Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.

Psalm 127:1

David
Dittenber, Ph.D.

Phone: 903.233.3962
Email: DavidDittenber@letu.edu

  • Chair, Civil Engineering

  • Associate Professor, Civil Engineering


Being a Christian and a civil engineer is awesome. Civil engineers get an opportunity to share in the creative experience with Christ the Creator, participate in God’s redemptive work on the earth, and serve people by helping provide them with safe solutions to their most fundamental needs. Aside from the fulfillment of working in a field that has such a unique opportunity to blend technical skill and faith, it’s also a ton of fun! We get to build things that are big, robust, long-lasting, innovative, useful, economical, and complex – and we often get to do it while we’re outside and getting our hands dirty. What a blessing it is to get to engage in such meaningful and challenging work.

As much as I love engineering, I’ve always loved teaching even more. After getting my bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering at LeTourneau, I spent an unexpected year teaching math and science at a private high school. God used this time to establish my motivation for earning advanced degrees – I figured that if teaching high school was rewarding, then teaching at the college level would be even better. I attended West Virginia University, entered the field of civil engineering, worked with a great advisor on some fascinating research, and eventually found my way back to my alma mater to teach civil engineering. I couldn’t have come up with this plan on my own, but God made the path straight for me and I do my best to walk it faithfully.

In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my wife, Rachel, and our menagerie of dogs and cats. I also enjoy reading books that offer the chance to either learn from others’ wisdom or to have my mind transported somewhere beyond the limits of my own imagination!

EDUCATION

Ph.D., West Virginia University, 2013
M.S., West Virginia University, 2010
B.S., LeTourneau University, 2007

EXPERIENCE

2013-2017

LeTourneau University
Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering

2009-2013

West Virginia University
Graduate Research and Teaching Assistant
National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow
ASEE/NSF Engineering Innovation Fellow
Certification in University Teaching

2007-2008

Christian Heritage School
High School Math and Science Teacher

RESEARCH INTERESTS

  • Polymer Composites in Infrastructure
  • Natural Fibers and Biopolymers
  • Green Design and Sustainability
  • Disaster Shelters and Humanitarian Housing Solutions

COURSES TAUGHT AT LETOURNEAU UNIVERSITY

  • CVGR 1523 – Intro to Civil Engineering
  • CVGR 2023 – Civil Engineering Materials
  • CVGR 3122 – Junior Civil Engineering Design
  • CVGR 3313 – Structural Analysis
  • CVGR 4121 – Professional Practice of Civil Engineering
  • CVGR 4414 – Design of Wood Structures
  • ENGR 4813/4823 – Senior Design
  • LETU 1101 – Cornerstones
  • MEGR 2023 – Dynamics (online)
  • MEGR 3323 – Mechanics of Materials (online)

 Advising and Sponsoring

  • The SafeHome Project – Undergraduate research looking at developing housing solutions for use in the wake of disasters
  • Habitat for Humanity Club
  • American Society of Civil Engineers Student Chapter

Journal Publications

  • Estep, D. D., GangaRao, H. V. S., Dittenber, D. B., Qureshi, M. A. (2016). “Response of Pultruded Glass Composite Box Beams Under Bending and Shear.” Composites Part B: Engineering, 88: 150-161.
  • Dittenber, D. B., and GangaRao, H. V. S. (2013). “Fatigue Equation Considerations for the ASCE Pre-Standard for LRFD of Pultruded FRP Structures.” Journal of Composite Materials, 47(16): 1943-1949.
  • Dittenber, D. B., and GangaRao, H. V. S. (2012). “Critical Review of Recent Publications on Use of Natural Composites in Infrastructure.” Composites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing, 43(8): 1419-1429.
  • Dittenber, D. B., and GangaRao, H. V. S. (2010). “Evaluation of a Life Prediction Model and Environmental Effects of Fatigue for Glass Fiber Composite Materials.” Structural Engineering International, 20(4): 379-384.

