April 2012


Welcome to CE Connections, the online newsletter for the School of Civil Engineering. The spring semester is quickly coming to an end as students and faculty prepare for final examinations and graduation ceremonies.

In January, we began celebrating 125 years of civil engineering at Purdue. We've hosted several speakers over the past three months for topics ranging from the celebration of the 75th anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge and the recognition of Charles Ellis, former Purdue CE professor in the design of the bridge, to the future in roadway and pavement design. Our 98th annual Road School was attended by over 2200 participants this year, with Indiana governor, Mitch Daniels, as keynote speaker. Earlier this month, we recognized five of our outstanding civil engineering alumni by awarding them the Civil Engineering Alumni Achievement Award. As the second of our five part series on the 125th anniversary, this newsletter edition provides a brief overview of Ross Surveying Camp and the role of Purdue and Civil Engineering in the shaping of the transportation industry.

In May we will host our 52nd annual CE Open at the Birck Boilermaker Golf Complex and hope you are able to join us. Also in May, during commencement weekend we will graduate 118 civil engineering undergraduate students and 54 graduate students. We are excited about the impact these students will have out in the world. Purdue Civil Engineering and our graduates have made outstanding contributions in the past, and it is our job to continue to shape the future of civil engineering with pioneering research and new advances in student learning.

Melba Crawford

Interim Head and Professor of Civil Engineering


Celebrating 125 years of Purdue Civil Engineering

"If there were funds available to establish only one of them, which do you think should be chosen, Domestic Economy or Civil Engineering?"......
Civil Engineering

According to Henry Huston, a member of Purdue's original staff in 1874 and professor of physics and applied electricity, this dialogue took place in June 1887 on the day after commencement. Purdue's fourth president, James Henry Smart posed the question, and the vote in favor of Civil Engineering was cast by Huston, "as they walked along the path between the main building (University Hall) and the Old Dormitory with the president of the Board of Trustees, James Ratliff."

Although a decision of this importance could not have been made so casually, Civil Engineering was declared a separate school in September of that same year.

The second part of our 125th Anniversary Celebration series spotlights two landmark areas of Civil Engineering's rich history.

Ross Summer Surveying Camp at Purdue

Transportation Engineering at Purdue

To stay up to date on all 125th anniversary events, visit http://eng.purdue.edu/CE/125


Ross Summer Surveying Camp at Purdue

In the early years of Civil Engineering at Purdue, students toting tripods and transits was a familiar site on campus. They learned the art of surveying on the land where the Memorial Union building now stands or over rolling terrain near the West Lafayette Water Tank on Salisbury Street.

Eventually, to open class time during the school year, a summer surveying camp was instituted that took students away from campus for up to 8 weeks to learn surveying among picturesque, wooded settings.



Transportation Engineering at Purdue

When automobiles became more common in the 1920s, Purdue's School of Civil Engineering began attracting a large number of students in the academic specialty of transportation. Today, there is a significant focus on transportation research at Purdue University because of three programs focused on Indiana's people: the Purdue Road School, the Joint Highway Research Project, and the Highway Extension and Research Project for Indiana counties and cities. In January 1913, W. K. Hatt, head of the School of Civil Engineering, issued a call for a Civil Engineering Conference. The meeting covered the needs of county surveyors and city engineers and included essential discussions on roads and streets. During a similar conference held the next year, a resolution was passed calling for a provision in Indiana law instituting a yearly "School of Good Roads." In 1915, the name of the conference was changed to what we know today as the "Purdue Road School," which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.



New Emphasis Area has graduates

The Architectural Engineering emphasis area within civil engineering is graduating its second group of students this spring. Established in 2009, the architectural engineering area has graduated twenty undergraduate and seven graduate students over the past two years and has twelve undergraduates and six graduates finishing this May.

The architectural engineering emphasis area is focused on integrated design, construction and operation of buildings. It includes all engineering aspects related to the built environment - mechanical systems (HVAC), electrical/lighting systems, building envelope, construction, indoor environment - and is therefore related to multi-disciplinary research and education. With increasing concern about climate change and energy prices, Architectural Engineers will have a critical task for the following decades. In Civil Engineering's Architectural Engineering emphasis area, students have the opportunity to study the integration of different building systems and learn to design for sustainability and energy efficiency.



