University of Houston Cullen College of Engineering named Professor Cumaraswamy "Vipu" Vipulanandan as the new chair for the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering effective Sept. 1.
As the new chair, Vipu has outlined plans for the department that include becoming a nationally recognized teaching and research program. As part of this agenda, he also plans increase the number of faculty from 17 to 21 over the next four years, make the research labs self sufficient and create interactive learning environments to better meet the challenges of maintaining a nationally visible research program.
All this is to help the school's most important resource - the students. Maintaining a unique program that is flexible to meet the needs of students at an urban university, while at the same time prepare them for a successful life long career is vitally important to this professor.
"I tell everyone Vipu is an acronym for Very Important Professor to You," said Vipu. He is intent on building a strong foundation for the program focused on innovation and growth.
In addition to his responsibilities as a professor and chair, Vipu is also the director for the Center for Innovative Grouting Materials and Technology at UH. His current research interests are in the areas of geotechnical, materials and geoenvironmental engineering. He has been Principal Investigator or Co-Principal Investigator for 40 funded projects since 1984 amounting to over $4.5 million. His work has resulted in more than 120 refereed and non-refereed papers and over 80 presentations at national and international conferences.
He is a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering, ASCE for the past 10 years. He is the editor of the Center for Innovative Grouting Materials and Technology Conference Proceeding that is published annually. He is on the Board of Directors of the Gulf Coast Trenchless Association.
Vipu received his MS and PhD in Civil Engineering from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois and BS in Civil Engineering from University of Moratuwa in Sri Lanka.