Conference Proceedings and Presentations

  • Dittenber, D. B. (2017). “Problem Based Learning in an Intro to Civil Engineering Course: Effects on Student Engagement and Retention.” ASEE 124th Annual Conference, Columbus, OH.
  • Dittenber, D. B., and Ironside, A. J. (2017). “Bringing Experiential Learning into the Online Classroom: A Mechanics of Materials Course Case Study.” ASEE 124th Annual Conference, Columbus, OH.
  • Dittenber, D. B. (2017). “Presentation of Online Course Demonstration Kits.” Invited – Mechanics Division Hands-on Demonstrations, ASEE 124th Annual Conference, Columbus, OH.
  • Dittenber, D. B., and GangaRao, H. V. S. (2013). “Natural Fiber Reinforced Composites for Civil Infrastructure – Overview and Experimental Work.” ICEMT 2013, Jabalpur, India.
  • Estep, D. D., GangaRao, H. V. S., Qureshi, M. A., and Dittenber, D. B. (2013). “Bending and Shear Behavior of Glass FRP Box Beams.” ICEMT 2013, Jabalpur, India.
  • Dittenber, D. B., GangaRao, H. V. S., and Vijay, P. V. (2013). “Fiberglass & Bio-based Resin Wall Panels with Fire Resistance Evaluation.” ICERP 2013, Mumbai, India.
  • Dittenber, D. B., Dispennette, D. W., Skidmore, M. L., and GangaRao, H. V. S. (2013). “Bending Behavior of Pultruded Glass FRP Tubes.” ICERP 2013, Mumbai, India.
  • Dittenber, D. B. (2012). “Effect of Alkalization on Flexural Properties and Moisture Absorption of Kenaf Fiber Reinforced Composites.” SAMPE 2012, Baltimore, MD.
  • Dispennette, D. W., and Dittenber, D. B. (2012). “Behavior of Pultruded Large Diameter Thin-Walled Orthotropic Cylindrical Tubes.” SAMPE 2012, Baltimore, MD.
  • Dittenber, D. B., and GangaRao, H. V. S. (2011). “Critical Review of Recent Publications on Use of Natural Composites in Infrastructure. (i)” SAMPE 2011, Long Beach, CA.
  • Dittenber, D. B. (2011). “Low Cost Environmental Testing of Composite Materials for Seawater Applications.” SAMPE 2011, Long Beach, CA.
  • Seracino, R., DeLuca, A., Dittenber, D. B. (2011). “University-Industry Partnerships: From Research to Practice.” ACMA-COMPOSITES 2011, Ft. Lauderdale, FL.
  • Dittenber, D. B., and GangaRao, H. V. S. (2010). “Evaluation of Fatigue Life Prediction Model for GFRP Composite Materials.” SPE- ANTEC 2010, Orlando, FL.
  • Kelley, B. S., Dittenber, D. B., Ayers, S. R., Gonzalez, R. V., Goldberg, J. R., Malkin, R. (2008). “Innovative Biomedical Design Competitions and Scenarios Exploring Underserved Populations.” NCIIA 12th Annual Meeting, Dallas, TX.
  • Dittenber, D. B., Ayers, S. R., Gonzalez, R. V. (2008) “Innovative Approaches to Providing Developing Countries with Appropriate Lower-Limb Prosthetic Technology.” NCIIA 12th Annual Meeting, Dallas, TX.

Other Publications

  • Dittenber, D. B. (2013). "Natural Kenaf Fiber Reinforced Composites as Engineered Structural Materials." Ph.D. Dissertation, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV.
  • GangaRao, H.V.S., Dittenber, D.B., and Majijigapu, P.K.R. (2013). "Workshop on FRP Composites Manufacturing and Application to Infrastructure: Handout." ICEMT 2013, Jabalpur, India.
  • Dittenber, D. B. (2010). "Fatigue of Polymer Composites: Life Prediction and Environmental Effects." M.S. Thesis, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV.