Vijaya “VJ” Gopu, Ph.D., P.E., F.ASCE, the Stuller Settings–Matthew Stuller Regents Professor at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, has been named a fellow by the ASCE Board of Direction.
Gopu has been in his position at UL Lafeyette since 2015, and is associate director for external programs at Louisiana Transportation Research Center (2006-present). He also holds the Formosa Plastics Distinguished Professor Emeritus position at LSU (2000-present). In April of this year, Gopu was appointed by Governor Edwards to serve a six-year term (2022-2028) on the Louisiana Professional Engineering and Land Surveying Board.
He has served as chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Tulane University (2003-2008) and the University of Alabama in Huntsville (2000-2003), and held the Edward G. Schleider Endowed Chair at the University of New Orleans (2008-2014). He also served as the program director for the Structural Systems and Engineering in the Directorate of Engineering at the National Science Foundation (NSF) from 1998 to 2001. Gopu was a visiting professor at the Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden, during a sabbatical year.
With his long service to Louisiana universities, Gopu became the first engineering professor in Louisiana history to serve as a tenured full professor at four Louisiana universities. Other achievements are his several awards for teaching, research, and professional service, including the 2022 Researcher of the Year Award from the College of Engineering at University of Louisiana at Lafayette; his supervision of the research work of 48 graduate students; and his service as principal or co-principal investigator of over 60 research projects, with total expenditures exceeding $20 million. He has served as a structural engineering consultant on numerous projects.
Gopu has delivered keynote lectures and presentations at numerous international conferences in many countries and has served on the organizing committee of several domestic/international conferences and forums. He is active in several national technical committees and has been a member of several federal interagency working groups. He was the conference chair for the World Conference on Timber Engineering held in New Orleans in 1996. While serving as program director at the National Science Foundation – an agency under the White House – he established a $20 million joint NSF-HUD initiative in support of President Clinton’s PATH (Partnership for Advancing Technologies for Housing) program. He is also heavily involved in the management of University Transportation Center Sites funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
In addition to having served on numerous NSF Site Review Teams and Proposal Review Panels, he is the chair of the Industrial Advisory Board for the NSF Center for Integration of Composites in Infrastructure and a member of the Steering Committee for Southern Plains Transportation Center. He is a founding member of the International Association for Bridge Management and Safety–USA.
Gopu is a registered professional engineer in Louisiana.