Spring 2015


We plan to publish this newsletter twice per year to help keep you updated. We want to hear from you, too. 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


Effect of Plastic Pipes on Drinking Water

Several types of plastic pipes in eco-friendly green buildings in the United States have been found to leach chemicals into drinking water that can cause odors and sometimes exist at levels that may exceed health standards.

Buildings are being plumbed with many types of plastic drinking water pipes. These include crosslinked polyethylene (PEX), high-density polyethylene (HDPE), polyvinylchloride (PVC), chlorinated PVC (cPVC) and polypropylene (PP) pipes, said Andrew Whelton, an assistant professor in Purdue University's Lyles School of Civil Engineering and Division of Environmental and Ecological Engineering.

Link to full article


Improving Water Quality in Qinghai Province

In two small Chinese villages located nearly two hours from the provincial capital, Xining, Purdue University professors, supported by the Purdue-led U.S.-China Eco-Partnership for Environmental Sustainability (USCEES) and Utah-Qinghai Eco-Partnership (UQEP), began a water quality project benefitting villagers who rely on drinking water directly from rainwater collection. There, Professor Chad Jafvert led a collaborative team to address some of the major water-resource related challenges in Qinghai Province. Link to full article


Joint Transportation Research Program Technical Report Downloads Reach 1 Million

JTRP technical reports are from research projects conducted through collaboration with the Indiana Department of Transportation, higher education institutions, and industry. The JTRP program adopted an electronic publication process in 2011. Bepress, a third-party vendor, provides the digital platform that supports all Purdue Press and Libraries serial publications as well as Purdue e-Pubs. Before the repository was established, reports were printed and then shelved without easy access or impact.

"The impact of this electronic migration has been nothing short of amazing," said Darcy Bullock, JTRP director. "This has been an incredibly valuable tool for communicating to our sponsors the impact their funded research is having." Just this past fall, both Ohio DOT and Illinois DOT asked JTRP and Purdue Libraries to host a campus visit to learn about our unique partnership. Link to full article


Purdue student team wins international bridge contest

A team comprised of Purdue civil engineering students advised by Prof. Santiago Pujol, emerged victorious in the 2014 International Bridge Contest. Purdue has won the contest four of the past five years. Link to full article


Did You Know?

  • Of all the Purdue Engineering schools, Civil Engineering alumni this year have the highest participation rate in giving back to Purdue (28% higher than the other schools' average)!
  • Among the same group, Civil Engineering alumni have the third-highest participation rate in giving back to their specific school. Show your CE pride and help improve this rate by making a gift to the Lyles School of Civil Engineering on Purdue's Day of Giving, a 24-hour online event supporting higher education at the highest proven value. Day of Giving is scheduled for April 29, 2015. Follow us on social media for the latest information.


Alumni Notes

Cheryl Cunningham's (BSCE '80 and former advisory council member) new book inspires girls to become engineers. Cheryl and her sister, Judy, co-authored and published a children's book titled, "Yes I Can! I'm Clover Anne!" The book tells a story about a little girl who encounters a problem and solves it using the strategies and skills of an engineer. More information at: http://www.icanbeanengineer.com/about.html

Samiul Hasan, a 2013 Ph.D. graduate from the Transportation and Infrastructure Systems area, was awarded the 2014 INFORMS Transportation Science and Logistics (TSL) Best Dissertation Award at the INFORMS annual meeting in San Francisco, California. The TSL Dissertation Award is the oldest and most prestigious honor for doctoral dissertations in the transportation science and logistics area.

Andy Lutz (BSCE 2000) was appointed Director of the Indianapolis Department of Public Works. Lutz will begin serving in his new role December 20, 2014.

Melody Park (BSCE 1992), Director of the Office of Sustainability in the Indianapolis Department of Public Works, was appointed the additional role of Chief Engineer.

Why I Chose CE. Some of our alums have recorded short "selfie" videos (viewable at http://purdue.edu/CE/webuild). The purpose is to share your experience and thinking behind why you chose Civil. What do you find exciting/look forward to doing in your career? Why do you believe you will make/have made a difference? Contact Jon See (jsee1@purdue.edu or 765-494-7089) to submit your video or for more information.

