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Research Overview

We focus on engineering for sustainability with an emphasis on cities, energy, infrastructure, public health and water.



Our cities research spans across traditional and emerging civil and environmental engineering disciplines, including water quality and infrastructure; air quality and wind engineering; earthquake engineering and structural design; construction management; renewable energy; urban infrastructure; and urban material and energy flows.


Our challenge is to design cleaner and more efficient energy systems to improve our health and environment and to provide energy security for all.


Our infrastructure will be sustainable only when its full social and environmental context is considered, rather than merely its initial cost. As such, how to provide reliable and affordable infrastructure services is a major focus of our department, where our research focuses on all stages of a project’s life cycle.

Plastic in ocean

Public Health

Research efforts in this area include the evaluation of the chemical and microbial safety of drinking water generated by the reclamation of urban stormwater or municipal wastewater.

water from a faucet


The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering is a world leader in research and teaching on the fate and transport of contaminants in natural waters, including in groundwater and in reservoirs, rivers, lakes, and the coastal ocean.