Environmental engineering is the application of engineering principles and standards, under constraint, for the sustainabilty and enhancement of the quality of the environment, and for the enhancement and protection of public works, health and welfare. Environmental engineers deal with the development, control, and management of our water resources. They predict surface runoff from precipitation, stream flow, droughts and floods, groundwater supplies, and future water demands. Environmental engineers determine reservoir sites from water supply, flood control, and hydroelectric power plants. They plan river and coastal developments to control damage and improve navigation.
Environmental engineers focus on important topics, such as environmental chemistry and biology, environmental hydrology, environmental hydraulics and pneumatics, water treatment, wastewater treatment, solid waste management, air pollution control, hazardous waste management and risk assessment, noise pollution and control, and environmental quality modeling. The ABET-accredited environmental engineering program within our department is ranked 6th in the nation.
*The Environmental Engineering graduate track is recognized as an official specialization for both the MS and PhD degree, which means it is posted in the permanent record upon graduation and appears on the final transcript.
Geoinformation and Geodetic Engineering
Geoinformation and geodetic engineering encompasses a group of spatial data technologies and theory that involve one or more areas of research using photogrammetry, image understanding, mapping/geographic information science, satellite geodesy, remote sensing, real time mapping, and image processing.
The field embodies traditional geomatics engineering disciplines of data analysis, photogrammetry, global positioning systems (GPS) technologies, and surveying, as well as emerging areas, such as hyperspectral imaging, sensor networks, computer vision, and real-time navigation and timing.
Structural engineers plan, analyze, and design a wide variety of large-scale structures including bridges, high-rise buildings, concrete dams, transmission towers, and special offshore and space structures. Structural engineers incorporate various materials in their designs, such as steel, concrete, timber, and composites, which also requires these engineers to fully understand the behavior characteristics under loads as well as the mechanical, thermal, and elastic properties associated with these materials.
Structural engineers also estimate strength as well as deflection and acceleration response of structures under extreme environmental factors, such as wind, earthquakes, temperature, vibrations, and in a post 9/11 world, structural engineers are currently examining the survivability of structures under extreme impact and explosion so that evacuation of inhabitants in a safe and secure manner is possible.
Geotechnical engineers study the properties of soils and rocks for the safe design of earth structures such as earth dams and levees, reinforced earth and similar geostructural systems for earth buttresses and retaining walls, landfills (Geoenvironmental). They design and build shallow (footings) and deep (piles) foundations (like those under buildings and bridges) as well as deep excavations, dewatering systems, sheetpile walls, tiebacks and ground anchors.
Geotechnical engineers have expertise in landslide remediation, subsidence, ground heave, scour, surface and internal erosion, ground liquefaction, earthquake ground motions, and seismic amplification.
Prospective graduate students who intend to study Geotechnical Engineering should select the Structural Engineering graduate track when applying to the civil engineering program.
Please contact the Graduate Program Coordinator if you have questions related to the application process.
Please contact our faculty if you have other questions about pursuing studies in Geotechnical Engineering.
Transportation engineers track, analyze and design all modes of (land, sea, and air) transportation systems, and study the various ways operators and end-users work within the nation's transportation enterprise. The challenge of transportation engineers is to plan, design, operate, and manage the nation's transporation systems such that the various modes will provide safe, secure, rapid, comfortable, convenient, economical and seamless movement of people, ideas, goods, and things. Highways and streets, mass transit systems, railroads, airports, waterways, and pipelines are all part of the nation's transportation system.
Problems addressed by transportation engineers include traffic congestion, transportation decision-making of operators and end-users, economical transportation planning and design, high-speed rail systems, and efficient maintenance of highway and airport pavements. Modern transportation engineers must understand the latest advances in information and communications technologies in order to develop and advance the nation's intelligent transportation system and transportation security priorities. In achieving this, transportation engineers must understand economic, political, and social factors of these national transportation priorities.