There are seven cross-cutting areas of study available to undergraduates, graduates, and constitute faculty research areas. Three additional areas include our interdisciplinary programs that give students a broad, systems-level perspective on the complex civil and environmental challenges facing the world today.
Areas of Study and Research
Construction engineers manage and direct construction operations. They analyze the labor, materials, and equipment for each job to determine the proper quantity of each and ensure availability at the appropriate time and place.
Civil engineers are often responsible for specifying, designing and manufacturing the materials with which they build their structures. Studies in construction materials are intended to make structural, transportation and foundation engineers aware of the fundamental properties of the materials they use.
The program in Energy-Water-Environment Sustainability (EWES) is a cross-cutting program focused on providing and supporting sustainable solutions for the exploration, production, delivery and use of energy, and their intersection with water and the natural and built environment. The program focuses on integrating scientific principles, engineered processes, and systems analyses to address diverse challenges related to society's growing energy needs and their nexus with water and the environment.
Environmental engineers help solve problems of air, land and water contamination. They design, construct and operate systems that purify water for drinking, industrial use and recreation. They develop and implement air-purification devices and protocols for solid and hazardous waste management.
The Societal Risk Management (SRHM) program is a cross-disciplinary program that focuses on the development of a secure and safe society. The program concentrates on risk determination, risk evaluation and risk management for natural and human-made hazards, and disaster response and recovery.
Structural engineers design economical structures that resist forces induced by wind, earthquakes, blasts and heavy traffic. The tools of the structural engineer include physical testing, mathematical modeling and computer simulation.
The interdisciplinary program Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure Systems (SRIS) addresses emerging approaches to infrastructure systems focusing on resiliency and sustainability of inter-connected infrastructure, for example, structural, geotechnical, and water interactions in urban environments. The program aims to prepare new generations of civil engineers who are ready to address pressing societal issues while developing needed infrastructure.
Transportation engineers design, build, operate and maintain all types of facilities for railroads, automobiles, airplanes and ships. They deal with such problems as moving millions of people in and out of cities at rush hour and moving carloads of wheat from the fields of Kansas to the port of New Orleans.
Water resource engineers help solve complex water challenges, including providing society with safe and reliable water supplies, managing impacts of floods and drought, and enhancing environmental quality. They plan, design, manage and operate surface water and groundwater systems that are sustainable and adaptable to changing climate and human activity.
Student Researchers Wanted
Undergraduate student research lets you learn more about what engineers really do in the workplace. CEE at Illinois provides hands-on research opportunities for undergraduates to enhance your education experience, help further your career goals, and let you build professional qualifications.