Carnegie Mellon University

PhD -Intelligent Engineered Systems and Society (IESS)

The Intelligent Engineered Systems and Society (IESS) research group is dedicated to equipping you with the tools to tackle global challenges like climate change and urbanization through intelligent and autonomous infrastructure systems. 

screenshot-2023-09-06-at-1.58.01-pm.pngAs a doctoral student, you will develop skills that can help shape policy and address real-world issues by developing solutions that are not only resilient and sustainable but also equitable. Our cutting-edge research in civil and environmental engineering is centered around addressing these challenges head-on. 

By immersing yourself in our PhD program, you will learn how to drive innovation in the built, natural, and digital environments, enabling these environments to autonomously assess and respond to challenges throughout their lifecycle—from initial design to construction and ongoing operation. This prepares you for a successful career where you can make a lasting impact on society.

Design, Construction, and Infrastructure Management

Design, Construction, and Infrastructure Management doctoral candidates center their research on enhancing processes related to design and construction operations for adaptive infrastructure systems. You will employ cutting-edge technologies fostering autonomy and enabling you to develop expertise in utilizing and crafting digital tools for the transformation of infrastructure design and construction operations.

Dynamical Infrastructure System Operations

Dynamical Infrastructure System Operation research immerses you in fundamental aspects required to develop tools and policies crucial for managing intelligent and autonomous infrastructure systems. This research group encompasses essential areas such as embedded systems and sensing, artificial intelligence, dynamic systems theory, and control, forming a solid foundation for research and exploration in this field.

PhD Research

Deep Space Exploration: Hwang Utilizes Digital Twins and Fault Diagnosis for NASA Research

my-project-1-42.pngPhD student Min Hwang is using Digital Twins to develop fault diagnosis and response systems for environmental control and life support systems (ECLSS) in space missions. Her research for NASA looks to quickly identify and address faults, potentially saving lives during deep space exploration.

Optimizing Infrastructure Maintenance with AI and Extended Reality

liu.pngPhD candidate Pengkun Liu is researching the "Silver Tsunami" impact on critical infrastructure, developing cognitive assistants that combine human and artificial intelligence to efficiently transfer knowledge and enhance infrastructure safety. His concept employs large language models and extended reality (XR) platforms for training and simulations, optimizing maintenance protocols for safer public infrastructure.

Dive into Research

tang.pngPingbo Tang discusses his work to create AI assistants that support infrastructure jobs, such as air traffic control and construction logistics.

Campus to Career

CMU Connection Leads to Success at eIQ Mobility

Emre Kara (CEE PhD '14) and Sila Berkol Kiliccote (CFA MS '95 and Tepper MBA 1999-2000) have partnered at eIQ Mobility to simplify and accelerate fleet electrification. Emre Kara, a CMU alumni, serves as the VP of Engineering, leading the development of eIQ Mobility's software platform for fleet electrification assessments. Kiliccote, the CEO and co-founder, actively recruits CMU graduates, emphasizing the value of CMU's skilled and ethical alumni in the engineering industry.

Continue Reading


“CEE taught me how to think and how to learn effectively—these traits are [essential to] success in your professional life."

IESS Faculty