Andrew J Whelton
Professor of Civil Engineering and Environmental and Ecological Engineering
Lyles School of Civil Engineering
550 Stadium Mall Drive
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2051
National Institute for Standards and Technology, 2011
Virginia Tech, 2010
Virginia Tech, 2009
Virginia Tech, 2001
Virginia Tech, 2000
Dr. Whelton and his team investigates and solves problems that affect our natural and built environments. His expertise focusses on environmental chemistry and engineering, disasters, polymer science and engineering, water quality, infrastructure, and public health.
Plumbing Safety website
Cured-in-Place-Pipe (CIPP) Safety website
Andrew Whelton, Ph.D. is a Purdue University associate professor of civil, environmental, and ecological engineering, who is a nationally recognized environmental engineer with 20 years of experience in the infrastructure, public health, and environment areas. At Purdue, he leads the Healthy Plumbing Consortium and Center for Plumbing Safety, and several other initiatives with multiple university and industrial collaborators.
In recent years, his teams have unearthed previously undocumented and fatal human health and environmental threats associated with plastic manufacture. His teams have also responded to support communities devastated by wildfires. Over the past two decades, his teams have positively changed how government agencies (EPA, CDC, NRC, NIOSH, NIST), water utilities, nonprofit organizations, health departments, state legislatures, and building owners approach their responsibilities.
A hallmark of Professor Whelton’s work is his direct assistance to communities at risk. Additionally, briefings to inform state executives, the Oregon House of Representatives, Indiana Senate, the National Academies of Sciences Public Health Wildfire Workshop, Standing Committee on Disaster Science, and the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board have been delivered. In 2015, the National Science Foundation created a 2015 “Science Nation” video to highlight his team’s work as benefiting U.S. public safety and welfare. In 2014, he was called in by West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin after the Freedom Industries chemical spill.
Throughout his career he has worked to share knowledge with the public, industry, and government officials so better decisions and policies can be made. He has organized and presented town hall meetings, contributed to public press, scientific literature, and presentations, and provided government agencies public messaging and press conference advice. Study results have been shared nationally and internationally in the Associated Press, NPR All Things Considered, New York Times, USA Today, CBS Evening News, among others. In 2021, Professor Whelton released a freely available course on plastics in infrastructure and co-developed a public health building water safety course.
Before joining Purdue, Professor Whelton served on the faculty at the University of South Alabama, and worked for the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) Building Fire Research Laboratory, Virginia Tech, U.S. Army, and private engineering consulting firms. He’s authored more than 60 peer-reviewed publications and delivered more than 250 presentations. He earned a B.S. in Civil Engineering, M.S. in Environmental Engineering, and Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from Virginia Tech.