A tour of the Valpo Solar Energy Research Facility

Professor Grossman Brings Professional Experience to the Classroom

After spending the first part of his professional career working full time in the field of civil engineering, Jay Grossman, Ph.D., P.E., assistant professor of civil engineering, sought to impart his knowledge in the classroom. He joined the Valpo faculty in 2017 as a way to teach and train the next generation of engineers.

“When I was finishing my Ph.D., a visiting professorship opened at Valpo,” Professor Grossman says. “After working closely with interns and new hires in the field, Valpo’s teaching-oriented program attracted me to apply.”

Before teaching at the University, the College of Engineering’s reputation for developing career-ready students had been evident to Professor Grossman. He had many opportunities to interact with Valpo students while he was an engineer in northern Indiana.

“I had worked with many Valpo graduates throughout my years in the field, and they always stood out,” Professor Grossman says. “Valpo engineering students are getting a more well-rounded education because we offer all five of the major civil engineering sub-disciplines.”

Professor Grossman teaches across the sub-disciplines — environmental, geotechnical, structures, transportation, and water resources — with his main focus being transportation. No matter which class he’s teaching, Professor Grossman relishes in the opportunity to connect with his students and help them reach their own professional aspirations.

“When I give tours to prospective students, I always point out that the College of Engineering is student-focused,” Professor Grossman says. “There are a lot of opportunities for undergraduate research that help students secure jobs or get into graduate school. Research is a really good way to gain experience and get a taste for aspects of engineering beyond the classroom.”

Following his own undergraduate education, Professor Grossman sought to aid others. He volunteered with Mennonite Central Committees in Chad, Africa, for three years. His main goal was to help villages build hand-dug, concrete-lined water wells, but he also completed projects in dry season gardening, reforestation, office skills training, and education.

“With this volunteer experience straight after college, it appears the idea of service has been strung through my career,” Professor Grossman says. “My eventual move to academia here at Valpo was also connected to service.”

Professor Grossman received his bachelor’s, master’s, and Ph.D. from Purdue University. He has worked as a civil engineering consultant and as the county engineer for Elkhart County, Indiana. His professional affiliations include the Institute of Transportation Engineers and the Transportation Research Board.