Research in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department addresses critical issues facing our world broadly categorized in four research foci: (1) sustainability and energy; (2 infrastructure systems; (3) climate change, hazard mitigation and adaptation; and (4) environmental and public health. Additionally, CEE researchers lead concentrated clusters of activity in Water Innovation and Transportation Research. Our research involves one or more sub-disciplines of environmental, geotechnical, water resources, structural, materials, and transportation engineering. Our emphasis is interdisciplinary research with research collaborations and opportunities across campus including not only other engineering and science departments but also social science, policy, and medicine. In the process, our students develop close relations with their faculty mentors and fellow students. Our students cherish the integrated learning atmosphere we offer and many employ the watersheds, landscapes and strong communities of Vermont as laboratories for their research.
Sustainability and Energy
To address some of the pressing environmental, economic, and social challenges that we are facing as a global community, it is important to transition from fossil fuel to renewable energy-based infrastructure and make our natural and built infrastructure as sustainable as possible. Our current research in this area focuses on exploring different sources of renewable energy, bio-inspired materials, smart growth, and integrating sustainability in the design of civil infrastructure systems.
Learn about sustainability and energy research.
Natural and built infrastructure systems play an important role in our society. Our current research on infrastructure systems focuses on development of novel solutions to problems involving planning, design, construction, operation and preservation of the infrastructure; to make it more efficient, resilient and sustainable.
Learn more about infrastructure systems research.
Climate Change, Hazard Mitigation and Adaptation
Given the devastating consequences of climate change and natural and human-induced hazards, it is essential to develop adaptation and mitigation strategies to protect human lives, civil infrastructure, and the environment. This requires research on different aspects of climate change, natural hazards, and development of effective policies, plans and strategies to minimize the unavoidable impacts of climate change and natural and human-induced hazards.
Learn more about research in climate change and hazards.
Environmental and Public Health
Local, national, and global environmental and public health protection is a key societal concern. Our current research on environmental and public health strives to limit the damage to the natural environment and ecosystem, and potentially avoid exposure of humans and natural systems to hazards.
Learn more about research in environmental and public health.
Water Innovation for the Future
The Civil & Environmental Engineering program’s Water Innovation for the Future initiative seeks to address grand challenges in water sciences including new technologies for treating of drinking water, recovery and treatment of wastewater, surface water management, characterizing groundwater and subsurface conditions, and harnessing the data revolution emerging across the water sciences.
Learn more about water research in CEE.
Transportation Research Center (TRC)
The UVM Transportation Research Center (TRC) conducts research that advances the science of understanding how we travel, the design of resilient transportation systems, and the impact of transportation on the environment, our health and wellbeing, and the economic prosperity of diverse communities. Located in a small and rural state, the UVM TRC has a unique focus on understanding the transportation challenges of people and businesses in smaller cities and rural communities.
Learn more about research in transportation.