Civil engineering open house showcases career adventures

September 8, 2015  

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue University’s Lyles School of Civil Engineering will kick off its open house Sept. 18 with a keynote talk by retired faculty member Milton Harr, a World War II veteran who saw action at Normandy and Iwo Jima and whose career included work to stabilize the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

His 1:30 p.m. seminar in PHYS 112 sets the stage for a day of activities focusing on the theme “Where will civil engineering take you?” Harr’s career spans 43 years in geotechnical engineering, and he also served on NASA’s Aeronautics Advisory Board. His service in the U.S. Navy during World War II took him to Normandy on D-Day. Later, after transferring to the Marine Corps, he participated in the Battle of Iwo Jima with the 3rd Marine Division. He has received many honors, both in the U.S. and abroad, most recently decorated as Chevalier of the Legion of Honor (France). 

The Lyles School of Civil Engineering’s open house is geared toward current first-year engineering students, prospective students and their families. It runs from 2-8 p.m. in Hampton Hall of Civil Engineering. Activities range from information sessions, hands-on activities, demonstrations, tours and seminars by faculty, alumni and students.

The school is preparing for a 20 percent job growth for civil engineers by the year 2022.

“Our unique programs offer students the opportunity to study across sub-disciplines including architectural, construction, environmental, geomatics, geotechnical, hydraulic and hydrologic, materials, structural, and transportation and infrastructure systems engineering,” said Rao S. Govindaraju, Bowen Engineering Head of Civil Engineering and Christopher B. and Susan S. Burke Professor of Civil Engineering. “Our school graduates civil engineers who are prepared to be leaders among their peers in this growing workforce.”

Reservations are not required. For a complete schedule of events visit or send e-mail questions to the school’s marketing director, Jon See at 

Writer: John Hughey, 765-494-2432,

Contact: Jon See, 765-494-2166, 

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