June 2016

Welcome to eConnections

Rao Govindaraju

We’ve had another incredible academic year in the Lyles School of Civil Engineering – in both achievements and recognitions.

I am especially proud to report that we’ve just been ranked the #1 civil engineering school in the world by ShanghaiRankings! The top global ranking was based on a number of areas ranging from research productivity and high-quality research to average global research impact and extent of international collaboration.

This recognition is a testament to the incredible work, accomplishments, and reputation of the students, faculty, and staff at the Purdue Lyles School and that of our CE alumni and friends. A relentless pursuit for excellence is what drives our School – and I am very proud of all our efforts and achievements.

We also recently celebrated the accomplishments of our newest graduates and are already hard at work preparing for the influx of new and returning civil engineering students. Throughout the spring semester, our students, alumni, faculty, and staff continued to raise the bar and I look forward to sharing some of their stories with you here. We’ll have even more stories to share in our upcoming IMPACT magazine later this fall.

Be sure to send us your feedback, contact information, and life and career news. Send your updates to Kathy Heath at heathk@purdue.edu.

All the best,

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


Upcoming Events

  • July 20 – Maine Area Alumni Event
  • August 3 – Cleveland Area Alumni Event
  • September 24 – Family Day
  • October 14 – Scholarship and Awards Banquet
  • October 15 – Homecoming Breakfast


The Lyles School of Civil Engineering was ranked the #1 CE school in the world by ShanghaiRankings.

Lyles School of Civil Engineering Ranked #1 in the World

A recent global, discipline-specific ranking, placed the Lyles School of Civil Engineering at the head of the class, according to ShanghaiRankings.

The Global Rankings of Academic Subjects, released June 15, 2016, lists the Lyles School of Civil Engineering as first on the list of the best civil engineering schools in the world.

Schools earned the global rankings based on a number of areas ranging from research productivity and high-quality research to average global research impact and extent of international collaboration. Significant academic achievements and recognition of an institution’s researchers also are measured as part of the rankings.

You can read the full rankings report.



Our 2015-16 CEAAA honorees, from left:
Jim Cure, Mark Perniconi, Carlos Hernandez, Nancy Uridil, Jeff Copeland, and David Reuter.

2016 Civil Engineering Alumni Achievement Awards (CEAAA)

The Lyles School of Civil Engineering recognized six passionate, successful and visionary graduates during the 23rd annual Civil Engineering Alumni Achievement Awards banquet on April 14, 2016. Link to full article

We also recorded the Q&A session with our students and CEAAA honorees. You can watch the videos of the student forum and honorees offering advice.



Nearly 70 golfers participated in the 56th Annual CE Open.

56th Annual CE Open

Since 1960, this event has been a staple of Purdue CE tradition. Of course, we always strive to make the outing feel like new – even for our most seasoned golfers. This year, the biggest change was the venue itself with guests teeing off at the BRAND NEW Ackerman-Allen Course.

Nearly 70 participants joined us on June 13, and a great time was had by all. Thank you to all of our sponsors: Benchmark Fabricated Steel; Bowen Engineering Corporation; Butler, Fairman and Seufert, Inc.; Christopher B. Burke Engineering, Ltd.; David B. Wozniak; Hayward Baker, Inc.; John W. Lubker II; Marathon Petroleum; and RQAW Corporation.


Our golfers played on the brand new Ackerman-Allen Course.



Hundreds participated during Purdue’s Day of Giving on behalf of our School.

Thank You for a Wonderful Purdue Day of Giving

The Lyles School of Civil Engineering raised a total of $278,602 from 272 individual gifts for Purdue’s third annual Day of Giving. Link to full story and video content. We are deeply thankful to all those who donated – and to our students, faculty, and staff who participated in the day’s activities. Your contributions have greatly impacted Civil Engineering because these funds go to our School’s greatest needs, such as scholarship opportunities, outreach programs and facility improvements.

This year’s event more than lived up to its “Bigger and Better” theme, with Purdue raising a record $18.3 million from 12,872 donations in 24 hours. For the second year in a row, this event set the record for most dollars raised for higher education through a single-day campaign.



