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RPI Celebrates 175 Years of Civil Engineering Oct. 14-17

Posted in Announcements

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) is celebrating its 175th anniversary of Civil Engineering today through Oct. 17. In 1835, RPI became the first school in the U.S. to issue a civil engineering degree and its alumni include Washington Roebling, engineer of the Brooklyn Bridge; Ralph Peck, a leader in soil mechanics; and George Ferris, inventor of the Ferris wheel.

The RPI Geo-Centrifuge Facility will open for the event the afternoon of October 15 and Inthuorn Sasanakul, Ph.D., research assistant professor & manager, expects nearly two hundred visitors. "Activities during the lab tour include visiting the major NEES equipment (centrifuge, shaker, in flight robot, split container, etc.), viewing student posters that present the research work done at the centrifuge lab, and demonstrations of advanced sensors and the mini-centrifuge used for education. We want the public to understand the role of centrifuge modeling in protecting soil and soil-structure systems subjected to earthquakes as well as other hazards."

The celebration also features an exhibit on the Erie Canal, the first and grandest of four canals that comprise New York State’s canal system; Dr. Tarek Abdoun, professor and acting department head, civil and environmental engineering, and PI of the NEES@RPI site, speaking on current research projects by faculty and students that are reshaping civil engineering practice; and a discussion featuring Dr. G. Wayne Clough, NAE, secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, and Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson, NAE, president of RPI, on how civil engineering is more critical than ever with news topics focusing on the U.S.’ crumbling infrastructure and investment in renewable energy.

Dr. David P. Billington, NAE, Gordon Y.S. Wu Professor of Engineering, Emeritus, Princeton University, is the event keynote speaker, offering insight into America’s built infrastructure and its impact on society. For more information, visit 175th Anniversary of Civil Engineering.