University of Vermont

Systems Education in CEE

Modeling Environmental and Transportation Systems CE134


The overall goal is to create an awareness of environmental & transportation dynamic systems modeling and the interactions among people, economic forces and environmental responses. The idea is that the improved understanding of these system patterns (and often the unintended emergent consequences) will help students 1) consider engineering design issues more fully and 2) resist the urge to come to quick conclusions. In short, develop long-term sustainable thinkers/planners.

Course work covers applied numerical methods, mass balance concepts, systems modeling and case studies with applications to hydrologic and traffic flow modeling, systems modeling with applications to watershed and infrastructure management, greenhouse gas emissions and engineering economics.

Learning Objectives:ce134_2

1.   To identify feedback loops and models that commonly appear in natural systems (e.g. exponential growth, logistic growth, overshoot) to better understand how the underlying mechanisms of a dynamic system work (determine how a system maintains stability or identifies mechanics by which stability is jeopardized under a range of assumptions, conditions, and applications).

2.   To apply modeling skills (e.g., behavior-over-time graphs, stock/flow diagrams, and causal loops) to assist in developing a causal viewpoint and sustainable outlook for a variety of engineering applications.

3.   To apply fundamental principles of engineering economics to engineering problems

4.   To predict future performance of an existing system for the purpose of evaluating the impact of transportation systems on the environment and ways to mitigate impact

Please contact Prof. Rizzo ( for further information

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