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Research & Impact

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Research in Stanford Civil & Environmental Engineering aims to promote sustainability with an emphasis on cities, energy, infrastructure, public health, and water

How can we best design and manage the buildings and cities, water and environmental systems, and public data networks and energy grids that support the health and sustainability of human life?

Our engineers are working to solve some of the world’s biggest challenges: climate change mitigation; improved infrastructure for the safe storage, treatment, and transport of drinking water; renewable energy innovation and smart grid management; building the resilient urban systems that will support massive urbanization in the century ahead. Our faculty and students develop the solutions that will shape the health of people and the planet for decades to come.

Engineering a Sustainable Future

From exploring sewage-based methods to track the spread of COVID-19 to revealing the potential for mealworms to address the global plastic crisis, the impact of our research extends far beyond the lab.

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Research Themes

Cities, energy, infrastructure, public health, and water. Our faculty-led research teams explore these domains and the relationships between them as they confront broad engineering challenges in pursuit of a sustainable future.

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Research Centers & Labs

Fundamental and applied research is conducted primarily across several state-of-the-art centers and laboratories.

Industry Collaboration

Through close affiliations with industry, utilities, nonprofits, and governmental agencies, our research insights and the technologies we devise are frequently applied in practice.

Collaborate as an Industry Affiliate

Student Research Opportunities 

The Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering offers several programmatic as well as informal research opportunities to undergraduate and graduate students. Faculty, staff, and students from distinct research areas work as teams on projects within the department, with other collaborators at Stanford, and at other universities worldwide. Special research opportunities are available to undergraduate students every summer, working closely with faculty members. We encourage student initiative in conceiving and conducting research. 

VPUE Summer Undergrad Research Program Graduate Student Research


Stories & Voices

Learn more about Civil & Environmental Engineering from our faculty, students, alumni, and staff. 

Kate Gasparro
Kate Gasparro
PhD Candidate, Civil & Environmental Engineering

“ I’m actually a third-generation civil engineer ... ”

Ahmad Wani
Ahmad Wani
MS ’15, Civil & Environmental Engineering

“ I think that engineers have a responsibility to leverage scientific research ... ”

Professor Sarah Billington
Sarah Billington
Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering

“ I clearly remember the distinct moment I decided to pursue a new area of research ... ”

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Support Civil & Environmental Engineering Research

Collaboration and partnerships among faculty, alumni, and industry are central to our success in engineering solutions 
for a resilient, sustainable future.