Blake Landry

Rider Profile
HometownSaint Martinville, LA
UniversityUniversity of Illinois
MajorCivil and Environmental Engineering
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Greetings and salutations! My name is Blake Landry and I am currently a postdoctoral research associate in the Hydrosystems Laboratory at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I was born in the small historical town of Saint Martinville, Louisiana popularized by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem, Evangeline, A Tale of Acadie. Growing up along the banks of the Bayou Teche, I was always fascinated with the riverine and sediment transport processes occurring in my backyard. I attended the University of Louisiana at Lafayette (ULL), majoring in Civil Engineering with specialization in environmental and construction sub-disciplines. After graduating with an Honors Baccalaureate degree, I continued to pursue a Master of Science (S.M.) degree in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology with focus on Environmental Fluid Mechanics and Coastal Engineering, conducting large scale laboratory experiments exploring sand ripple and bar morphodynamics. Upon receiving my S.M., I returned home to Louisiana and worked as a project designer at a consulting firm, Fenstermaker and Associates, Inc., in Lafayette, Louisiana, and also served as an adjunct instructor at ULL, teaching Open Channel Hydraulics and Engineering Statics. The following year, I joined the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to obtain a PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering with focus in Environmental Hydraulics and Hydrology. During my post-doc I have been fortunate to teach courses and supervise undergraduate and graduate students working in the laboratory. In my spare time, I co-founded a company, Raven Research and Development, which specializes in advanced custom electronics for critical applications in the energy, defense, scientific and educational fields. I stand firmly by the motto “per sapientiam felicitas” which means “through knowledge, happiness” and truly enjoy encouraging, motivating, and instructing others to become life-long learners.

Personal Statement

My world has been completely turned upside down, it is funny how all the planning one can do in this life puts things in perspective, and specifically how short and delicate this life is. Currently, I am trying to cope with a close family friend that was recently diagnosed with terminal brain cancer (anywhere from 1 to 9 years) and he has currently undergone radiation treatment and is now living life one day at a time. In a relatively short time, I have experienced first-hand how cancer can cause chaos, devastation, and untold heartache in its wake. I want to take a stand for my close friend as well as all others impacted by cancer and make a statement to the world that while cancer is a terrible thing, it is a challenge that we as a society must face united to survive the ordeal both physically and emotionally. Whether it is to provide emotional support for the recently diagnosed get through the treatment, to provide financial support for research, or to develop better treatments, we each can play key roles to helping to mitigate and eventually eliminate the impact of cancer on humanity. “When we're connected to others, we become better people” and although “We cannot change the cards we are dealt, [we can control] how we play the hand”; “The key question to keep asking is, Are you spending your time on the right things? Because time is all you have. ” ― Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture