January 2016

Welcome to eConnections

I hope that your holidays were a time of joy and peace. The close of a year is a fitting time to reflect back, and 2015 was another exceptional year for the Lyles School of Civil Engineering as evidenced by the many accomplishments of our students, faculty & staff, and alumni – some of which are listed below.

Now as we usher in the new year a new semester is also underway, and with it all the excitement and hard work that will accompany this spring's graduating class through their final push to graduation.

As always, we want to hear from you. 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

  • February 21-27 – National Engineers Week
  • April 4-8 – Purdue Engineers Week
  • April 14 – CE Alumni Achievement Award Banquet
  • April 27 – Purdue Day of Giving
  • May 13 – Commencement
  • June 10 – CE Open

Lyles School of Civil Engineering Continuing Lectures

The School welcomed Larry Griffis, Senior Principal at Walter P. Moore and Associates, Inc. to deliver the 2015 Dennis & Leslie Drag Distinguished Lecture on November 5th. This lecture series brings outstanding leaders in the field of civil engineering to campus, with a preference for presentations on structural engineering. It has existed since 2005 and was established by Dennis J. (BSCE 1966) and Leslie A. (BA 1967) Drag.

The 13th C.W. Lovell Distinguished Lecture took place on September 23, 2015. Professor Emeritus Michele Jamiolkowski, from the Technical University of Torino, Studio Geotecnico Italiano, delivered a presentation titled, "Soil Mechanics and the Observational Method: Foundation Challenges at the Zelazny Most Tailings Storage Facility." This lecture series was established through the generosity of Professor Lovell, who expressed an interest in creating a lecture series at Purdue that will have staying power and where a track record of scholarship is clearly established.

The Leonard E. Wood Lecture was conducted on September 8, 2015 and featured Benjamin Colucci-Rios, Professor of Civil Engineering and Director of LTAP, University of Puerto Rico discussing, "Innovation in Transportation in the 21st Century." This lecture series started in 2010 in honor of Professor Leonard E. Wood, an alum (PhD, 1956) and Purdue faculty member from 1956 to 1993.


2015 Civil Engineering Career Fair

The Civil Engineering Student Advisory Council (CESAC) hosted the 2015 Career Fair on October 1, 2015. Over 80 companies participated this year, engaging students in internships, co-ops and/or permanent employment opportunities. Visit the CESAC page for more info.


S-BRITE Site Provides Hands-on Experience

Steel bridges have a lifespan of about 50 years, making them a vulnerable part of our nation's infrastructure. It is difficult for civil engineering students to get up-close-and-personal with actual bridges in service. There is only so much that can be taught in a classroom without application, and the developers of the Steel Bridge Research, Inspection, Training and Engineering (S-BRITE) Center decided to enhance experiential learning for students interested in this subject. Read more about this impressive real-life bridge "archive".


  • Since its dedication in 2010, the Christopher and Susan Burke Hydraulics and Hydrology Research and Teaching Laboratory, located in the basement and ground floor of the Civil Engineering Building, has been facilitating cutting-edge experimental work in areas related to civil engineering hydraulics.
  • The Indiana Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP) is part of an established nationwide system of technology transfer (T2) centers, some of which are located in universities, with others in State highway agencies. Six centers serve American Indian Tribal Governments. Each center develops a mix of technology transfer tools and information to effectively address the needs of the local/tribal highway community.
  • 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.

  • Christopher Burke (BSCE '77, MSCE '79, Ph.D. '83) was inducted into the National Academy of Construction (NAC) as a new member during the 2015 annual meeting on Kiawah Island, South Carolina. Read the full story.
  • David McKinley (BSCE '70) serves as a U.S. Congressman, representing the 1st district of West Virginia.
  • Glen Daigger (PhD ’79. MSCE ’75, BSCE ‘73), Professor of Professional Practice, joined the civil and environmental engineering department at the University of Michigan.
  • Jim (BSCE, '75) and Carol Cure were awarded the Pinnacle Award on November 6, 2015. Purdue's Pinnacle Award recognizes donors to the university who have made significant impact through giving.
  • Cheryl Cunningham (BSCE '80) was featured in the inaugural edition of the Women in Engineering Program newsletter.
  • Thomas F. Wolff (PhD '85) stepped down as Associate Dean of Engineering for Undergraduate Studies at Michigan State University after serving for 17 years, starting a transition year leading to retirement. Thomas also serves as Chi Epsilon National Civil Engineering Honor Society National Vice President and Great Lakes District Councillor. Learn more about Thomas.
  • Holly Buschman (BSCE '97) serves as an environmental engineer in Maylands, Australia. She is currently working with mining operations on the west coast near Perth.
  • Mark Phipps (BSCE '98) was selected as a "Best Under 40".
  • Paul Imbrock (BSCE '11), founder and president of Environmental Concrete Products LLC, said the company's Fluid iSoylator product could help managers of state transportation departments and other large-scale consumers of concrete extend the lifetime of their concrete investments.
  • Finley Engineering Group was named as one of the top structural firms to work for, by Zweig Group.

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.

