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March 23, 2007

Purdue Notebook

Campus activities:

-- The Krannert Management Volunteer  Program collected more than $6,000 for the Wabash Center's Kids' Connection program at the 12th Annual Charity Ball on March 2 at the Holiday Inn Select in Lafayette. Nearly 180 Krannert master's students and faculty attended and contributed through dinner tickets and a fund-raising auction that included eyebrow waxing, meals at local restaurants, a weekend at a lake cabin, a cocktail party hosted by a faculty member, a cell phone and other items. The Kids' Connection program focuses on children, with at least 30 percent of the spots reserved for children with special needs. Charity ball proceeds will provide transportation to and from field trips for children as part of their learning experiences. The Krannert Management Volunteer Program is an organization for Krannert graduate students.

Faculty and staff honors:

-- Makarand Hastak, a professor of civil engineering at Purdue, has accepted an appointment as head of the Division of Construction Engineering and Management for a three-year term beginning January 2007.  Hastak joined the civil engineering faculty in 2001.

-- Julio Ramirez, a professor of civil engineering at Purdue, is leading a team of Purdue researchers taking part in a $3.6 million, five-year effort funded by the National Science Foundation to mitigate the collapse risk of older nonductile concrete buildings during earthquakes. The overall project is led by the University of California at Berkeley's Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center. Ramirez also has been elected to serve on the board of directors of NEES Inc. and has been named chair of the National Technical Committee on Concrete and Masonry Structures of the American Society of Civil Engineers and the Structural Engineers Institute.

-- Srinivas Peeta, a professor of civil engineering, has been appointed chair of the Committee on Transportation Network Modeling by the Transportation Research Board of the National Academies. The committee promotes research and information exchange in transportation network modeling, an interdisciplinary field spanning computer science, logistics, mathematics, operations research, telecommunications and transportation science.

-- Enkhtuvshin Dorjgotov, a doctoral student in computer graphics technology, won first place in the engineering science category for the graduate student poster competition sponsored by Sigma Xi. The poster is titled "An Immersive Granular Material Visualization System with Haptic Feedback." The goal of the research was to develop a portable and immersive virtual reality system that provides haptic interactions between a user and the granular material in a variety of virtual reality configurations. The research could have far-reaching implications for physicists and other scientists who are studying earthquakes, landslides, movements of soil and sand in mines, and other such applications.

-- Michael Menefee, professor of organizational leadership and supervision, has received the Outstanding Educator Award sponsored by Thompson South-Western to recognize educators who have been identified as outstanding in their teaching and related efforts that contribute to student learning. Menefee also is the Peterson Faculty Fellow of Entrepreneurship at the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship. He received the award at the Federation of Business Disciplines annual meeting in San Diego on March 17.

-- Caroline E. Janney, an assistant professor of history, received  a Fletcher Jones Foundation Fellowship from the Huntington Library. She will use it next year to conduct research on her second book project that focuses on Civil War memory from 1861 to the present.

Alumni honors:

-- Carrie L. Warner, who earned a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from Purdue in 1995, has been named in the top 40 under 40 list for Crain's Chicago Business. Warner, a senior project engineer at Halvorson & Partners in Chicago, is currently working on the design for Moscow City Tower. This 2,000-foot-tall, mixed-use tower will be the tallest building in Europe and one of the tallest in the world. It is scheduled for completion in 2010. One South Dearborn, a 40-story office building in the center of the Chicago Loop, was one of her first office buildings. Other projects include the Index Building, an 85-story office and residential tower under construction in Dubai, and the renovation of Louis Sullivan's historic Auditorium Theater, originally built for the Chicago World's Fair.

-- Bowen Engineering recently received the BKD Build Indiana Award in the Industrial/Utility category. Robert L. Bowen, who earned a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from Purdue in 1962, is the chairman and CEO for this multi-discipline contracting company.

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