Civil & Environmental Engineering
Civil and environmental engineers make a difference. Welcome to an exciting discipline in which you use your creativity, intelligence, and the knowledge you gain from coursework to build a better, safer, and more sustainable world!
Civil and environmental engineers are problem solvers, meeting the needs for environmental stewardship, renewable energy, sustainable design solutions, and community planning for a better tomorrow. Civil and environmental engineers serve the public by designing a wide variety of infrastructure systems such as dams and waterways, harbors, bridges, buildings, water supply and wastewater systems, highways and airports, tunnels and pipelines, and renewable energy facilities.
At the School of Mines, undergraduate students interested in a career in civil and environmental engineering follow a curriculum that culminates in an ABET-accredited BS degree in civil engineering. Students interested in environmental engineering follow a curriculum tailored to the subdiscipline, and may also pursue an environmental engineering minor. Our graduates are ready to enter the workforce right after graduation or pursue graduate studies in civil engineering, environmental engineering, construction management or other professional degrees such as medicine or law.
We offer master of science degrees in civil engineering (MS CE) and construction management (MS CM) in the department; in addition our faculty and students participate in the interdisciplinary Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences (AES) and Materials Engineering and Science (MES) programs on campus. Our faculty and students are engaged in a wide variety of research projects, ranging from renewable energy to sustainable and advanced materials to environmental impact assessment of abandoned mines and water quality studies. We have a proud tradition of excellence in our programs, and our graduates are highly sought after by employers in a wide variety of industries across the nation.
Civil and environmental engineers often work on interdisciplinary teams to solve complex system design problems, so a broad background in engineering fundamentals and the natural sciences is essential. Students go on to take courses in a variety of focus areas, including environmental, geotechnical, water resources, structural, construction and sustainable engineering. Students may select an emphasis area, or they may take courses in several areas. The sub-disciplinary areas of civil and environmental engineering we cover at the School of Mines are described below:
Environmental engineering is an important emphasis area in the broad field of civil engineering. Environmental engineers design systems and solve pressing global problems in all areas related to the environment and public health: sustainable design of drinking water treatment and distribution, wastewater treatment, and solid and hazardous waste disposal systems; development of air quality monitoring and pollution prevention programs; design of site remediation and mining reclamation programs; and development of ecosystem protection and restoration efforts, among others. Students pursuing an environmental emphasis take courses in environmental, geotechnical, water resources, construction, and sustainable engineering, as well as related chemical engineering courses, to prepare them for a career and/or additional studies. A minor in environmental engineering is also available.
Geotechnical engineering involves working with, and understanding the engineering properties of earth materials, including soil, rock, and groundwater. Geotechnical engineers interface with professionals in many other civil engineering sub-disciplinary areas, as well as with geological engineers, geologists, and hydrologists to solve complex infrastructure, construction and remediation problems. Geotechnical engineers also are involved in mitigating the risk of geologic hazards such as earthquakes, landslides, floods and hurricanes. Geotechnical engineers design dams and levees for water supply and flood control, tunnels and mines, containment systems for hazardous and municipal waste, foundations for buildings and bridges and sub-grades for highways. Geotechnical engineers are increasingly involved in geo-environmental projects such as brownfields redevelopment and contaminated site characterizations.
Water resources engineering involves protecting and managing water resources in a sustainable and environmentally appropriate manner for the good of society. This sub-disciplinary area of civil and environmental engineering includes the evaluation and development of ground water and surface water supplies for municipalities, irrigation and industry, design of flood control systems, development of storm water management systems, design of reservoirs and water distribution systems, development of watershed management programs, restoration of river channels, and development of policies for the stewardship and enhancement of water resources. Water resource engineers will play an important role in developing sustainable solutions for the increasingly unmet need for access to clean water across the globe. Water resource engineers commonly interact with professionals from other civil and environmental engineering sub-disciplinary areas as well as hydrologists and hydrogeologists to solve complex groundwater contaminant transport and remediation problems.
Structural engineering includes the design and optimization of the built environment - be it bridges, buildings, transportation facilities or habitats for the moon or beyond. Structural engineers analyze structures for applied loads that include forces from gravity, wind, earthquakes, and other extreme conditions. Structural engineers develop innovative methods and building materials to provide safe and reliable designs for society's infrastructure needs. Structural engineers work with geotechnical engineers, architects, builders and other engineers and professionals to find solutions that satisfy multidisciplinary requirements. Increasingly, structural engineers must incorporate the principles of sustainable design in selecting materials and construction methods.
Sustainable engineering describes a new approach for solving complex classes of social problems that result from the rising competition for increasingly limited supplies of resources, water, and land. Sustainable engineering seeks to transform engineering practice to meet these challenges. Interdisciplinary in nature and application, sustainable engineering involves the application of life cycle assessment and other innovative techniques to determine the long term implications of a proposed design solutions with the ultimate goal of minimizing overall environmental impacts from products, services, businesses, communities, and nations, as well as create engineering solutions that are fair and just in a global societal context.
Construction engineering and management involves the application of construction methods and knowledge of construction equipment, as well as the implementation of the principles of management, scheduling and planning to turn designs into reality. Construction engineers and managers are involved the construction of a wide range of facilities and infrastructure systems that serve the public. Construction engineers are at the forefront of the green building movement and the development and use of sustainable design principles in new construction.
The civil and environmental engineering programs are accredited by
The Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET
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