The American Concrete Institute has named Valparaiso University to its list of 15 Outstanding Universities for 2011. The ACI Award for University Student Activities was initiated to recognize universities that have participated in ACI-related activities.

“Considering the number of institutions across the U.S. that offer a degree in civil engineering, being one of only 15 recognized by ACI as an Outstanding University means a lot,” said John Schemmel, associate professor of civil engineering. “Many of the other recipients are state land-grant institutions. Our involvement is comparable to that of much larger institutions.”

Valparaiso University President Mark A. Heckler added: “We are very pleased that Valpo is receiving this recognition, which acknowledges the commitment of our faculty and students to outstanding education and research in civil engineering, and in engineering as a whole. With the opening of the state-of-the-art Donald V. Fites Engineering Innovation Center in the fall 2011, Valpo’s College of Engineering offers our students an even wider array of educational and work-related opportunities.”

Points are awarded based on the number of student members at the university, university students serving on ACI committees, university students and faculty attending ACI conventions, the presence of an active ACI student chapter at the university, and local ACI chapter participation in meetings, events and other concrete-related industry functions. Only 15 universities are receiving this award for 2011.

Schemmel and Michael Hagenberger, associate professor and chair of civil engineering, represent the faculty as professional members of ACI. Most sophomore engineering students become student members when they take CE 212: Materials Engineering. Their involvement with ACI includes serving on ACI committees, participating in semi-annual technical conferences, and supporting organizations such as the American Society for Testing and Materials and Engineers Without Boarders.

As a recipient of this award, Valpo will be recognized during the ACI Spring 2012 Convention in Dallas, which is March 18-22. Valpo will also be featured in Concrete International magazine.

About Valparaiso University
Valparaiso University is a comprehensive independent Lutheran university with more than 4,000 students on its campus located in Northwest Indiana, an hour from Chicago. Valpo is a community of purpose-driven, service-minded and ethical individuals who embrace the pursuit of truth with freedom, humility and compassion. Valpo has been identified as one of the top master’s-level institutions in the Midwest by U.S. News & World Report magazine for the past 22 years. Valparaiso University offers 110 undergraduate academic programs through the colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business Administration, Engineering and Nursing. Valpo also has a distinguished honors college, a School of Law and more than 40 degree and certificate programs in its Graduate School and Continuing Education Division. Valpo has been recognized for its commitment to outstanding teaching, preparing thoughtful leaders with strong cross-cultural skills and global awareness, and dedication to serving others.