Dr. Phillip Dunston

Director of Office of Professional Practice
(765) 496-3598


Dr. Phillip S. Dunston is a professor of Construction Engineering, holding joint appointments in the Lyles School of Civil Engineering and in the Division of Construction Engineering and Management at Purdue. A native of North Carolina, Dr. Dunston completed his collegiate studies at North Carolina State University, obtaining his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering in 1995. After seven years on the Civil Engineering faculty at the University of Washington, Dr. Dunston joined the faculty at Purdue in 2002, and in 2003, received the NSF Early Career Award for research in “Mixed Reality Science and Technology Integration for the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction Industry.” At that time, Dr. Dunston also became involved with Advancing Minorities’ Interest in Engineering (AMIE), a coalition of leading corporations in such sectors as technology, aviation, healthcare, defense, finance, manufacturing, and utilities; government agencies; and the ABET-accredited Engineering Schools at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). He now officially represents the Purdue College of Engineering in its status as an affiliate member of AMIE.

Having benefitted from both co-op and internship experiences during undergrad and even as a graduate student, Dr. Dunston personally endorses such experiential learning options for university students. His construction engineering research and years in CEM—the latter requiring three internships for their degree—have allowed him to interact with designer, general and specialty construction contractor, and owner firms in the heavy civil, industrial, and healthcare sectors of the construction industry. 

Dr. Dunston’s research portfolio has included construction automation; monitoring, control, and quality of field construction operations, particularly in transportation; construction visualization; and simulator-based training effectiveness for construction equipment operators. In 2008, he was a recipient of the Purdue CoE Leadership Award, and he has served as the ABET coordinator for the CEM Division for the last three reviews. A career-long passion of Dr. Dunston’s has been to address the challenge of stimulating and expanding the pipeline of underrepresented students to the PhD and hopefully faculty careers. Toward that end, he has been a part of both NSF and Purdue sponsored efforts, most recently co-chairing the Purdue Trailblazers in Engineering workshops and becoming a Dean’s Faculty Fellow for HBCU engagement in January 2023.