Civil and Environmental Engineering
Dr. Juan Caicedo, Chair
Civil and environmental engineers are involved with the systems that are essential to our modern way of life. For example, civil and environmental engineers plan, design, and construct roads, bridges and airports, buildings, water supply and wastewater treatment plants, waterways, ports, and dams. They also work to protect the environment by developing and applying remedial technologies to contaminated groundwater and soil. Civil and environmental engineers are well qualified to participate in public and private decision-making processes regarding infrastructure systems, and, as such, serve as technical and policy advisors or elected officials.
The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering offers programs leading to the Master of Science, Master of Engineering, and Doctor of Philosophy degrees. Students in the M.S. and Ph.D. degree programs specialize in at least one of the following program areas: environmental engineering, geotechnical engineering, structural engineering, transportation engineering, water resources engineering and railway engineering. Students in the M.E. program may opt to specialize in one area of study or obtain a broad range of experience across the civil and environmental engineering discipline.
Areas of Specialization
Environmental Engineering focuses on sustainability and environmental applications and implications of nanotechnology, including water and wastewater reclamation, bioreactor landfills, waste conversion processes, treatment technologies for developing countries, application of nanamaterials for developing innovative remediation technologies, quantum modeling of nanomaterials, and understanding fate, transport, and toxicity of nanomaterials in the environment.
Geotechnical Engineering focuses on soil, rock and engineered geomaterials with specific concentrations on field and laboratory investigations using standard and novel testing technologies, design and performance of foundations and earth structures, slope stability analyses, soil dynamics and liquefaction, pavement design and performance, landfill design and instrumentation, and geoenvironmental studies.
Structural Engineering focuses on structural design, and analysis for buildings, bridges and other civil structures, materials characterization and modeling including concrete, steel and fiber reinforced polymers, multi-scale structural testing, advanced numerical simulations, structural health monitoring and prognosis, life-cycle and environmental performance analysis, and seismic engineering and design.
Transportation Engineering focuses on modeling transportation system operations, traffic sensing technologies and traffic data analyses, including intelligent transportation systems, modeling and simulation of large-scale transportation networks, weigh-in-motion systems, traffic studies, traffic signal simulation and pavement management systems and performance modeling.
Water Resources Engineering focuses on the study and computer modeling of natural and industrial flow and transport processes, both in the laboratory and in the field, including fluid mechanics, hydraulic transients, cardiovascular flow, river mechanics and marine sediment transport, scour, hydrology of landfills, storm water modeling and best management practices, and watershed scale hydrology.
Accelerated B.S.E./Master’s Plans
A combined B.S./M.S. or B.S./M.E. degree program is available to undergraduate civil and environmental engineering students with GPAs of 3.40 or above and 90 or more hours earned toward their B.S. degree. Up to six (6) credit hours at or above the 500-level may be applied toward a student’s B.S./M.E. program of study. Up to a total of six (6) credit hours of ECIV 797 and graduate course work at or above the 500-level toward a B.S. degree may be applied toward a student’s B.S./M.S. program of study. The approval of the student’s advisor and the Department’s graduate director are required. Questions about this program may be directed to the Department’s graduate director.
The steps of conducting and interpreting an environmental life cycle assessment on civil and environmental engineering systems. Fundamentals associated with conducting a life cycle assessment, including goal and scope, inventory analysis, impact assessment, and interpretation.
Introduction of structural modeling; strain gauge instrumentation; force, displacement, acceleration, pressure, temperature measurements; concrete and steel modeling; size effects; analysis of experimental data.
Advanced methods of structural analysis with emphasis on matrix methods. Development of the generalized matrix force and matrix displacement methods of static analysis, with applications to trusses and frames.
Numerical modeling of typical engineering problems. Numerical solution of linear and nonlinear, boundary and initial value problems. Introduction to optimization.
Response of single- and multiple-degree of freedom structurally dynamic systems to impact, harmonic, wind, and seismic excitations.
Basic engineering properties of timber and masonry materials, design methods and philosophies for timber and masonry structures. Particular attention is paid to current codes, specifications and analysis.
Subsurface investigation procedures. Theoretical and practical aspects of the design of earth retaining structures, spread footings, and pile foundations.
Geotechncial engineering problems associated with the behavior of earth masses. Soil shear strength, lateral earth pressure, design of retaining stuctures, slope stability, water flow through soils.