Among the places our students visited was the London Crossrail station.

Purdue Civil Engineering Students Learn from European Engineering

In May, 19 students from Civil, Mechanical, Industrial and Construction Engineering embarked on a 12-day trip – led by Civil Engineering Professor Darcy Bullock – to study 21st Century European Multi-modal Transportation Infrastructure in London, Paris, Berlin, Hamburg, and Munich.

Each year, the Lyles School of Civil Engineering offers our students a chance to participate in global learning opportunities as part of our CE Global Program.

This year, our active learning opportunities included bike tours of London and Paris, an Eiffel Tower climb, the Paris sewer museum, a technical tour of the new Berlin Brandenburg Airport construction site, the Hamburg Airbus aircraft assembly plant, and a ramp tour of the Munich airport. Read the full story.



Thirty students received an up-close education on coastal engineering at Lake Michigan.

Lessons at Lake Michigan

Our coastal engineering class went on an educational trip in April to the Lake Michigan area. Led by Associate Professor Cary Troy, 30 of our graduate and undergraduate students visited the 31st Street Harbor, Kemil Beach, and the Hammond Marina.



Nathan Shellhamer’s essay won him an ASCE-sponsored trip to China.

CE Student Dreams Big

Nathan Shellhamer won the ASCE’s Dream Big Contest – earning him a trip for two to Shanghai, China, for the filming of Dream Big, the ASCE giant-screen movie coming in 2017. Nathan also blogged about his experience overseas.



Mark Satterly ran the Boston Marathon in under three hours. (Photo by MarathonFoto)

CE Student Completes Boston Marathon

Mark Satterly, a 2016 CE grad, completed this year’s Boston Marathon in under three hours. Son of CE alum Paul Satterly (BSCE ‘83) and the grandson of CE Professor Gilbert Satterly (1970-99), the third-generation Purdue civil engineer said it had been a dream of his to participate in the marathon and he hopes to do it again one day.

"Getting to the finish line at Boston was a culmination of a long journey for me," Mark said. "It’s definitely something I’m going to remember forever."

Mark’s journey to the Boston Marathon is especially impressive because he had to overcome significant injuries during his sophomore year at Purdue. While out for a spring run in West Lafayette, Mark was hit by a car. Mark suffered multiple arm breaks, broken ribs, chipped discs in his back, and head trauma. Miraculously, Mark had no permanent injuries – save for a two-week memory gap after the accident.

"I was very lucky in the end – and, somehow, none of the injuries I had were to my legs, so I was able to get back to running after about two months," Mark said. "People sometimes ask if I have any anxiety when running along the street now, but I really don’t. It was just one of those freak accidents. I really don’t even think about it."

A year after his accident, Mark entered his first marathon in Chicago. He finished the run in just two hours and 52 minutes. It remains his fastest marathon run to date and it qualified him for the Boston Marathon, held on April 16, 2016.

Mark said the course and weather in Boston were considerably tougher to deal with than in Chicago – which, in turn, made it far more mentally challenging. However, when he reached the final stretch and he could hear the roaring crowds, the mental and physical strains melted away.

"You know you’re getting close to the end because you can hear everyone just going absolutely insane," Mark said. "I was just so relieved when I finally hit the finish line. And it’s definitely something I want to do again."


Mark Satterly earned his BSCE in May.


Why I Love Being a Civil Engineer

Why do YOU love being a civil engineer? Send us a fun, job-related picture and brief description that shows why you love working as a civil engineer. Our favorite entries will be featured in the next edition of eConnections. Send your photos and a brief description to Civil Engineering Marketing and Communications Director Drew Stone at stone91@purdue.edu.


