Civil engineering focuses on serving people by providing for and improving their overall quality of life. Civil engineers use their knowledge and skills to enhance human welfare and the environment, designing, constructing and maintaining sustainable infrastructure for the cities and communities in which they live and work, including buildings, bridges, roads, airports, dams, and levees. They also protect and improve the natural environment, including air, land, and water resources. Civil engineers design and plan transportation projects for growing populations, engineer solutions for bringing infrastructure to new cities and developments, and address how structures can better protect and serve humanity.
Construction engineering is one of the newest specialty engineering disciplines, largely due to the increasing complexities associated with the planning, construction, and maintenance of modern infrastructure, including highways, buildings, bridges, railroads, airports, dams, and industrial plants. Construction engineers play a vital and dynamic role in realizing the vision of the design of buildings, bridges, dams, highways, airports, sports stadiums and more. In effect, construction engineering melds civil engineering design with construction management and business to provide more effective, efficient, safe, and sustainable solutions to each and every unique project.
Environmental engineering is a distinct discipline of engineering that integrates knowledge and tools from multiple disciplines to manage the impact of humans on the environment. Environmental engineers focus on protecting and improving air, water, and land natural resources. They also manage the various residuals from industrial processes through treatment, recycling, reuse, and safe disposal. From designing drinking water treatment plants to working with transportation planners on reducing air pollution to controlling run-off from urban areas, environmental engineers design, manage, and operate systems that reduce the impact of society on the environment and improve human health and quality of life.
Architectural engineering is another specialty engineering discipline that deals with how buildings are designed, how they stand up to the forces of nature, and how they are built and maintained. Architectural engineers are concerned with how buildings function as a coordinated set of structural, electrical, communications, and mechanical systems; and how these systems support a building's mission; and occupants needs in a sustainable manner. Architectural engineers address national and international challenges of energy management, sustainable new and reconditioned building systems, urban development, and community planning.
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Civil, construction, and environmental engineers design and build the local communities in which we all live and work. They also work globally to make positive change in the world. Civil, construction, and environmental engineers are in high demand and make a difference locally and globally from planning the public parks in our own neighborhoods to providing clean and safe drinking water to children in refugee camps a world away, from designing and constructing modern sports stadiums to environmentally cleaning up polluted lakes and streams, and from creating new and efficient public transportation networks to developing smart materials for our next generation of infrastructure.
The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) states the following vision for civil, construction, and environmental engineers in the year 2025: Entrusted by society to create a sustainable world and enhance the global quality of life, civil engineers serve competently, collaboratively, and ethically as master:
- planners, designers, constructors, and operators of the built environment
- stewards of the natural environment and its resources
- innovators and integrators of ideas and technology across the public, private, and academic sectors
- managers of risk and uncertainty caused by natural events, accidents, and other threats
- leaders in discussions and decisions shaping public environmental and infrastructure policy
Civil, construction and environmental engineering provides a full breadth of opportunities for those who, for example, dream of designing and constructing structures from roller coasters to skyscrapers, designing new water purification and distribution systems that provide clean and safe drinking water, or creating tomorrow’s safe and sustainable transportation systems to move people and goods efficiently.
The department’s comprehensive and flexible set of programs provides students with the knowledge, skills, and attributes necessary to successfully enter the profession and lead exciting, fulfilling careers. Students may choose between four undergraduate majors, the Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering (BSCE), the Bachelor of Science in Construction Engineering (BSConE), the Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering (BSEnvE), and the Bachelor of Science in Architectural Engineering (BSArchE). Additionally, students may elect to supplement their degree with one of the department minors: architectural engineering (for non-architectural majors), civil engineering (for non-civil majors), construction engineering (for non-construction majors), environmental and water resources engineering (for non-environmental majors), structural engineering, and transportation engineering.
Departmental Honors Program
The Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering offers an undergraduate honors program for students who seek to be challenged by both independent and team projects, and who wish to receive additional distinction with their undergraduate degrees. This individually tailored program culminates with awarding of a Department Honors Certificate and recognition at the Honors Day Ceremony in the student’s senior year.
Requirements for the Bachelor of Science Degree with Honors
The requirements for the Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering with honors and the Bachelor of Science in Construction Engineering with honors are as follows:
- Completion of the course requirements for the BS degree in civil engineering or construction engineering
- Maintenance of at least a 3.3 GPA in all civil engineering courses, as well as a 3.3 cumulative GPA in all undergraduate coursework
- Completion of 12 hours of approved civil engineering courses using honors credit by contract. The professor and the honors student enter a contract by which the student agrees to additional work to receive honors credit. The following courses are guaranteed available for honors by contract:
Code and Title Hours CE 260 Civil & Construction Surveying 2 CE 320 Intro Environmental Engineerg 3 CE 366 Introduction to Construction Engineering 3 CE 378 Water Resources Engineering 3 CE 433 Reinf Concrete Struct I 3
- While the above courses are available for the Departmental Honors Program, they are not required. Other CE courses are available and can be included as part of the required 12 hours of honors credit by contract. Courses other than those listed above taken for honors credit require instructor and departmental approval. Student should contact the instructor for availability.
- Completion of an honors undergraduate thesis. Students must work directly with a department faculty member on a problem of common interest. Credit for the thesis work is given through completion of three credit hours of the following course: CE 491 Special Topics in Civil Engineering. Credit for the honors thesis also is accepted as a CE elective within the civil or construction engineering curriculum.
Students enrolled in the Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering Departmental Honors Program are also encouraged to participate in either the University Honors Program or Computer-Based Honors Program.
Students interested in the Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering Departmental Honors Program should contact the department office or their academic advisors for further details.
Introduce the student to the areas of professional, civil and environmental engineering practices with exposure to faculty members specializing in each area, solving typical problems in each professional area, learning of the activities of service organizations, and the responsibilities of professional practice.
Permitting, environmental impact statements and other environmental issues associated with human activities and engineering projects.