Leonard E. Wood

2010 Co-Op Hall of Fame Inductee (Posthumous)  

Leonard Wood

Career Highlights

- PhD 1956, Purdue University
- MS 1948, Kansas State University
- BS 1947, Kansas State University
- Professor Emeritus in the School of Civil Engineering
- Cooperative Education Faculty Coordinator in the School of Civil Engineering (1989-2004)


Originally from Burr Oak, Kansas, Leonard Wood arrived in West Lafayette in 1953 after earning undergraduate and master’s degrees in Chemical Engineering from Kansas State University. He initially served as a part-time graduate assistant at Purdue while working toward a PhD in Civil Engineering. After completing the requirements for his PhD in 1956, he joined the Purdue faculty in the School of Civil Engineering, specializing in the areas of Asphalt and Bituminous Materials and Mixtures including road and highway safety.

In 1989, he became the coordinator of the Co-Op Program in the School of Civil Engineering, a perfect fit for him as his teaching career had always centered on his students and this gave him the opportunity to work more closely with them. Dr. Wood’s office door was always open, and he always encouraged students to stop by anytime. He often remained after hours, and it was not at all uncommon for Dr. Wood to spend his evenings attending student meetings and other social activities in support of them.

Dr. Wood’s work with the Co-Op Program was legendary, and he was known to monitor his students’ progress long after they graduated from Purdue. When traveling, Dr. Wood would even make a habit of visiting his former students, happily noting their career achievements.

Under Dr. Wood’s leadership, the Co-Op Program within the School of Civil Engineering grew from 27 students in 1989 to 150 students in 1993, the year he retired as a Purdue faculty member. However, it is worth mentioning that he continued on in his role as Director of the Civil Engineering Co-Op Program until 2004, the year he passed away.

During his distinguished career at Purdue University, Dr. Wood served as more than an instructor. He was a mentor, a counselor, a teacher, and a friend who was truly dedicated to and for the students. He is represented here today by his wife, Margaret R. Wood.

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