  • Senior Design: Not only does our Senior Design Class help develop our students’ planning and public speaking skills, it also offers the best presenters with cash rewards. This semester, a total of $6,000 was awarded to three teams from the TERF Board for best overall conceptual design. The course’s corporate sponsor, KERAMIDA, awarded an additional $7,000 – with $6,000 going to the three most creative plans and a pair of $500 awards to KERAMIDA’s two favorite presentations. Watch one of our spring semester presentations.
  • Technical Communication: The Technical Communication class is a Purdue Civil Engineering course that focuses on public speaking. Spring marks the third semester for this new course. The course also awards $1,000 a year to the best speakers through the Thomas and Evelyn Page Civil Engineering Leadership Fund.
  • Towing Tank: The Lyles School of Civil Engineering is currently renovating the towing tank in the basement of Hampton Hall. The massive, 150-foot-long facility is designed to tow objects through water at very high speeds. The tank will also include a wave maker that will allow the facility to be used in coastal engineering studies. It is scheduled to be complete by the end of the year. The Exponent featured the story.
  • 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.

  • Dave DeLong (BSCE ‘05, MSCE ‘08) was elected to chair the ASCE-SEI (Structural Engineering Institute) Sustainability Committee. Read more information about the committee.
  • Mara Kosir (BSCE ‘11) was named this May to the Crain’s Chicago Business 20 in their 20s list. Read the full story
  • Baki Ozturk (PhD ‘03) serves as the Founding Head of the Department of Civil Engineering at Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey since 2013. The school is ranked among the Top Five Engineering Schools in Turkey. Read the full story
  • Ron Steele (BSCE ‘60) received the ASCE Harry Schnabel Jr. Award in October 2015. The award is given to those who have shown continued excellence and innovation in the earth retaining structures industry. Read about the award.
  • Ioannis Zevgolis (PhD ‘07, MScEng ‘03) joined the Department of Civil Engineering at the Democritus University of Thrace (Greece), as an Assistant Professor of geotechnical engineering.
  • A paper co-authored by Steve Lavrenz (PhD ‘15), Christopher Day (PhD ‘10) and Professor Darcy Bullock from Purdue University – along with INDOT Traffic Investigations Engineer Rick Freije (BSCE ‘12, MSCE ‘14) and Elkhart County Highway Engineer Jay Grossman (BSCE ‘93, MSCE ‘98) – received the 2016 Transportation Research Board (TRB) Traffic Signal System Committee Best Paper Award at this year’s TRB conference in Washington, D.C. Read the paper

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.

  • Doctoral candidate Arif Mohaimin Sadri – advised by Professor Satish Ukkusuri – received the 2016 Excellence in Research Award from the Purdue University Office of Interdisciplinary Graduate Programs for his successful interdisciplinary project entitled, “The Role of Social Capital, Personal Networks, & Early Responders in Post-disaster Recovery.” Read the full story
  • Graduate student Aishwarya Puranam – advised by Professor Santiago Pujol – received the ACI Presidents’ Fellowship for the 2016-17 academic year. Read the full story
  • Graduate student Jessica Eisma – advised by Associate Professor Venkatesh Merwade – earned a Fulbright U.S. Student Program grant for the 2016-17 academic year. She will travel to Tanzania to conduct research on the ecological impact of an ancient water capture and storage technology. Read the full story
  • Doctoral candidate Chul Min Yeum – advised by Professor Shirley Dyke – received the 2015 Hojjat Adeli Award for Innovation in Computing. Read the full story
  • Doctoral candidate Chisaphat Supunyachotsakul – advised by Associate Professor James Bethel – earned the 2016 Robert E. Altenhofen Memorial Scholarship. Read the full story
  • Lisa Lorena Losada Rojas, an undergraduate student from Colombia who was hosted here at Purdue last year through the Purdue-Colombia Institute, was recognized for having the best thesis in her field at the National University of Colombia. Lisa’s thesis, titled “Influence of Mass Transit Systems on Land Use,” was developed under the supervision of her host, Associate Professor Nadia Gkritza. Read the full story
  • Graduate student Tariq Saeed – advised by Professor Samuel Labi – received the 2016 ThinkSwiss Research Scholarship by the Office of Science, Technology, and Higher Education of the Embassy of Switzerland in Washington, D.C. The scholarship awards a 3-month paid fellowship to carry out research at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich. Read the full story
  • Graduate student Ayda Catalina Galvis – advised by Professors Monica Prezzi and Rodrigo Salgado – earned the Bernard F. Langan Scholarship at Purdue University for her thesis “Effect of Cyclic Loads on the Axial Capacity of Piles.” Read the full story
  • Doctoral student Hamed Zamenian – advised by Professor Dulcy Abraham – was awarded the Argent Memorial Scholarship from North America Society of Trenchless Technology (NASTT). Read the full story
  • Ali Hekmatfar received the 2016 Emmons Award for best paper presented, while Leila Sadeghi received the best student poster award at the 2016 Annual Meeting of the Association of Asphalt Paving Technologists. Both students were advised by Professor John Haddock. Read the full story
  • Doctoral candidate Fangning He – advised by Professor Ayman Habib – received the 2016 Bilsland Dissertation Fellowship Award. The title of Fangning’s dissertation is “Dense Point Cloud Generation from Passive and Active Sensors.” Read the full story
  • Harshit Kapoor and his team were awarded a third-place prize of $1,500 for their soy-based detergent pods in the 2015-16 Purdue Student Soybean Product Innovation Competition. Read the full story
  • Doctoral candidate Adnan Rajib – working with Associate Professor Venkatesh Merwade –received the 2016 Bilsland Dissertation Fellowship Award. Read the full story