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.

Student Notes

Eleni Bardaka was awarded the Beverley Swaim Staley Leadership Legacy Scholarship by the Greater Chicago Chapter of the Women's Transportation Seminar (WTS) for her interest in advancing transportation innovation in the international arena. Bardaka is a Ph.D. student in the Lyles School of Civil Engineering, currently working in the area of Transportation Engineering and Economics.

Ruoyun (Sarah) Huang has been awarded the Sharon D. Banks Memorial Undergraduate Scholarship by the Greater Chicago Chapter of the Women's Transportation Seminar (WTS) for her interest in advancing transportation innovation in the international arena. Sarah is an undergraduate in the Lyles School of Civil Engineering with an emphasis on transportation engineering.

Tariq U. Saeed was selected as International Road Federation Fellow, Class of 2016 for his interest and devotion in making a meaningful difference to the multi-faceted world of transport. Tariq is a Ph.D. student in the Lyles School of Civil Engineering, currently working in the area of transportation systems engineering.

Canned Food Drive. Students from the Institute of Transportation Engineers, Beta Tau, Purdue ASCE, and Civil Engineering Student Advisory Council conducted a food drive that collectively raised $1,260 and 619 items (438 pounds) of food. Donations were distributed to those in need by the Lafayette Food Finders Food Bank and they were greatly appreciated by those in need throughout the Lafayette community.

Faculty & Staff Notes

Professor Emeritus Lassi A. Kivioja passed away on Monday, November 17, 2014. Prof Kivioja was an educator, researcher, inventor, author, and patriot. His Purdue career spanned over 26 years, teaching and conducting research in Geodetic Sciences.

Richard D. Walker passed away on Monday, January 12, 2015. Prof Walker received his M.S. and PhD from Purdue and served on Purdue's faculty for 8 years. He went on to serve as acting head of Virginia Tech's School of Civil Engineering, before retiring after 35 years there.

Chip Blatchley received an award from the Trask Innovation Fund to support the Continuous-Flow Solar UV Disinfection System, an innovation that kills waterborne microorganisms and produces safer drinking water. Blatchley, professor of civil engineering and environmental and ecological engineering, and other researchers are developing this method by using ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun to purify water.

Darcy Bullock and his research team were chosen by Purdue's Office of Engagement to receive the Corps of Engagement Award. This award is given to a team of faculty, staff, students and/or community stakeholders for outstanding partnership and achievement in engagement. Through the Joint Transportation Research Program, of which Bullock is director, the team has worked on successful transportation projects, in particular with the Indiana and Utah departments of transportation.

Robert Frosch was awarded the Arthur J. Boase Award from the American Concrete Institute (ACI). Frosch, professor of civil engineering and associate dean of resource planning and management, was cited for his significant research on shear, bond and cracking behavior of reinforced and pre-stressed concrete systems, and for his service on ACI technical committees.

Professors Fred Mannering and Srinivas Peeta, along with graduate student Yuntao (Ross) Guo collaborated on a paper that received the inaugural TRB AT045 Intermodal Freight Award. The award was presented at the 2015 TRB Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. The title of the paper is Rail-Truck Multimodal Freight Collaboration: A Statistical Analysis of Freight Shipper Perspectives.

Satish Ukkusuri has been named a recipient of a 2015-16 Fulbright-Colciencias Innovation and Technology Award, a block grant designed to support U.S. scholars to conduct research and lecture at a Colombian university. Prof. Ukkusuri will be working for 3 months in 2015 and 2016 with computer engineering and civil engineering researchers at Uninorte to develop novel data-driven solutions based on data from social media, mobile phone and other information technologies with applications to Barranquilla and the surrounding region.

Holiday Toy Drive. The CE Staff Advisory Committee organized a toy drive which provided many new, wrapped toys and household items benefiting the YWCA Women's Shelter. Twenty two moms "shopped" at the YWCA Kris Kringle Toy Store and, thanks to our staff and other donors, forty six children received gifts for Christmas.


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