Research-Civil and Environmental Engineering - Carnegie Mellon University

Research at CEE

Infrastructure and environment are critical determinants of quality of life and economic vitality. The 21st century has brought new challenges for global infrastructure and environment.

Each day the world’s population increases by roughly 200,000. This population growth taxes all forms of existing infrastructure; creates significant air, water and groundwater quality issues; and brings about new concerns with regard to energy sustainability. Another important challenge is climate change; new weather patterns are emerging that create additional pressures for both the built and natural environment with more intense and frequent wind, flooding, and temperature extreme events.

The Civil and Environmental Engineering department has established research strengths in a number of areas which seek to address the challenges of the 21st century, including:

  • sustainable, intelligent infrastructure systems,
  • water and air quality science and engineering,
  • resilient engineering materials, and
  • environmentally sustainable, or green, engineering practices.

The department maintains a commitment to excellence in education, research, and professional service while advancing the engineering science fundamentals of the civil and environmental engineering disciplines. The department research is organized into three major focus areas:

Advanced Infrastructure Systems

The infrastructure systems of tomorrow will combine traditional physical infrastructure with a cyber-infrastructure of computers, networks and sensors. AIS researchers work to develop novel technological solutions to problems involving the planning, design, construction, and management/operation of built facilities and infrastructure.

Environmental Engineering, Sustainability and Science

Sustainability addresses the ability of societies to maintain and improve quality of life while preserving both the quality and availability of its natural resources. With population increases and climate change, engineers face ever-evolving challenges with regard to issues of sustainability and the health of our natural environment. EESS researchers are conducting analyses and developing technological approaches for protection, restoration and sustainable use of environmental systems.

Mechanics, Materials and Computing

MMC researchers conduct research focused on the scientific understanding and practical application of the emergent complex behavior of materials. Using computer simulation techniques, the group analyzes the deformation, flow and failure of both natural and engineered materials.