Planning for the Future of Civil Engineering

Dear Civil Engineering Alumni,

Would you be interested in supporting the School of Civil Engineering without writing a check? Sounds too good to be true, right? Actually, it's pretty common.

We realize that, as you consider a gift to the School of Civil Engineering, you must balance your family's needs, your personal lifestyle, and your financial resources with your passion for Purdue and your desire to see the School of Civil Engineering as the nation's preeminent program in research, scholarship, and impact on the profession. Keeping this in mind, it is sometimes the case that a planned (or deferred) gift can be the best vehicle for making a meaningful gift that is in the best interest of the donor and the University.

Examples of Planned Gifts are Will Bequests, Life Income Gifts, Retirement Plan Assets, Living Trusts, Life Insurance Beneficiary, or Real Estate Assets to name a few. Most of these examples allow for a federal tax deduction while also decreasing the amount of estate taxes in your overall estate. Life Income Gifts, such as Charitable Gift Annuities and Charitable Remainder Trusts, can provide you or other beneficiaries with an income stream for life and an immediate tax deduction. This is a win-win for you and the School of Civil Engineering as the ultimate beneficiary.



CE Honors and Awards

CE Alumni -

Jeff Hill (BSCE '95) has been named director of engineering to manage the day-to-day activities of the engineering department and contribute to the Town of Fishers' ongoing growth efforts.

Gary Manous (BSCE '89) was recently appointed to the society for Protective Coatings (SSPC) Board of Governors.

Gary T. Saba (BSCE '74, MBA '76) has joined Thesis Chemistry's (THESIS) executive team as its Senior Vice President for Corporate Development.

The following alumni were presented the Civil Engineering Alumni Achievement Award at a ceremony on campus on April 12, 2012:

  • James Horton, P.E. - BSCE 1971, MSCE 1972
  • James E. Huff - BSCHE 1970, MSCE 1971
  • Doreen Mitchell - BSCE 1981
  • Charles K. Nmai - Ph.D. 1987
  • John Weaver - BSCE 1975, MSCE 1980, JD 1990

CE Faculty/Staff -

Prof. Antonio Bobet received the "National Award for Significant Contributions in Science and Technology - SENACYT Panama."

Prof. Robert J. Connor has been awarded the Alberta Transportation Innovation Award by the Alberta Transportation Department to recognize innovative people in the transportation industry who have demonstrated excellence in technical or process innovation focusing on safety, roads and bridges. This is the second time Dr. Connor has received the Albert Transportation Innovation Award.

Rebecca McDaniel, Director of North Central Superpave, Professor Jan Olek, and former graduate student Wubeshet Woldemariam received the 33rd Annual Harter Rupert Award for the Best Paper on Transportation Noise (along with two co-authors).

Rebecca McDaniel, Director of North Central Superpave, was elected to a one-year term as President of the Association of Asphalt Paving Technologists (AAPT).

Prof. Hoon Sohn, Curtis Visiting Professor, was selected as one of the 100 Most Promising People in Korea by Donga Newspaper. This recognition is given to 100 people with the most promise to improve the Korean society in the next 10 years.

Prof. Hoon Sohn, Curtis Visiting Professor of Civil Engineering, was recently featured in a TV documentary program called "Korean Scientist."

Prof. Monica Prezzi received the Telford Premium Prize from the Institution of Civil Engineers.

Prof. Thanos Tzempelikos was awarded the 2011 New Investigator Award from the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).

Prof. Pablo Zavattieri has the second most cited paper in the Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids (Impact factor: 3.702). The paper is entitled, (F. Barthelat, H. Tang, P.D. Zavattieri, C-M. Li and H.D. Espinosa, "On the mechanics of mother-of-pearl: A key feature in the material hierarchical structure", Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids, 55(2), pp. 306-337, 2007).

CE Students -

USDOT awarded Eisenhower Graduate Research Fellowships to Alex Hainen and Steve Remias. Each of them will receive a $34,000 fellowship for research in area of adaptive traffic signal control.

Bismark Agbelie, Eleni Bardaka and Harkrishan Singh Sahi received the Edward J. Cox Memorial Transportation Scholarship Award.


Contact Info

Calendar of Events