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. Cary Troy Turbulence and mixing in large lakes This project examines the role of turbulence in the ecosystem of Lake Michigan, which is currently under threat from invasive quagga mussels.  The project aims to quantify turbulence (magnitudes, variability, and causes) with a series of in-situ experiments carried out in Lake Michigan.  The successful student applicant will aid in these experiments, as well as analyze collected data using data processing techniques in fluid mechanics. Student must have at least one course in fluid mechanics, and must be able to program in Matlab.  The student should also be a good communicator and able to work well in teams.
Prof. Darcy Bullock Evaluation of Alternative Connected Vehicle Technology for Estimating Traffic Signal Delay 

Estimating traffic signal delay is a critical input for effectively managing surface streets. There are a variety of methods ranging from simple Bluetooth and WiFi MAC address matching, to more sophisticated methods that rely on phone apps and most recently connected vehicle technology. Purdue University and IIT Madras have complimentary test beds for evaluating these technologies. Purdue has just completed the installation of a connected vehicle test corridor (US 231 adjacent to campus) and an IITM Alum (Jijo Mathew) has been an integral member of building that living laboratory. The PURE student selected for this project will participate in data collection and reduction for a variety of connected vehicle probe data test along this corridor. The results of that work will documented in a technical paper and serve as foundation for further collaboration between IITM and Purdue University

Evidence of Past Collaboration

1. Mathew, Jijo K., V.L. Devi, D.M. Bullock, and A.Sharma, “Investigation of the Use of Bluetooth Sensors for Travel Time Studies under Indian Conditions,” Transportation Research Procedia, Elsevier, Volume 17, 2016, Pages 213-222. DOI: 10.1016/j.trpro.2016.11.077

2. Day, C. M., McNamara, M. L., Li, H., Sakhare, R. S., Desai, J., Cox, E. D., Horton, D. K., & Bullock, D. M. 2015 Indiana mobility report and performance measure dashboards. West Lafayette, IN: Purdue University. 2016. .

3. Sakhare, Rahul J.K. Mathew, A. Avr, S. M. Hubbard, L. Devi, and D.M. Bullock, “Comparison of Bluetooth and Bus GPS Data for Estimating Arterial Travel Time and Trip Changing,” Transportation Research Board, Paper No. 18-01695, recommended for presentation.

 Strong computing skills, independent initiative, and excellent verbal/written skills
Asst. Prof. Chris Williams Design and Behavior of Reinforced Concrete Knee Joints

A research project focused on evaluating the strength and behavior of reinforced concrete frame corners (i.e., knee joints) is currently underway. The study consists of experiments on large-scale test specimens at Bowen Laboratory. The research tasks include fabricating and testing large-scale reinforced concrete specimens. The effect of the reinforcement details on the strength and behavior of the specimens is of primary interest. The research program is related directly to discussions within the technical community about design requirements for the strut-and-tie method. It is anticipated that the student will assist in the process of fabricating and preparing the specimens for testing and participate in the load testing of specimens to failure. The opportunity to help develop computational models of the test specimens may also arise.

Desired coursework: One course in structural analysis; one course in reinforced concrete design Special skills: Experience working with power tools and construction materials
Asst. Prof. Brandon E. Boor Purdue AirSense: Creating a Low-Cost Air Pollution Sensor Network

Air pollution is the largest environmental health risk in the world and responsible for 7 million deaths each year. Poor air quality is a serious issue in rapidly growing megacities (e.g. Delhi) and inside the homes of nearly 3 billion people that rely on solid fuels for cooking and heating. Join our team and help create a new, multidisciplinary air quality monitoring network for Purdue - Purdue AirSense. We are developing a low-cost air quality sensor module (<$1,500) using the Raspberry Pi platform to monitor particulate matter, ozone, nitrogen oxides, and other air pollutants. The sensors will be installed around campus and transmit the data to our website in real-time ( Students will be responsible for further developing our sensor module, writing code for real-time air quality data analysis on our website, and helping to build an environmental enclosure.

We are looking for students with experience in Python programming, JavaScript, electrical circuits, sensors, CAD, and website development.

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