Principles for the design, construction, and performance of waste containment systems. Characterization of barrier materials; geosynthetics; design of liner and leachate collection systems; stability and deformation analyses of landfills.
Remote sensing and engineering geology. Field and laboratory testing. Design and maintenance methods for flexible and rigid pavements. Topics in tunnel design and buried conduit.
Overview of transducers, signal conditioning and data acquisition; test control methods, data analysis and measurement errors; testing systems to measure soil strength, stiffness, and hydraulic conductivity; laboratory projects and examinations.
Fundamental interactions between supply and demand in transportation systems. Modeling transportation demand and trip-making behavior. Evaluation of alternatives for decision making.
Design of transportation facilities using relevant tools and guidelines with emphasis on physical and operational aspects of arterials, freeways, intersections, and interchanges, including geometry, capacity, control, and safety.
Capacity analysis of freeways and arterials. Traffic flow characteristics and basic relationships among traffic flow parameters. Signalized and unsignalized intersection control and signal timing design.
Research concepts and methodologies to enable students to identify the underlying reasons and factors that contribute to traffic crashes and determine appropriate countermeasures.
Unit operations and processes employed in the physical, chemical, and biological treatment of water and wastewater. Design of water and wastewater treatment systems.
Fundamentals and engineering principles of solid waste generation, characterization, collection and transport, source reduction and recycling, and physical, chemical, and biological treatment strategies.
Introduction to the sources of air pollution and the engineering principles used for control and prevention.
Instruction to sustainable engineering design alternatives and principles for construction and site development from preconstruction through design and the construction phase.
Modeling fate and transport phenomena in environmental processes with applications in engineered unit operators and natural systems.
Steady and unsteady flows in single or multiple-channel systems.
Applications of hydrologic techniques to design problems; stormwater simulation models; urban stormwater.
Hydrologic cycle, subsurface physical properties, equations of groundwater flow, well flow, well design, groundwater resource development, design of dewatering systems, groundwater contamination.
Fundamentals of designing and permitting the conversion of land to new or altered states, including environmental issues, traffic and parking, utility resources, site engineering, ADA, safety, planning, and zoning requirements.
Introduction to the analysis and design of the railway infrastructure for freight and passenger systems to include track and track support systems, grade crossings, special trackwork, construction, inspection, assessment and compliance.
Principles of rail operations; Network management; Best practices for train planning, performance management and delivery of service; technical elements of a railway from an operations perspective (train controls, signaling, communications, yards, tractive power etc).
Introduction to railway infrastructure; Structural design considerations and criteria of railway structures; Bridge types and components; Planning and preliminary design of modern railway bridges; Loads and forces; Structural analysis and design of steel railway bridges and components.
The content of this course varies, and the topics are selected by the faculty. The aim of this course is to expose upper-level undergraduate students and graduate students to a contemporary issue, not covered in any Civil and Environmental Engineering course. Possible topics include intelligent infrastructure, sustainable construction, and monitoring and improvement of poor and degrading infrastructure.
Planning, design, and operation of large-scale, integrated civil and environmental engineering systems, with applications of mathematical programming and other search models.
Civil and environmental systems engineering under uncertainty, including decision rules, decision theory, uncertainty propagation, stochastic programming, and conservative design.
This course focuses in studying the life-cycle of a project using a systems engineering approach. Industry standards for engineering companies as well as practical considerations are studies through the semester.
Risk analysis is presented in the context of reliability in design including applications to mechanical and electrical systems with discussion of failure modes and life cycle costs.
Introduction to boundary element methods and their computer implementation. Steady-state and transient solutions of two- and three-dimensional problems of elasticity and potential flow.
Development of concepts and practical applications of the finite element method of structural analysis with emphasis on the displacement method approach. Initial strains, specified displacements, numerical integration, and isoparametric elements are included.
Development of the fundamental differential equations for plates. Miscellaneous classic plate solutions. Membrane and bending solutions for shells of revolution, circular cylindrical shells, hyperbolic paraboloid shells and circular cylindrical barrel shells.
Lumped and continuous multidegree of freedom mechanical systems and structural assemblies. Steady-state, shock, and random excitation. Modal analysis, numerical methods. Introduction to wave propagation, earthquake engineering, and nonlinear vibrations.
Analysis and behavior of metal structural components under general loading combinations. Buckling phenomena of thin-walled open sections in the elastic and inelastic regions, and correlation with design code criteria. Behavior and design of plate girders.
