  • September 15-16 – Industrial Roundtable; largest student-run Career Fair in U.S.
  • September 18 – CE Open House – Inaugural Event – see article below
  • September 19 – Purdue Family Weekend
  • September 30 – Purdue Construction Alumni Social, Chicago, Illinois
  • October 1 – CE Career Fair
  • October (Date TBD) – Alumni Event, New York, New York
  • October (Date TBD) – Alumni Event, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • November 6 – CE Advisory Council Meeting
  • November 6 – CE Scholarship & Awards Banquet
  • November 7 – Homecoming Breakfast

2015 Civil Engineering Alumni Achievement Award (CEAAA)

The Lyles School of Civil Engineering recognized six passionate, influential and visionary graduates during the 22nd Annual Civil Engineering Alumni Achievement Awards banquet on April 16, 2015. Link to full article.


JTRP and LTAP Receive 2015 CoE Faculty Award for Excellence

The Joint Transportation Research Program (JTRP) and Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP) proudly accepted the 2015 College of Engineering Faculty Award of Excellence Team Award on April 10, 2015. The JTRP and LTAP multidisciplinary approach is built upon strong engagement with public sector transportation agencies, the private sector, and university colleagues beyond the traditional academic ranks. Link to full article.


Purdue Bridge Monitoring System

On March 6, 2015, Good Morning America aired an investigation on bridge accidents. Footage originating from Associate Professor Robert Connor's research culminated in a web-based bridge monitoring interface. Learn more and view the video here.


Civil Engineering Open House

The Recruitment Committee is planning a Lyles School of Civil Engineering Open House on Friday, September 18, 2015 in conjunction with Purdue’s Family Day Weekend. This event is meant primarily to engage first-year engineering students and their families but all prospective Purdue students and their families, as well as our alumni, are also invited. Events will include information sessions, lab and building tours, seminars, food and refreshments, hands-on projects, and more. We'll keep this website updated with current details.


55th Annual Civil Engineering Open

Since the early 1960s, this event has been a Purdue CE tradition. Unlike recent events, this year's outing was unmarred by (much) rain or bad weather. 15 teams competed in a scramble format on Purdue's Kampen course. Many thanks to our sponsors Arsee Engineers, Inc.; Benchmark Fabricated Steel; Butler, Fairman & Seufert, Inc.; Christopher B. Burke Engineering, Ltd.; Milhouse Charities; RQAW Corporation; and John W. Lubker II.


  • The Lyles School of Civil Engineering finished on top of the donation leaderboard for Purdue's 2nd Day of Giving, raising more than $2.25M in donations in 24 hours. Read the full article and see our videos here. Thank you for your continued support and involvement! Read a letter of thanks from one of our recent graduates here.
  • CE is home to Purdue's first African American and woman engineering graduates, David Robert Lewis and Martha Dicks Stevens, respectively.
  • You can view Purdue's 2014 Year in Review video here.
  • If you "follow us" on one of our social network channels (Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube), you can get real-time updates, pictures of current students, stories of our faculty, and an "inside" perspective. Try it by clicking the icons below.

