Purdue Pioneering the Development of Future Leaders in Underground Construction

Dr. Tom Iseley (left) and Steve Kramer, Senior Vice President, COWI North America Inc.

During the past few years, Purdue’s Construction Engineering and Management (CEM) has made a dedicated effort to get engineering students more aware, excited and committed to careers related to underground construction. This is done at the undergraduate and graduate level. This is accomplished through an internship program for undergraduate students which requires 3- to 12-week internships before they can graduate. Purdue is blessed by having an Underground Construction Association of Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration (UCA of SME) Student Chapter which works to provide undergraduate and graduate students with maximum opportunity to developed leadership skills and to get them actively involved is all aspects of developing underground space from utilities to large tunnels.

Dr. Tom Iseley is the faculty advisor for Purdue UCA chapter. The Purdue University Board of Trustees has ratified a plan to merge the Lyles School of Civil Engineering and the Division of Construction Engineering and Management (CEM). The change will be effective July 1, 2024, when the school’s name will be changed to the Lyles School of Civil and Construction Engineering.

For the fourth time, the “Development of Underground Space (DUS)” course was taught at Purdue in spring 2024 by Dr. Iseley. This course brought academic and underground industry leaders to Purdue in-person and virtually.

These individuals are: Greg Raines (Stantec), Dr. Conrad Felice (C. W. Felice LLC), Dr. Jamal Rostami (Colorado School of Mines), Michael Rispin (Past Chair, UCA of SME / Strata Products Worldwide LLC), Sarah Wilson (Delve Underground), Dr. Paul Schmall (Past President of The Moles / Keller Specialty Services), Mark Ramsey (Mott MacDonald), Paul Nicholas (AECOM), Bryce Scofield (Traylor Precast LLC), Steffen Dubé (Herrenknecht Tunnelling Systems USA, Inc.), Robert (Bob) Goodfellow (Aldea Services Inc.), Russ Vakharia (LA County Sanitation Districts), Dr. Kaz Tabrizi (Advanced Infrastructure Design, Inc.), Tylor Bottorff, Garrett Coffin, and David Baratta (Kiewit), Steven R. Kramer (COWI North America Inc.), Derek Penrice (Mott MacDonald), Dr. Martha Gross (Technical Director, HRBT Expansion Project-VDOT), Dr. Priscilla Nelson (Colorado School of Mines), Brian Dorwart (Brierley Associates), Dr. Anna Pridmore (Structural Technologies), Shih-Han Su & Adrian Naranjo-Castillo (Mott MacDonald), and David Mast (AECOM).

Dr. Tom Iseley (left) and Steffen Dubé, President, Herrenknecht Tunnelling Systems USA Inc.

For the DUS Course Project, the Gateway Development Commission (GDC) program was selected. The project includes the Hudson River Ground Stabilization, Palisades Tunnel, Manhattan Tunnel, and Hudson River Tunnel. Purdue CEM thanks Steven R. Kramer (Senior Vice President, COWI North America, Inc.) for serving as the DUS Course Project Director. This project was meant to replicate a real-world situation which students could expect to incur upon entering the workforce as a new Purdue construction engineer.

For more information, please contact Dr. Tom Iseley, diseley@purdue.edu

This article was written by Tom Iseley & Saleh Behbahani.

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