Civil Engineering

Students may apply to one or more of the below projects, indicating this in their statement of interest, or they may apply for "Civil Engineering: General," indicating in their statement of interest their skills and background and some faculty with whom they would be interested in working.  Civil Faculty List

Title Name Email Project Name Project Description Requirements
Assoc. Prof. Sukru Guzey Seismic Design of Aboveground Storage Tanks Cylindrical steel storage tanks are essential parts of infrastructure and industrial facilities used to store liquids. There are millions of welded steel tanks in the world storing flammable and or hazardous liquids in the petroleum, petrochemical, chemical and food industries across the world. Mechanical integrity and safe operation of these tanks very important because failure or loss of containment of such tanks may have catastrophic consequences to the human life and the environment. There are many procedures given in design standards to withstand the possible load effects, such as the hydrostatic pressure of the stored liquid, the external wind pressure, internal and external pressures due to process, and seismic events.
Investigators have a relatively well understanding on the load effects due to the hydrostatic, wind, and external/internal pressures due to process during normal operating levels. However, behavior of large, aboveground, steel, welded, liquid storage tanks under the presence of seismic loads introduce several critical failure criteria to the structure not exhibited during normal operating levels. Although many researchers investigated the liquid containers under dynamic excitations, the research on this subject still active. The bottleneck of this research topic is the intricate interplay between the flexible thin-walled tank wall and bottom, liquid inside the container, and the reinforced concrete or soil foundation supporting the container. Although, are many relatively recent research efforts, there is still a gap to find a viable solution to this problem. 
To address this gap, the aim of this work is to perform a study on seismic design of aboveground storage tanks. Dr. Guzey with a team of one doctoral student and one undergraduate PURE student, shall perform analytical and numerical studies to study the behavior of liquid containers under dynamics excitations. We shall conduct numerical experiments using different levels of complexity and fidelity of multi-physics of these containers and compare the results to available analytical solutions, physical tests and current design standards. The undergraduate PURE student will work under the mentorship of Dr. Guzey and a graduate student. The PURE student compile a literature review, perform numerical simulations using FEA computer program ABAQUS, and write scientific research papers and conference presentations.
Structural analysis, Finite elements, ABAQUS or others. 
Prof. Amit Varma Performance-based fire resistant design for civil infrastructure This project develops the performance-based design construct for fire resistant design of civil infrastructure including buildings, bridges, industrial plants etc. The research includes experimental work (structural and material level), numerical analysis (detailed 3D FEM and simpler models, and design approaches that are cognizant of fundamental behavior, hazard probabilities, risks etc.  Structural engineering and materials engineering classes at the sophomore and junior levels. Desire to work on laboratory experiments, numerical analysis, and design conceptions. High GPA and grades in classes. Some research experience / internship (in any area) is valued but not required. 
Asst. Prof. Brandon E. Boor Filtration of Outdoor Particulate Matter in Buildings Overview of project: air pollution is responsible for 9 million deaths each year and is a significant environmental health risk in India.  Much of our exposure to outdoor air pollution occurs indoors, where we spend 90% of our time.  Control of airborne particulate matter (tiny smoke and dust particles) via filtration is essential to maintain good indoor air quality in buildings.  This project will explore how characteristics of outdoor particulate matter (size, morphology, phase state) affect the performance of HVAC filters.

Scope of work: you will work under the supervision of a Ph.D. student in conducting full-scale filtration experiments at the Purdue Herrick Laboratories.  You will learn how to measure particulate matter using state-of-the-art aerosol instrumentation, airflows and pressure differentials in ventilation systems, and analyze the experimental data using MATLAB. 

Contribution: You will participate in all experimental work at Purdue and will contribute to data processing and analysis.

Note: my research group hosted one PURE student in summer 2018.
Recommended coursework: environmental engineering, fluid mechanics or hydraulics, air pollution, air quality control, heat/mass transfer, building science, HVAC systems, thermodynamics.

Skills: MATLAB or Python, experience working in a laboratory environment, internships or co-ops with engineering firms.  
Prof. Darcy Bullock Evaluation of Alternative Connected Vehicle Technology for Estimating Traffic Signal Delay  Student will work with students at Purdue and Prof. Lelitha Devi (IITM) developing interfaces to the vehicle CAN bus to collect enhanced probe data to generate performance measures. Student should have good programming skills, particularly embedded systems.

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