Research

Transformative Research for a Changing World

CEE at Illinois has always been a leader in advancing research in a world where increasing population, demand, and urbanization create constant change in the environment and challenges to the civil engineer.  CEE students have ample opportunity to participate in research.

Civil engineering is a discipline in which on-the-job research, investigation, and laboratory research play a major role.  CEE at Illinois conducts cutting-edge research with immediate, significant benefit to society.  Graduate and undergraduate students actively participate with faculty in conducting basic and applied research in design, construction, and repair of infrastructure; the search for solutions to the clean water needs of developing and developed societies; the design, testing and improvement of our transportation infrastructure and systems; and many other areas.

Research Areas

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.

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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


Related News

SELECT RESEARCH

Find out more about select CEE research projects at IDEALS

IDEALS (Illinois Digital Environment for Access to Learning and Scholarship) contains selected publications, presentations and research from faculty, researchers and graduate students.

CEE on IDEALS

Research Conferences

CEE at Illinois is home to several recurring research conferences that bring together some of the best minds in civil and environmental engineering to learn about new research, engage and collaborate, and connect with peers.

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Read about research projects in the department:

CEE NEWS

Information about new grants, research projects, collaborations and more can be found in the CEE newsroom.

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Research Highlights 2013-2014

A booklet highlighting a few of the many research projects undertaken within the department during 2013-2014

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Research Highlights magazine

Research Highlights 2012-2013 

A booklet highlighting a few of the many research projects undertaken within the department during 2012-2013

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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.  

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