  • On 11 December, 2015, Purdue CE students Aishwarya Puranam, Lucas Laughery, and William Pollalis represented Purdue in the 9th International Bridge Contest. They competed against 11 teams from universities in the U.S. (U. of Minnesota, UCSD, Rose-Hulman), Japan (NIT, U. of Nagoya, Yokohama U., KSU, Tohoku U.), Mexico (U. Panamericana), Colombia (National University), and Turkey (IYTE). Aishwarya, Lucas, and Will obtained first place in the competition. This is the fifth time in the last six years Purdue has placed first in the competition.
  • Julie Yu Qiao, a grad student in the transportation area, has been awarded the Neville A. Parker Science & Technology Award for an outstanding MS non-thesis research report.
  • Hamed Zamenian, a Ph.D. student studying in the environmental area, received a $2000 scholarship from the Indiana Chapter of the International Air and Waste Management Association for his active participation and outstanding leadership as a student member and former Vice President and Treasurer of the Purdue Student Chapter of the Air and Waste Management Association (PAWMA). Read the full story.
  • Congratulations to the Purdue Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) team on placing 3rd at the ITE Traffic Bowl Grand Championship, held August 3rd, 2015 in Hollywood, Florida!
  • Rodrigo Mesa Arango received the Spring/Summer 2015 CE Best Dissertation Award. Rodrigo was a PhD student in the Transportation Area working with Prof. Satish Ukkusuri. Rodrigo's dissertation was titled, "Algorithms for Bundling and Pricing Trucking Services: Deterministic and Stochastic Approaches."
  • Pedram Hesam, a PhD student studying in the structures area, won a competitive scholarship to attend the 2015 Asia-Pacific Summer School (APSS) on Smart Structures Technology, hosted by the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Read the full story.
  • Yong Hoon Kim, a Ph.D. student advised by Srinivas Peeta, received the Third Best Paper Award at the IEEE 18th International Conference on Intelligent Transportation Systems in Las Palmas De Gran Canaria, Spain.
  • Aishwarya Puranam, a graduate student in the Structures Area, received the ACI Foundation Scholarship.
  • V. Dimitra Pyrialakou, a doctoral candidate focusing on transportation engineering, received the prestigious Leadership Legacy Graduate Scholarship through the Women's Transportation Seminar (WTS) Greater Chicago Area chapter. She performs research assessing passenger transportation options for rural and small urban areas.
  • Mariah Schroeder, a Masters student in the Lyles School of Civil Engineering, was awarded the ACEC Indiana Scholarship for the second year in a row. She was also awarded the ACEC National Scholar of the Year Award, which included travel to Boston for the ACEC Fall Conference. See the 2015 winners.

  • On December 19th, the Purdue University Board of Trustees ratified Srinivas Peeta as the Jack and Kay Hockema Professor in Civil Engineering. Read the full story. Professor Peeta was also recognized by Chongqing University in China as an Honorary Guest Professor.
  • Julio Ramriez, Professor of Civil Engineering, delivered a keynote lecture at the XX Congress of Earthquake Engineering in Acapulco, Mexico.
  • A team of CE researchers including Santiago Pujol, Professor of Civil Engineering, and Mete Sozen, Kettelhut Distinguished Professor of Structural Engineering, working with NIST at Bowen Lab has been selected to receive the ACI Chester Paul Siess Award for Excellence in Structural Research for their co-authored paper, "Experimental Study of Reinforced Concrete Assemblies under Column Removal Scenario.”
  • Nadya Zyaykina, lab manager for the Lyles School of Civil Engineering and Environmental and Ecological Engineering, has received the 2015 College of Engineering New Employee Award.
  • 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. Read the full story.
  • Mark Bowman, Professor of Civil Engineering, has agreed to continue serving as the Bowen Lab director. Amit Varma, Professor of Civil Engineering will serve as the Associate Director of the lab. These appointments are effective until August 2017.
  • Phillip Dunston, professor in Purdue's Lyles School of Civil Engineering, and Joseph Louis, a doctoral candidate, have created technology that provides real-time, actionable insights to a project site manager. Read the full story.
  • The National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded a grant of over $438K to Inez Hua, Professor of Civil Engineering and Environmental and Ecological Engineering and Bill Oakes, Director of EPICS and Professor of Engineering Education, for support of Collaborative Research into Sustainable Electronics. The grant is a collaboration with Tuskeegee University.
  • Panagiota Karava is leading a multi-disciplinary Purdue team that has been awarded a $1.2M National Science Foundation grant for their project "CyberSEES Type 2: Human-centered systems for cyber-enabled sustainable building."
  • Jason Lloyd, Research Engineer, and a team from Purdue, installed sensors on the Wildcat Creek bridge on I-65 to monitor real-time information.
  • Jan Olek, Professor of Civil Engineering and Director of the North Central Superpave Center (NCSC) authored a paper that was selected as the Transportation Research Board 2015 Best Paper for the Geology and Properties Section of the Mineral Aggregates Committee.
  • Santiago Pujol, Associate Professor for Civil Engineering, accepted the appointment of Academic Director for Research Computing. Dr. Pujol will provide faculty perspective, vision and direction for Purdue’s activities around cyberinfrastructure for research, especially the HUBzero platform and the community cluster program.
  • Rodrigo Salgado, Professor of Civil Engineering, received the Outstanding Reviewer Award from Elsevier for his work for Computers and Geotechnics, one of the top journals in geotechnical engineering. Computers and Geotechnics publishes papers in computational geomechanics and other computational applications in geotechnical engineering. Professor Salgado was also named the Charles Pankow Professor in Civil Engineering. Read the full story.
  • Satish Ukkusuri, Professor of Civil Engineering, and researchers from Virginia Tech and North Dakota State University have been selected to receive a $2.5 million National Science Foundation Hazards SEES grant to understand the role of uncertainty in hurricane evacuation decision-making. Read about the grant. Professor Ukkusuri has also been selected by the National Academy of Engineering to attend the Japan-America Frontiers of Engineering (JAFOE), along with 60 other engineers who have all been determined by the academy to be future leaders of the engineering field. The event will be June 16-18 in Irvine, California.
  • David Yu, Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering, developed a new mathematical model allowing researchers to better understand and plan the designs for infrastructure to account for human factors in systems ranging from small-scale agriculture to urban infrastructure. Read the full story.