University of Houston Cullen College of Engineering


Vipulanandan Honored as “MVP” by Underground Construction Association


Toby Weber

A major underground construction technology association has honored UH civil engineering professor Cumaraswamy “Vipu” Vipulanandan for his outstanding contributions in education and research related to underground infrastructure construction and maintenance.

The Underground Construction Technology Association, along with industry magazine Underground Construction, have named Vipulanandan winner of their 2011 Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award.

The honor is given annually to an individual who has made outstanding contributions to the underground infrastructure industry.

Vipulanandan’s contributions come through his leadership of the University of Houston’s Center for Innovative Grouting Materials and Technology (CIGMAT). CIGMAT develops new grouting materials to repair leaks and seal joints in underground infrastructure, such as water pipes, wastewater pipes and tunnels, as well as perform third-party testing and verification for grouts, coatings and liners developed by industry. It is the only center certified for grout and coating testing for infrastructure applications by the Environmental Technology Verification Program, run by NSF International in cooperation with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

While this is not the first recognition Vipulanandan has received, this one is particularly meaningful because it comes from people who see the real-world value and quality of his work, he said.

“Getting a recognition outside of a university setting surprised and honored me quite a bit. It shows that people working in the underground construction industry appreciate what we do to enhance the technology and knowledge in their field,” he said.



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Chong Dai, who earned a Ph.D. in environmental engineering from the UH Cullen College of Engineering, was awarded a 2019 Chinese Government Award for Self-financed Students Abroad.

Given by the China Scholarship Council, this competitive award is presented to only 500 students worldwide each year. She will receive a $6,000 cash prize and a certificate.