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Civil and Environmental Engineering

Civil Engineers design, construct, and manage the physical and naturally built environment.   The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (previously as the Department of Civil Engineering) at CWRU is proud of being one of the four founding departments by the Case Institute of Technology (since 1880) and continues to deliver significant impacts on the Civil Engineering profession in the Nation and worldwide with its rigorous and pioneering academic programs.

Case Western Reserve University’s Student Steel Bridge Team concluded two years of effort and competed from CWRU’s campus on March 30, 2021. The Student Steel Bridge Competition, hosted by the American Institute of Steel Construction, challenges students to design a model steel bridge to simulate a real-world design and construction process. Among many other specifications, the bridge must span approximately 20 feet and carry 2,500 pounds.  (full story)

Ram Krishna Mazumder, Ph.D., a recent graduate advised by Dr. Yue Li, has been appointed as an Associate Editor of the ASCE Journal of Pipeline Systems Engineering and Practice effective March 15, 2021, for the next three years. 

This journal is sponsored by the Utility Engineering and Surveying Institute of American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). This journal provides perspectives on a broad range of topics on the planning, engineering, design, construction, renewal, safety, operation and maintenance, asset management, environmental aspects, and sustainability of pipeline systems. (full story)

RePicture is a virtual community that promotes education and networking among engineering students and professionals. RePicture promotes the amazing work done by engineers of diverse backgrounds and gives students a window into their possible contribution as professionals. (click for full story).

Xijin Zhang, a Ph.D. candidate advised by Dr. Xiong (Bill) Yu, has been selected as the recipient of the 2020-2021 Helene M. Overly Memorial Graduate Scholarship from the Northeast Ohio WTS Chapter.

The WTS Helene M. Overly Memorial Scholarship was established in 1981 by WTS International in memory of Helene for her dedicated service and a spirit to engage female transportation engineers. The scholarship is awarded to women pursuing career paths in transportation or a related field.

Xijin’s study is on the development of innovative bio-mediated civil engineering materials. More specifically on incorporating advanced microbial-based materials to improve sustainability and environmentally benign transportation infrastructure.



CWRU CEE students, Elizabth White and Brian Lin, are recipients of the 2021 American Society of Highway Engineer (ASHE) Lake Erie Section scholarship. The scholarship is selected among Northeast Ohio Civil Engineering students with an interest in Transportation Engineering.

Elizabeth, a Junior and third year Varsity soccer player, wrote to the committee about a CWRU seminar she took called “Transportation in American Life.” In her essay Elizabeth writes, “…I was most captivated by the Interstate Highway system…reading about the work gave me a newfound appreciation and love for the work of a a highway engineer…Engineers have to take into account the impact on communities and people…I appreciate the extra challenge…to make a positive impact on communities.”  (click to continue)

Zhuoying (Zoey) Jiang, a Ph.D. candidate advised by Prof. Xiong (Bill) Yu, has been named as a recipient of two awards for academic achievements.  These include the 2020 Waheed Uddin Outstanding Graduate Student Award from USDOT National University Transportation Center (TriDurLE) and the 2021 IACIP Outstanding Graduate Student Award from the International Association of Chinese Infrastructure Professionals.  

Zoey has an interdisciplinary training in Civil, Materials, and Physics.  She received her Bachelor’s degree in Materials Physics at Xi’an Jiaotong University, China and MS degree in Materials Science and Engineering at CWRU. Her Ph.D. dissertation studied the new design of photocatalytic materials to radically improve the efficiency in air contaminant removal through experimental, physical-based finite element analysis, and data-based machine learning model. 


Jan 2021

Dr. Frank Rausche, Department Alumni and long term supporter, has been honored with the 
Pile Driving Contractor Association (PDCA) E.A.L. Smith Award Lectureship.   The E.A.L. Smith Award Lecture is presented triennially during each International Foundations Conference & Equipment Expo (IFCEE) and is given to an individual who has demonstrated creative and original work that helps the driven pile industry provide an economical, sustainable, effective and environmentally conscious foundation solution.   According to the selection Committee, Dr. Rausche has “provided the engineer with a tool that helped design driven piles not only for geotechnical or structural suitability, but also for driveability and, therefore, constructability.”

Dr. Xiong (Bill) Yu has been appointed as the inaugural Opal J. and Richard A. Vanderhoof professor.  Dr. Yu conducts interdisciplinary research in geosystem, civil infrastructure, energy, and environment.   He is the PI of over 40 research projects funded by federal, state agencies and private industry, including 14 competitively selected projects from NSF.  He is a recipient of a NSF CAREER award in 2009.  Dr. Yu has published over 300 papers, including over 120 journals papers and other referred conference proceedings.  A number of these papers received awards and recognitions.  Dr. Yu is committed to exellence in student mentorship with large number of students successfully launched faculty positions, including 2 former student who have received the prestigious NSF CAREER awards.  Dr. Yu teaches in the areas of geotechnical engineering, pavement design, sensor and field instrumentation, and intelligent infrastructure sytem, etc.   

RePicture is a virtual community that promotes education and networking among people involved in engineering. The mission of RePicture is to promote the important work done by engineers, empower students to envision themselves as engineers, encourage diversity in the field, and foster career opportunities. (click the news title for more)   (Nov 20, 2020)

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) has designated the Main Avenue Viaduct in Cleveland as a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark. This honor has been bestowed on fewer than 230 projects completed throughout U.S. history.  The viaduct is the northernmost high-level crossing of the Cuyahoga River and is over a mile in length. It was financed through Cuyahoga County bonds and a grant from the Works Progress Administration. Dedicated on October 6, 1939, the viaduct was designed by the Office of the Cuyahoga County Engineer. Fred L. Plummer was the Chief Design Engineer, assisted by over thirty engineers dedicated to the project. Plummer orchestrated an engineering design theme of structural continuity for increased efficiency and improved aesthetics. Some of the viaduct's notable features include the lakeside ramp plate girders over the railroad tracks, the ten spans of continuous cantilever trusses, and the West 28th Street overpasses.  The plate girders were the longest built in the U.S.