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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.


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.

Prof. Yue Li, the Leonard Jr. Case Professor, has been named as a Section Editor of American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Journal of Structural Engineering, beginning October 1st, 2020. The Journal of Structural Engineering is one of the oldest (found in 1852) and most respected professional journals in its field. As a premier journal in the structural engineering field, it has published some of the most influential papers during its approximately 150-year history. Prof. Li shares the responsibility of running the journal with the chief editor and other three Section Editors. The editorial board also includes 70 associate editors. As a Section editor, Prof. Li handles papers related to Structural Safety and Reliability, Structural Optimization, Wind Effects, Wood Structures, and Fire Effects. He has published widely in this premier journal and has been serving as an Associate editor since 2011.

In 2019, approximately 90% of Civil and Environmental Engineering students participated in summer internships and co-ops. Due to the pandemic, many of these summer opportunities were delayed or cancelled. At the same time, the department’s annual study abroad summer course trip to Tianjin University in China, that is supported in part by the Case Alumni Foundation (CAF), was no longer feasible. Because of this unique set of circumstances, the CAF was able to reallocate $15,000 in undesignated scholarship funds to support 10 students over the summer, allowing them to spend eight weeks working on an assigned research project with a faculty advisor. With this funding, the students were able to complete research on topics focused on the topics of structure, geotech/infrastructure and the environment.

The Case Alumni Foundation is committed to providing access to experiential learning for students at CWRU. 

Student researchers and faculty advisors include:

Congratulations on Prof. Huichun (Judy) Zhang on being appointed as the Frank H. Neff endowed professorship!  Dr. Huichun (Judy) Zhang earned her Ph.D. from Georgia Institute of Technology and her B.S. and M.S. from Nanjing University in China. Her research focuses on the fate and transformation of environmental contaminants in natural and engineered aquatic environments and the removal of organic contaminants from contaminated water. Dr. Zhang has published in numerous journals, including Environmental Science and Technology, Water Research, Applied Catalysis B, Journal of Hazardous Materials, Environmental International, Chemical Engineering Journal, Journal of Physical Chemistry C, Langmuir, Chemosphere, and Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry. She has received five competitive research grants from the U.S. National Science Foundation as the sole/lead PI and one competitive research grant from the U. S.

Zhuoying (Zoey) Jiang, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) advised by Prof. Xiong (Bill) Yu, has been selected to participate the 2020 CEE Rising Stars workshop hosted by Carnegie Mellon University (CMU).  This workshop is for outstanding women doctoral students and postdocs who are interested in pursuing teaching and research careers in Civil and Environmental Engineering.  Launched at MIT in 2012, this workshop has been hosted at several universities.  Participants will be able to interact with faculty members from top institutions, build a network with scholars in the field and receive advice for advancing academic career.   Zoey received her Bachelor’s degree at Xi’an Jiaotong University, China and MS degree in Materials Science and Engineering at CWRU.   She has an interdisciplinary background on Civil, Materials, and Physics.

The Department is pleased to announce the nomination of the following faculty for CSE Faculty and Staff Awards for the academic year 2020.

Prof. Huichun (Judy) Zhang, for the CSE Faculty Research Award (nominee)

Prof. YeongAe Heo, for the CSE Faculty Undergradaute Teaching Award  (nominee)

Prof. Yue Li, for the CSE Faculty Graduate Teaching Award  (recipient)

The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) is pleased to announce the following students as CEE Class of 2020.   Also included are their placements and comments upon graduation.   

Congratulations CEE Class of 2020!  The Department is very aproud of you and wish all the best.  (Sep 2020)