Interview with Dr. Christopher Burke, P.E., Stormwater Management Expert

BY 
June 1, 2014

Christopher Burke reflects on his years as a civil engineer and as a professor, and shares the concerns he has to promote innovation for new products for the aging infrastructure. He sees the need to encourage the young civil engineering graduates to take every opportunity to communicate and promote STEM and the civil engineering profession.

Photo of Dr. Christopher Burke

Christopher Burke, Ph.D., P.E., D.WRE, Dist.M.ASCE

Christopher Burke, Ph.D., P.E., D.WRE, Dist.M.ASCE is a leading expert in stormwater management and has unique experience in all aspects of water resources and civil engineering projects and design.  He has been engaged in numerous municipal and civil engineering projects, particularly site review and development, stormwater management, sanitary sewer evaluation, and water supply.  His expertise includes flood control, transportation design, channel modification, and bridge replacement.  Dr. Burke has served as an expert witness on numerous cases in circuit and federal courts representing both the public and private sector.

As President of Christopher B. Burke Engineering, Ltd., he has been recognized for many highly complex stormwater projects that earned his company recognition as a leader in water resources engineering for municipalities and counties.  Dr. Burke formed The Burke Group which includes several other engineering design and surveying companies.  Headquartered in Rosemont, Illinois, The Burke Group maintains nine offices throughout Illinois and Indiana and employs more than 375 people.

The Engineering News-Record recently cited The Burke Group as 176th  in the top 500 design firms in the U.S in 2013.

As a practitioner with significant hands-on experience, Dr. Burke has authored more than 30 publications in water resources, including the Stormwater Drainage Manual for the Indiana Local Technical Assistance Program.  The manual has become the standard reference adopted for designs throughout the Midwest, several universities and is the focus of an annual Stormwater Drainage Conference at Purdue University.

Dr. Burke’s commitment to educating the next generation of engineers is demonstrated in many ways.  From guest speaker at grade schools and high schools to sponsor of Purdue University’s Chi Epsilon and ASCE student chapters, his influence on future engineers is significant.  As a philanthropist, Dr. Burke’s contributions have established the Burke Hydraulics and Hydrology Research and Teaching Laboratory, the Burke Undergraduate Hydraulic Laboratory, the H2O Laboratory, and the Christopher B. Burke Professorship.  He has also endowed the Rosemary K. Burke Student of the Year Award,  the Edward M. Burke Professor of the Year Award.  Since 2002, Dr. Burke has also been Professor of Practice in the Department of Civil and Materials Engineering at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Dr. Burke has received many awards, including ASCE’s Edmund Friedman Professional Recognition Award in 2010, President’s Lifetime Achievement Award from the Purdue Engineering Alumni Association, Honorary Doctorate from Purdue University in 2010, Charles Ellet Award from the Western Society of Engineers, Corporate Philanthropic Award from the West Suburban Philanthropic Network, and most recently the APWA Top Ten Leader of the Year Award.  This past year he was inducted as a Distinguished Member of the American Society of Civil EngineersChristopher Burke, Ph.D., P.E., D.WRE, Dist.M.ASCE is a leading expert in stormwater management and has unique experience in all aspects of water resources and civil engineering projects and design.  He has been engaged in numerous municipal and civil engineering projects, particularly site review and development, stormwater management, sanitary sewer evaluation, and water supply.  His expertise includes flood control, transportation design, channel modification, and bridge replacement.  Dr. Burke has served as an expert witness on numerous cases in circuit and federal courts representing both the public and private sector.

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1 Comment
  • Great interview!
    We definitely need more bright people in the storm water and water infrastructure industry and its starts with STEM education with our kids…

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