Karl H. Kettelhut Professor of Civil Engineering
Director, Bowen Laboratory of Large-Scale CE Research
Lyles School of Civil Engineering
West Lafayette, IN 47907
Office: HAMP 4123
Office Phone: (765) 496-3419
Mobile Phone: (517) 974-0936
Home Phone: (765) 463-3357
Dr. Amit H. Varma
Karl H. Kettelhut Professor of Civil Engineering
Dr. Varma is originally from Mumbai, India. He received his B.Tech in Civil Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) - Bombay in 1994. He received his M.S. in civil engineering (structures) from the University of Oklahoma (OU) in 1996. He completed his Ph.D. in civil engineering (structures) from Lehigh Univerisity in 2000. He joined Michigan State University as an Assistant Professor in the Dept. of Civil and Env. Eng. in 2001.
He joined Purdue University as an Assistant Professor in the School of Civil Engineeing in August 2004. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 2008 and Full Professor in 2014. He was appointed Associate Director of Bowen Laboratory in 2015, and since 2017 he has been serving as the Director of the Robert L. and Terry L. Bowen Laboratory for Large-Scale Civil Engineering Research.
In Fall 2018, he was ratified as the Karl H. Kettelhut Professor of Civil Engineering.
Prof. Varma has dedicated his academic and professional life to the development of innovative steel-concrete composite structures for the built infrastructure including commercial and residential buildings, and industrial structures such as nuclear power plants. He has conducted fundamental research including large-scale experimental investigations and numerical analyses to evaluate and improve the structural behavior of steel-concrete composite members, connections and overall structural systems subjected to various extreme loading conditions including seismic, fire, blast, and missile impact loading. His research products are the basis of (and directly cited in) several AISC codes / specifications for the design of steel-concrete composite structures for building structures and safety-related nuclear facilities. These codes / specifications govern the design and construction of all steel building structures and safety-related nuclear facilities in the US, and are also used / referenced extensively around the world by engineers, consultants, regulators, and building officials.
He has conducted fundamental experimental and analytical research on the behavior of structural components and systems under various loading conditions. His areas of research interest include: (1) fire behavior, analysis and design of structures; (2) seismic behavior, analysis, and design of structures; (3) design, analysis, and testing of structures for safety-related nuclear facilities, (4) fatigue and fracture behavior of bridge structures; (5) Repair, retrofit, and rehabilitation of damaged or deteriorating transportation structures.
EducationB.S. in Civil Engineering (Structures) – Indian Institute of Technology (Bombay) – 1994
M.S. in Civil Engineering (Structures) – University of Oklahoma (Norman) – 1996
Ph.D. in Civil Engineering (Structures) – Lehigh University – 2001
Professional Experience2018 Oct. - present –Karl H. Kettelhut Professor of Civil Engineering
2014 - present –Professor, Purdue University, Lyles School of Civil Engineering
2017 - present –Director, Bowen Laboratory for Large-Scale CE Research
Aug.2008 - 2014 – Associate Professor, Purdue University, Lyles School of Civil Engineering
Aug.2004 - 2008 – Assistant Professor, Purdue University, Lyles School of Civil Engineering
Jan.2001 - Aug.2004 – Assistant Professor, Michigan State University, Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Summer 1999 – Course Instructor, Lehigh University, Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Aug.1996 - Nov.2000 – Graduate Assistant and Ph.D. Candidate, Lehigh University, Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering, ATLSS Engineering Research Center
Aug.1994 - Aug.1996 – Graduate Assistant and M.S. Student, University of Oklahoma, Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering
2003 - 2007 – AISC Milek Faculty Fellowship Award
The American Institute of Steel Construction gives this award annually to a faculty member involved in steel design research, education and testing. The award includes unrestricted research gift for supporting graduate students and continuing research in the awardees area of interest. Dr. Varma was the first recipient of this award when it was instituted.
2009 – Roy E. and Myrna G. Wansik Research Award
The School of Civil Engineering gives this award annually to one faculty member based on research accomplishments.
2010 & 2012 – Seeds for Success ACORN Award
The Office of the Vice President for Research gives this award in recognition of the accomplishments of single investigators and teams of investigators for their efforts in obtaining a $1 million dollar or more research grant.
2011 - 2016 – University Faculty Scholar
The Office of the Provost recognizes outstanding faculty members who are on an accelerated path for academic distinction by the University Faculty Scholars Program
2012 – Harold Munson Outstanding Teacher Award
The School of Civil Engineering gives this award annually to one faculty member. The recipient is selected based on student votes for instructors of all courses in Civil Engineering.
2017 – AISC Special Achievement Award
This award provides special recognition to individuals who have demonstrated notable achievements in structural steel design, construction, research or education. This award honors individuals who have made a positive and substantial impact on the structural steel design and construction industry. Prof. Amit H. Varma received this award for facilitating the development, design, and licensing of the next generation of nuclear power plants in the US and around the world by developing fundamental knowledge in terms of experimental data, numerical models, and design specifications for steel-concrete composite (SC) walls and connections.
2017 – Roy E. and Myrna G. Wansik Teaching Award
The School of Civil Engineering gives this award annually to one faculty member based on teaching evaluations and student votes.