Emphasis Areas


Civil Engineering Emphasis Areas 

  • Structural Engineering - This specialty, the cornerstone of civil engineering, involves both the planning and design of all types of structures, from dams to power plants, to special off-shore projects. Structural engineers generally work with a multidisciplinary team that includes architects, mechanical, and electrical engineers, and nontechnical professionals, such as bankers, lawyers, and public officials.
  • Transportation Engineering - Working closely with urban planners, these engineers design and maintain highways, streets, mass-transit systems, and railroads, as well as airfields, ports, and harbors. Recent developments in pipeline transportation of oil, gas, and even coal, have created a subspecialty in this area that also demands expertise in geotechnical, hydraulic, and structural engineering.
  • Environmental Engineering - Environmental engineers help protect the environment from the potentially deleterious effects of disposal of wastes into the air, water, or ground. They plan and design systems for pollution control which utilize the physical, chemical, and biological principles already at work in nature. They also plan and design treatment systems to provide safe drinking water.
  • Geotechnical Engineering - An important consideration in any engineering project is the foundation material involved. This is the concern of geotechnical engineers. Will the foundation hold the structure? Will the earthen dam hold back the water? Will the retaining wall resist the earth pressure imposed on it? Geotechnical engineers evaluate the soil or rock material to answer these questions.
  • Construction - A wide ranging specialization, construction engineers use both technical and management skills to plan and build public and private projects and commercial developments. They apply knowledge of construction methods and equipment along with principles of planning, organizing, financing, managing, and operating construction enterprises. They plan each job from start to finish, determining the equipment, plant, and personnel required. They also estimate costs and monitor expenditures.
  • Municipal Engineering - The municipal engineering specialization prepares students for careers in managing infrastructure and working at or closely with municipal governments. Municipal engineers have a broad background in civil engineering, focusing on a breadth of coursework as each discipline is needed in daily decision making for municipal engineers.

Below is a flowchart depicting the path to complete each emphasis area offered by the CEE department. For a complete illustration of the Civil Engineering curriculum please refer to the Curriculum Handout.



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