The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering conducts research across the range of sub-disciplines within the broad spectrum of civil engineering. Research specialties within the department include environmental and water resources engineering, geoenvironmental engineering,  geotechnical engineering, structural engineering, and transportation engineering. The research applications indicated below are far from exhaustive but do illustrate the breadth of research conducted within the department. Other research undertaken within the department spans the general themes of sustainable and resilient design, planning and designing for climate change, all elements of construction, novel and innovative applications (such as the use of artificial intelligence), and sensitivity to matters of equity and access in public spaces. 

Researchers in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering focus on these areas:

Environmental and Water Resources Engineering

  • Detection and treatment of waterborne contaminants
  • Environmental assessment and monitoring systems
  • Protecting public health from environmental pollutants

Research contact: Dr. James Amburgey,

Geotechnical and Geonvironmental Engineering

  • Field-scale testing of geotechnical and geoenvironmental systems, characterization and project-specific testing of soils, biosolids and municipal solid waste
  • Soil/structure interaction of deep embedded structures for energy and infrastructural applications
  • Soil/water interaction and ground improvement using sustainable and low-cost methods

Research contact: Dr. Milind V. Khire,

Structural Engineering

  • Experimental and numerical analysis of structures subject to extreme loads (fire, blast, impact, natural hazards)
  • Supplemental cementing materials, admixtures and performance-engineered concrete
  • Performance testing, monitoring and digital twinning of structures

Research contact: Dr. Nicole Braxton, 

Transportation Engineering

  • Big data analytics in transportation
  • Connected and autonomous vehicles: impacts, modeling and control
  • Smart cities and multimodal mobility

Research contact: Dr. Wei Fan,