College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

CCEE adds geotechnical engineer to faculty

Jian ChuJian Chu, a researcher and consultant well established in Southeast Asia, became the James M. Hoover Chair in Geotechnical Engineering in Iowa State’s Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering this fall.

Chu’s most recent venture was director of the Centre for Infrastructure Systems in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. There he spent 20 years teaching, conducting research, and consulting in geotechnical engineering, with an emphasis in soil properties; in-situ and laboratory testing; soil improvement; and land reclamation. Chu also served five years as chair of a technical committee for the International Society of Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering, and was vice president of the Geotechnical Society of Singapore. He led more than $10 million in research projects in Singapore before joining Iowa State.

In 2002, he co-authored “Soil Improvement—Prefabricated Vertical Drain Techniques,” published by Cengage Learning. He also co-edited “Ground Improvement—Case Histories,” which was written by a group of international experts and published by Elsevier in 2005. More than 200 technical papers have appeared in Chu’s name in international journals and conferences. He received the Excellent Paper Award from the International Association for Computer Methods and Advances in Geomechanics in 2011 and the R.M. Quigley Award from the Canadian Geotechnical Society in 2004. Additionally, he has been a keynote or invited speaker at many international conferences, including the 17th Annual International Conference for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering in Alexandria, Egypt, in 2009.

Chu was born and raised in China. He earned his PhD from the University of New South Wales in Australia in 1991.

He chose to make the roughly 9,200-mile move to Iowa State from Singapore for the new challenges and experiences that await him and his family. His wife of 19 years Corina is a childcare specialist with many years of teaching and practical experience in childcare education and training for teachers. His son Max, 16, attends Ames High School and his daughter Tifany, 12, attends Ames Middle School.

“Ames is a wonderful environment for my family, and the people here are very friendly,” Chu said.