Dr. Pradeep Kurup

CEE Hall of Distinction: 2014

Dr.  Pradeep Kurup is a Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) at the University of Massachusetts Lowell (UMass Lowell). He was recently recognized as Distinguished University Professor, the highest accolade bestowed on a UMass Lowell faculty member, for his exemplary teaching, for nationally and internationally acclaimed research and for outstanding service to the university community and his profession. He was also awarded the CEE Department’s Teaching Excellence Award in 2002.

Dr. Pradeep Kurup graduated in 1985, with a B. Tech. in Civil Engineering from the University of Kerala, India. He received his M. Tech. in Civil Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras (1987). He holds a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering (1993) from Louisiana State University (LSU). Subsequent to his doctoral research he worked as a post-doctoral researcher in the Department of Civil Engineering at LSU. In 1994 he joined Louisiana Transportation Research Center (LTRC/LSU) as a Research Associate IV. He was soon promoted to Research Associate V, and nominated to the Graduate Faculty in the Department of Civil Engineering at LSU (1996). In 1997, Dr. Kurup joined the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at UMass Lowell as an Assistant Professor. He was tenured and promoted to an Associate Professor in 2001, and subsequently promoted to a Full Professor in 2005.

An expert in geotechnical engineering, Dr. Kurup’s research has earned him respect around the world. He is a recipient of the prestigious NSF CAREER Award (1999), and was also awarded the Civil Engineering Research Foundation (CERF) Career Development Award by the ASCE. He has been successful in obtaining research funds from Federal agencies totaling more than $3.5 Million. His scholarly work has covered a range of areas including, minimally invasive determination of engineering soil properties, evaluation of earthquake liquefaction potential, in-situ interpretation of contaminated sediments, and development of novel sensing systems for direct push technologies. He has developed novel testing devices, equipment, and interpretation methods that provide real-world solutions to industry and various agencies in the United States, including the Federal Highway Administration, Department of Defense, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Among his research projects funded by the NSF is the development of a novel electronic “nose” that can detect subsurface volatile organic compounds, and a novel electronic “tongue” that can detect and identify traces of toxic heavy metals such as arsenic, mercury, lead, and cadmium in soil and groundwater. These technologies have attracted the attention of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. He has two pending patents with the USPTO and PCT.

Dr. Kurup has authored/co-authored over sixty papers in peer reviewed journals and conference proceedings that are recognized for their rigorous publication standards. His publications are regarded highly worldwide have been cited in top refereed journals (such as the American Society for Testing and Materials, ASCE Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering, Sensors and Actuators, International Journal for Numerical and Analytical Methods in Geomechanics, Computers and Geotechnics, etc.), and in several conference proceedings.  He has delivered more than thirty five presentations (including keynote lectures, and a centenary seminar) at universities, symposiums, national meetings, and international conferences (in Japan, France, United Kingdom, Turkey, Malaysia, Canada, and India).  

His service activities are very broad. He currently serves in the Geoenvironmental Engineering Committee of the Geo-Institute, American Society of Civil Engineering. He has served as Associate Editor for the International Journal of Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering (IJGEE). He is a member in several professional societies, and has organized and chaired sessions at meetings and conferences. He has served on several technical committees of the American Society for Testing and Materials - Soil and Rock (D18.02, D18.05, and D18.11). He has served on two National Transportation Research Board (TRB) Committees (AFS50: Applications of Nontraditional Computing Tools Including Neural Nets, and AFP30: Soil and Rock Properties). He is a member in several professional societies, and has organized and chaired sessions at meetings and conferences. He has served on several NSF review panels, and has reviewed research proposals for the U.S. Civilian Research & Development Foundation, and papers for numerous professional journals. Along with Presidential award recipients (PECASE), NSF-CAREER award recipients, Nobel Laureates, Medal of Science & Medal of Technology recipients; Dr. Kurup was invited by NSF and its 50th Anniversary partners to participate in the “Scientists and Engineers in the Schools Program” to visit local middle schools and serve as a role model.