  • The Karl H. Kettelhut Distinguished Professor of Civil Engineering Mete Sozen, retired in May. Professor Sozen plans to remain in the Lafayette area and continue some of his research interests. Professor Sozen had a truly remarkable career and will continue to have a major influence on the profession.
  • Professor and Director of the Joint Transportation Research Program Darcy Bullock received the Faculty Engagement Fellow Award from Purdue University’s Office of Engagement. Read the full story
  • Visiting Assistant Professor Nader Naderpajouh was recognized as an outstanding reviewer by the ASCE Journal of Management in Engineering. Read the full story
  • Professor Chad Jafvert received the 2015 Scientific and Technological Achievement Award (Honorable Mention) from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for authorship of a paper he co-authored, titled: "Photoreactivity of Unfunctionalized Single-Wall Carbon Nanotubes Involving Hydroxyl Radical: Chiral dependency and Surface Coating Effect," published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology (Vol 48, pp. 3875-3882, 2014). Read the full story
  • Professor Shirley J. Dyke received the 2015 Hojjat Adeli Award for Innovation in Computing. Read the full story
  • Associate Professor Nadia Gkritza was chosen as the first-ever recipient of the CE Outstanding Mentor of Engineering Graduate Students award. Read the full story. She was also presented with the Jane F. Garvey/UMass ITE Transportation Leadership Award for her demonstrated leadership and outstanding skill in the field of transportation. Read the full story
  • Professor Chip Blatchley was featured in WalletHub’s recent study examining 2016’s greenest states, lending his insight into eco-friendliness at the household, government and global levels. Read the full story. Professor Blatchley also received $31,186 in January to support "Continuous-Flow Solar UV Disinfection System," an innovation that kills waterborne microorganisms and produces safer drinking water. He and other researchers are developing this method by using ultraviolet radiation from the sun to purify water.
  • Assistant Professor Chris Williams participated in the 2016 ASCE ExCEEd Teaching Workshop at Florida Gulf Coast University this month. He presented three classes during the workshop. Read the full story
  • Professor John E. Haddock, along with Superpave Research Engineer Ayesha Shah and Superpave Center Technical Director Rebecca McDaniel, received the 2016 Emmons Award for best paper presented at the 2016 Annual Meeting of the Association of Asphalt Paving Technologists. Read the full story
  • Professor Larry Nies is the recipient of a 2016 Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award in Memory of Charles B. Murphy. Read the full story
  • A paper co-authored by Professor Darcy Bullock, Christopher Day (PhD ‘10) and Steve Lavrenz (PhD ‘15) from Purdue University – along with INDOT Traffic Investigations Engineer Rick Freije (BSCE ‘12, MSCE ‘14) and Elkhart County Highway Engineer Jay Grossman (BSCE ‘93, MSCE ‘98) – received the 2016 Transportation Research Board (TRB) Traffic Signal System Committee Best Paper Award at this year’s TRB conference in Washington, D.C. Read the full story