  • Arthur Levin (BSCE '39) is retired and lives in Hollywood, California. He designed many homes in the Hollywood Hills and many post offices, apartment buildings, factories, warehouses, etc. from his own office. He is the author of the book, Hillside Building, Design and Construction, available from Amazon.
  • Stephen D. Bechtel, Jr. (BSCE '46, HDR '72). On May 15, 2015, the Purdue Board of Trustees approved naming the Innovation Design Center (a student projects facility scheduled to open in 2017) for Stephen D. Bechtel, Jr., in recognition of the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation’s leadership gift toward the $18.5 million building. Read more about this project here.
  • John E. Baerwald (BSCE '49, MSCE '50, and PhD '56) passed away on April 27, 2015. Following his service in the Army during World War II, he taught classes in transportation and worked on various traffic safety research studies at the University of Illinois. He was a past national president of ITE. After his retirement from Illinois, he and his wife Donna moved to Sante Fe, New Mexico.
  • Milton Harr (PhD '58 and professor emeritus) received France's highest honor during a moving ceremony on February 27th aboard a French naval vessel moored in Florida. Milton and four other WWII veterans were recognized for their contributions to the liberation of different regions of France. More here.
  • Joe Braden's (BSCE '60) career included teaching marketing in the Eastern Michigan University College of Business for 33 years. He retired to Naples, Florida in 2002 and continues to be engaged in motivating prospective civil engineers.
  • William (Bill) Dudley, Jr. (BSCE '74, HDR '15) was awarded an honorary doctorate degree during spring commencement ceremonies in West Lafayette. Bill is president & CEO of the Bechtel Group. Learn more here.
  • Rick Conner (BSCE '76), president and COO of American Structurepoint, was awarded the 2015 Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award. Rick was recognized during a February 20, 2015 awards luncheon.
  • Patricia Galloway (BSCE '78) published a book called, "Here Comes The Egg," completing the project her husband and partner began before his death. It is an illustrated poem presented through whimsical imagery with words woven into each illustration. The purpose of the book is to encourage the development of successful relationship skills and promote critical thinking abilities among three to eight year olds, as well as for the young of heart.
  • Bill Lewis (BSCE ’78) was tragically injured in Columbus, Ohio and passed away December 29, 2014. A ceremony was held February 25th, at which time the city of Columbus dedicated a street to Bill, a former city engineer. The sign, located at Gay and Front streets, displays Purdue's colors.
  • Cheryl Cunningham’s (BSCE '80) second book continues to inspire girls to become engineers. "I Can Find a Way! I'm Lucy Kay!" tells the story of a little girl who finds a solution to block the sound of her baby sister's crying. Along the way, she learns she approached and solved a problem, just like an engineer.
  • Dan Liotti (BSCE '85) was recently selected as the 2015 Trenchless Technology Person of the Year. Awarded annually since 1993, this honor recognizes individuals representing significant recent and lifetime achievement, and those who have exhibited outstanding leadership in the advancement of trenchless technology. Dan is CEO of Midwest Mole, in Greenfield, Indiana.
  • Keith Andrews (Andy) Miller (MSCE '90) passed away on February 6, 2015 at St. Vincent's Hospital in Indianapolis, Indiana. Andy worked for the Department of Natural Resources, HNTB, Greeley and Hansen and CDM Smith. Andy was a true leader and had a caring and compassionate approach to helping people, the community and the environment.
  • David Buck (BSCE '95) is West Lafayette's public works director. He's also an accomplished pianist. See the full article and a video here.
  • JoAnn Browning (PhD '98), dean of the College of Engineering and the David and Jennifer Spencer Distinguished Chair for the Dean of Engineering at the University of Texas at San Antonio, was selected as one of four Purdue University Distinguished Women Scholars for 2015-16. Read more about this honor here.
  • Vincent Sovis (BSCE '01) is the director of projects and partner at Sovis Corporation, currently working in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Vince says that, "Out in the industry, it's the soft skills and the ability to discuss, negotiate and communicate [that matter]. I've had a wonderful experience at Purdue and it's set me up for an interesting and challenging career." Vince would like to connect with other classmates from 2001/2002. Contact us and we will forward the request.
  • Phillip Cherry (BSCE '10) attended Georgia Tech for grad school and now works as an engineer for Parsons Brinckerhoff in Atlanta. He recently started a personal blog and one of his entries is entitled “Work Tips at 1,000 Days” to coincide with his 1,000th calendar day of employment.
  • Mazhar Arshad (PhD '14), Faraz Tehrani (PhD '14), Professor Monica Prezzi, and Professor Rodrigo Salgado are the 2015 recipients of the Geotechnical Research Medal from the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE). Learn more about this honor here.

Thanks for keeping us up to date with your contact information, life events, and career news. Send your updates to: Kathy Heath at heathk@purdue.edu.

We'll make sure you get School information, news from campus, and event invitations. We'll also share your news and celebrate awards and achievements in our newsletters.

