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Structural Engineering

Structural engineers combine science and art to design and build our world's infrastructure to safely resist natural and man-made forces. Buildings, bridges, stadiums, off-shore and other civil facilities define the traditional core focus of structural engineers. Structural engineering can also extend to the design of large, complex systems including power plants, pipelines, aerospace vehicles and ships-submarines.

Learn More About the Structural Engineering Program

From the earliest days of the department, the contributions of the structural engineering faculty were pivotal to establishing the reputation of CEE at Illinois.  Today, the structural engineering faculty include world-class experts in the areas of design, behavior, analysis and mechanics. Students in CEE's Structural Engineering program benefit from a vibrant research environment, which enriches the curriculum and provides them with opportunities to participate in research with significant societal impact.

The Newmark Structural Engineering Laboratory is a hub of activity, with large-scale experimental testing research being conducted to develop new, resilient structural systems and innovate new approaches for rehabilitating the aging infrastructure. This experimental work is complemented by world-class research on a wide range of topics in computational mechanics and numerical simulation of structures.

The structural engineering faculty also lead several centers of excellence, including the Midwest Structural Sciences Center, which is developing advanced simulation procedures for the next generation of flight vehicles; the Mid-America Earthquake Center, which has developed new approaches for consequence-based risk management; and the MUST-SIM Facility.  This facility is one of the large-scale testing equipment sites of the George E. Brown Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation, an initiative of the National Science Foundation that is revolutionizing earthquake engineering through experimentation, model-based simulation, and collaborative research.

Research interests of the Structural Engineering faculty include:

  • earthquake engineering and seismic risk management
  • steel, concrete, masonry, timber, and composite buildings and bridges
  • innovative structural systems and structural rehabilitation
  • smart materials in structures
  • structural dynamics and control
  • structural health monitoring
  • regional loss assessment
  • risk and reliability
  • computational solid and fluid mechanics
  • fluid-structure interaction

Visit the Structural Engineering Website:  http://structures.cee.illinois.edu/

 

Annual Conference

The Structural Engineering group holds an annual conference for structural engineering professionals to discuss exciting new developments in the field, gain timely job-related information, network with colleagues, and renew their sense of professional purpose. Click here to visit the conference website.

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Research Areas

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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.

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Energy-Water-Environment Sustainability

Interdisciplinary program

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.

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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.

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Geotechnical engineers use soil, rock and geosynthetics as engineering materials.  They design earth- and rock-filled dams, tunnels, landfills and foundations for structures of all types.

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Interdisciplinary program

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.

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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.

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Interdisciplinary program

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. 

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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.

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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.

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*Interdisciplinary Programs