Kershaw Named Hutchins Civil Engineering Endowed Chair

Tuesday, August 02, 2022
News article image

New endowed chair Kyle Kershaw, PhD, plans to develop course materials for resilient infrastructure to aid student learning while also providing opportunities for civil engineering undergraduate research and design projects.

Associate professor Kyle Kershaw, PhD, will incorporate concepts of resilient infrastructure and designing for climate change into undergraduate courses as the new Dr. Roland E. Hutchins Endowed Chair in Civil Engineering. The three-year appointment begins on September 1.

The Hutchins Chair recognizes the best and brightest of the institute’s faculty who are committed to excellence and innovation in their fields and in educational pursuits, according to Ella Ingram, associate dean for professional development who coordinates the endowed chair program. Professors receive annual stipends and summer salaries to continue to excel in their specialized areas, lead conversations with other educators in their fields, and create opportunities for students and peers.

According to an American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) 2021 policy statement, resilience is the ability to plan, prepare for, mitigate, and adapt to changing conditions from hazards to enable rapid recovery of physical, social, economic, and ecological infrastructure. Resiliency is one of the focus areas of recently passed federal infrastructure legislation involving areas of buildings, transportation, water, and energy.

“It is increasingly important for our infrastructure to be resilient,” said Kershaw. “Giving our students the tools to design and evaluate resilient infrastructure has become even more important because of the government focus on revitalizing infrastructure.” 

Kershaw will build upon an international collaboration with colleagues at University of Bath in the United Kingdom and his geotechnical consulting experience with industry partners.

Also, Kershaw plans to broaden his knowledge of resilient infrastructure design and evaluation principles to become a technical resource within Rose-Hulman. He hopes to develop course materials for resilient infrastructure to aid student learning, provide opportunities for undergraduate research and design projects, and establish relationships with academic institutions and industry representatives that share a common interest in resilient infrastructure.

Kershaw’s areas of expertise are foundation design, earth retention, slope stabilization, and geologic hazard analysis. He is a registered professional engineer in the state of Colorado with several years of full-time experience as a geotechnical consultant. Kershaw teaches courses in soil mechanics, foundation design, retaining structure design, and construction materials, and is active in applied geotechnical research, pedagogical research, and geotechnical consulting.

With Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering associate professor Matt Lovell, PhD, Kershaw brought a modular learning laboratory to campus, sponsored by the National Science Foundation. This lab has become a valuable educational tool for courses in structural analysis, design of steel and concrete structures, and foundation design through testing of full-scale and near full-scale structures.

Kershaw serves as co-advisor for the campus chapter of Engineers Without Borders and formerly advised Rose-Hulman’s Cecil T. Lobo Student Chapter of ASCE.

Kershaw earned bachelor’s and doctorate degrees from the Missouri of Science and Technology and a master’s degree from the University of Illinois.

The Dr. Roland E. Hutchins Endowed Chair honors the legacy of an esteemed educator who served for 32 years in Rose-Hulman’s Department of Civil Engineering.