Daniel W. Halpin

CII is pleased to announce that Dr. Daniel W. Halpin, professor emeritus and recently retired Head of the Division of Construction Engineering and Management at Purdue University, is the twentieth recipient of the Institute’s highest honor, the Carroll H. Dunn Award of Excellence.

Dan Halpin was born on September 29, 1938, in Covington, Kentucky, the only child of William and Gladys Halpin. As a child, he dreamed of becoming a concert pianist, but a rewarding life in academia would eventually prevail. He earned his bachelor’s degree at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1961 and was assigned to the European area. By chance while attending a Mardi Gras carnival, he met a young, costumed German woman who would become his wife. Dan and Maria married in February 1963 and the couple came to the United States in 1965.

During the Vietnam War, Dan served as a combat engineer and was awarded the Bronze Star. By 1967, he had decided to pursue an academic career. Hoping to live with his wife in her native Germany, Dan attended the Technical University–Munich for two years. The eight years required to earn a doctorate there, however, would be an unnecessary delay, so much so that he enrolled at the University of Illinois, the world’s top engineering school, and earned master’s and Ph.D. degrees.

Hired by Georgia Tech in 1973, Dan built and ran the construction program in civil engineering there over the next 12 years. After a brief two-year stint with the University of Maryland, he accepted the position of Head of the Division of Construction Engineering and Management at Purdue University. He retired this past January.

In 1983, he attended a conference in Austin, Texas, and learned of an idea to establish an engineering and construction research institute. Soon afterwards, Dan was among the first professors to join with major owner and contractor firms in creating CII. He served on seminal research efforts in cost/schedule controls, international construction, and emerging technologies and created the CII Emerging Technologies website.

The developer of a simulation system used worldwide by researchers, Dan is a leading authority on simulation of construction processes. His Construction Management is a dominant text in engineering schools. During his illustrious educational career, his “family tree” includes over 1,000 undergraduates, 400 masters graduates, and 70 Ph.D. recipients. Many former students are now professors, some involved in CII studies. His contributions and dedication to the industry and to education and his leadership in research are all major reasons that CII bestows upon Dr. Dan Halpin its highest honor, the Carroll H. Dunn Award of Excellence.