Civil and Environmental Engineering Graduate Field/Program uri icon

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Students in the M.S. or Ph.D. program may select one area of concentration. Each student in the Ph.D. program must take a qualifying examination shortly after receiving the M.S. degree, or, if a student comes to Cornell with an M.S. degree, within nine months after arrival. Additional information on the M.S. and Ph.D. programs is available on request from the graduate field office.

The professional degree of Master of Engineering (Civil & Environmental) is intended primarily for persons who plan to practice engineering directly. Admission preference is given to applicants with an accredited United States civil engineering degree or a substantial equivalent. The professional degree requires a minimum of thirty credits of graduate-level work in the principles and practices of the field. Specific requirements include a broad-based technical background in the field, courses in design, and professional practice. Additional information may be obtained from the Graduate Program Coordinator, 219 Hollister Hall.

The M.Eng.program in Engineering Management is geared towards engineers who want to stay in a technological environment, but advance to managerial roles. Through an in-depth, real-world group design project, and course content in management science, project management, decision and risk analysis, information technology, finance and accounting, and organizational behavior students gain the technical and managerial skills necessary to become effective engineering managers. They also learn managerial skills to help organize and supervise people from different cultures and backgrounds so as to maximize teamwork, creativity, and productivity, and to do so in an environment of global awareness and concern for ethical issues. Students learn to identify problems, formulate and analyze models to understand them, and interpret analysis results for managerial action. Further, they learn to navigate this process with a broad, global perspective that considers the full range of technical, economic, environmental, social and other consequences over an appropriate time horizon. While critically important to the success of engineering managers, many of these skills, the managerial and systems analysis abilities in particular, are not emphasized in traditional engineering curricula.

Civil Infrastructure Systems  aims to augment the traditional education in infrastructure engineering with additional perspectives and systems methods to address  new challenges. These new  challenges are: understanding how structures behave as a system of components and how individual structures behave together as an infrastructure system and understanding the technical aspects of infrastructure engineering within the social, economic, political and cultural context in which they exist. Further, consideration must be given to long-term maintenance, operation and destruction and uncertainties that affect infrastructure system design and analysis.

Environmental Processes is concerned with the protection and management of the quality of the environment for the benefit of society. Degree programs emphasize biological, chemical, and physical phenomena and engineering principles; laboratory and computational skills; and their application to the analysis of relevant problems.

Environmental Fluid Mechanics and Hydrology involves the study of fluid mechanics of the environment and the associated application to hydraulics, hydrology, coastal oceanography, and meteorology as related to the wet earth and atmosphere.

Environmental and Water Resources Systems Engineering. Research and instruction in this area address the development and application of scientific principles, economic theory, and mathematical techniques to the management and planning of public infrastructure and environmental and water resource systems. Research projects include evaluation of engineering projects, groundwater contaminant modeling and remediation optimization, statistical analysis of hydrologic processes, hydropower systems optimization, water supply systems management, water quality planning, risk analysis, river basin and groundwater systems planning and operation, ecological systems management, sustainable development and computer graphics-oriented decision support systems. 

Geotechnical Engineering is concerned with the study of the engineering properties and use of earth materials and the measurement of the behavior of earth and rock structures. It includes soil and rock mechanics and foundation engineering.

Remote Sensing covers the qualitative and quantitative analyses of aircraft and satellite images, as well as other remotely sensed data, as they are used in inventorying, monitoring, and assessing earth resources and the environment.

Structural Engineering includes, in addition to the conventional aspects of structural analysis and design, interests in computational mechanics, artificial intelligence, dynamics and earthquake engineering, behavior of thin steel structures, control of large-space structures, reliability, stochastic mechanics, natural disaster risk assessment and management, civil infrastructure systems, evaluation of structures and non-destructive testing, fracture mechanics, blast and impact loads, progressive collapse, and structural materials.

Transportation Systems Engineering embraces policy, planning, design, and evaluation of transport systems and the relationships among transport supply and demand, land use, and regional development. The approach is multimodal and systems oriented; it emphasizes the use of quantitative and analytical techniques of operations research and economics. 


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