Analysis and modeling existing and repaired structures. Selection, modeling, and design of repair and/or retrofit measures.
Design of multistory structures, two-way slabs, joints in buildings, pavement design, and miscellaneous topics.
Pre-stressing methods and materials; flexural analysis, shear and torsion, design of simple, composite and continuous beams. Deflections, slab design, and study of axially loaded members.
Course covers the mechanical properties of soil; analysis of the field and laboratory tests to determine soil properties required for foundation analysis and design; consolidation theory; and settlement analysis.
Shear strength of soil and rock under effective stress. Slope stability analysis, tieback and reinforced earth systems. Computation of earth pressures for excavations and tunnels. Dewatering for construction.
Constitutive models and their numerical implementation. Elastic and plastic approaches to analysis. Finite element applications to geomechanics problems. Layer analysis, arching, and stability case studies.
Soil mineralogy, chemistry, and clay-water systems. Impact of soil fabric and microstructure on engineering behavior. Soil-contaminant interaction. Barriers and liners for containment.
Properties of soils under dynamic loading. Harmonic and periodic motion. Free and forced vibrations. Vibrations of footings on an elastic half-space. Cyclic loadings and liquefaction, earthquake response of soils.
Application of soil mechanics principles to improving the engineering characteristics of soil and rock. Topics include mechanisms of soil densification, preconsolidation, grouting, ground freezing, reinforced earth, and soil nailing.
Application of soil mechanics to design and analysis of foundations. Shallow foundations, bearing capacity, settlement. Deep foundations, axial and lateral loading, wave equation analysis, drilled shafts. Design and construction issues.
Marine container terminal design and operations, rail-yard design and operations, cross-dock terminal design and operations, drayage routing and scheduling, and network design. Application of operations research techniques to intermodal transportation.
Individual choice theory; binary choice models; unordered multinomial and multi-dimensional choice models; sampling theory and sample design; ordered multinomial models, aggregate prediction with choice models; joint stated preference and revealed preference modeling, and longitudinal choice analysis; review of state-of-the-art and future directions.
Design, operation, and management of traffic flows over complex transportation networks. Covers two major topics: traffic flow modeling and traffic flow operations. Includes deterministic and probabilistic models, elements of queueing theory, and traffic assignment. Concepts and methods are illustrated through various applications and examples.
Basic physical, chemical, and biological processes applied to aqueous systems.
Physical and chemical water and wastewater treatment processes. Topics include mixing, coagulation, sedimentation, filtration, oxidation, absorption, and ion exchange.
Biological water and wastewater treatment process. Topics include activated sludge, biofilms, nutrient removal, lagoons, and sludge treatment and disposal.
Laboratory experiments in selected processes for water and wastewater treatment.
Unsteady flow in open channels and pipes: theory, governing equations, and methods for their solution.
Formation of groundwater flow and solute transport problems: theory and practice, numerical methods, solution techniques.
Cross-listed course: GEOL 775
Advanced theories and techniques used in stormwater modeling; kinematic hydrology; soil physics infiltration; deterministic and parametric stormwater models; stochastic methods.
Moisture content-matric suction relationships, theory of flow in unsaturated soils, governing equations, measurement techniques, computer modeling of flow and transport.
Quantitative study of conservative and non-conservative pollutant transport in groundwater. Special topics include: transport processes, field techniques to determine aquifer transport parameters, and computer modeling of flow and transport.
Erosion, sediment transport, methods for control, pond hydraulics and performance, nonpoint source pollution, stream water quality.
Definitions; derivation of governing equations; methods of solution; method of characteristics; transients caused by turbomachinery, and methods for controlling transients.
Sediment properties, review of fluid mechanics of sediment transport as bedload and suspended load, stability analysis of bedforms, alternate bars, growth and migration of meander bends.
Dynamic characteristics of railway systems and their components; Modeling and simulations of railway systems including trains, track and ballast; Dynamic interaction of components including wheel-rail and train-bridge interaction; Study of environmental vibrations; Advanced topics on infrastructure assessment, infrastructure upgrade and vibration mitigation.
Individual studies and/or investigations of special topics in the field of civil engineering.
Credits to be designated upon registration.
Seminar on current topics in civil and environmental engineering. Includes oral presentations by students on their research projects. Recommended by the department that all graduate students participate each semester the seminar series is offered.
To be arranged by candidates for the master’s degree with the instructor under whose direction the master’s thesis is being written.