  • Emily Bonini, a student in the Lyles School of Civil Engineering, participated in the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) Program during summer 2014. Her mentors for this project were Professor John Haddock, LTAP project engineer Pat Conner, and graduate student Yu Tian. Learn about Emily's research.
  • Emily Byl, Purdue Chi Epsilon Chapter President, was selected as one of two 2015 National Chi Epsilon Graduate Fellowship recipients.
  • Graduate student researcher Davis Chacon-Hurtado was selected as one of three winners in the 2015 International Road Federation (IRF) Student Essay Competition with his essay titled, "Integrated Traffic-ticketing Management System." Learn more about Davis and his work here.
  • Rodrigo Netto de Souza, a student in the Lyles School of Civil Engineering, participated in the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) Program during summer 2014. His mentors for this project were Professor John Haddock, Laura Slusher (Indiana LTAP) and graduate student Yu Tian. Learn about Rodrigo's research.
  • Erica C. Fischer, a current doctoral candidate; Professor Judy Liu, Associate Professor of Civil Engineering and Associate Director of Bowen Laboratory; and Professor Amit H. Varma, Professor of Civil Engineering were featured in the March 2015 issue of STRUCTURE Magazine. Their article, Earthquake Damage to Cylindrical Steel Tanks, details some problems and solutions resulting from the August 24, 2014 magnitude 6.0 earthquake northwest of American Canyon, California. Read the full article here.
  • Civil Engineering Master’s student Jessica Holberg (advised by Professor Venkatesh Merwade) and Alana Wilbee, a recent civil engineering graduate, were named recipients of the prestigious National Science Foundation (NSF) Fellowship for the 2015 award year. Read more about Jessica's work here and Alana's work here.
  • PhD students Iason Konstantzos (advised by Professor Thanos Tzempelikos) and Jaewan Joe (advised by Professor Panagiota Karava) were named recipients of the prestigious ASHRAE Grant-in-Aid Award for 2015.
  • Andrew Martin, a civil engineering student and sole member of Grissom Controls, took top honors at the fifth Schurz Innovation Challenge at Purdue. Grissom Controls offers a software solution to optimize controls for highly complex heating, cooling and ventilation systems in buildings.
  • Congratulations to the Purdue Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) Traffic Bowl Team on winning the Great Lakes District competition! This annual competition among ITE student chapter teams uses transportation planning and engineering topics for the clues, questions and answers. The team, consisting of Jijo Mathew, Maggie McNamara, Michelle Mekker, and Thomas Hall will travel to Hollywood, Florida to compete against 8 other district winners in the national competition, August 2-5, 2015.
  • Maryam Parsa (a PhD student co-advised by Professors Srinivas Peeta, CE, and Ganesh Subbarayan, ME), has been awarded the Intel Foundation’s Semiconductor Research Corporation Education Alliance Fellowship.
  • Tariq U. Saeed was elected as Civil Engineering Senator to the Purdue Graduate Student Senate (PGSS) for 2015-16 academic year. Tariq is a Fulbright Ph.D. scholar in the Lyles School of Civil Engineering, currently working in the area of Transportation Systems Engineering.
  • Siddharth Saksena, a graduate student advised by Professor Venkatesh Merwade, has been selected as the 1st place winner of the Graduate Division of the ASCE Environmental Water Resource Institute's 2015 Student Technical Paper Contest.
  • Juan David Tabares, a CE graduate student, was featured in an article on the US State Department website.
  • Nate Todd and Robert Spragg, CE materials graduate students, were featured in an article about Big Brothers Big Sisters of Purdue and Greater Lafayette. Full article.
  • Matt Volovski, a PhD student advised by Professors Sam Labi and Kumares Sinha, won the International Road Federation (IRF) annual international essay competition.
  • CE junior Li Zhang was recently featured in the Exponent's International Spotlight.

  • Antonio Bobet, Professor of Civil Engineering, was part of a research team studying the existence of very large lava tubes on the moon that could support future long-term human exploration, offering shelter from cosmic radiation, meteorite impacts and the wild temperature swings of lunar day and night. Get more information here.
  • Inez Hua, Professor of Civil Engineering and Environmental and Ecological Engineering, was recently appointed to a three-year term to the Safe and Sustainable Water Resources, a subcommittee of the U.S. EPA Board of Scientific Counselors (BOSC).
  • Chad Jafvert, Professor of Civil Engineering and Environmental and Ecological Engineering, recently completed a $600,000 research project funded by the U.S. EPA on the environmental fate of carbon-based nanomaterials. Get more information here.
  • Larry Nies, Professor of Civil Engineering and Environmental and Ecological Engineering, was named the recipient of the 2015 Excellence in Environmental Engineering Education (E4) Award, given annually by the American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists.
  • Santiago Pujol, Associate Professor of Civil Engineering, added his insights into the sharing of big data for an article in Science News magazine.
  • Associate Professors of Civil Engineering Santiago Pujol and Pablo Zavattieri were selected as University Faculty Scholars for a five-year period, extending through 2020. Learn more here.
  • The Steel Bridge Research, Inspection, Training and Engineering (S-BRITE) Center gets a new bridge to aid research and learning. Read the full article here.
  • Andrew Whelton, Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering and Environmental and Ecological Engineering, and his research team investigate possible lingering impacts from the Elk River Chemical spill. See a video of their work here. Andrew and his team are also investigating environmental effects of cured-in-place pipe (CIPP). See that article here.
  • Pablo Zavattieri, Associate Professor of Civil Engineering, and Jason Weiss, Jack and Kay Hockema Professor of Civil Engineering and Director of the Pankow Materials Laboratory, led research into how to increase the strength of concrete. Learn more about their discoveries here.
  • Pablo Zavattieri has been invited to participate in the fifth Indonesian-American Kavli Frontiers of Science symposium in Makassar, Indonesia. The symposium is sponsored by the Indonesian Academy of Sciences, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). More about this symposium available here.