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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.

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)

The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering is pleased to announce the following CEE student awards recipients for the academic year 2020.  The selections are based on matrices including the academic performance, leadership, and contributions to the campus life, diversity, and community engagements.   

The Department is appreciative of the generous supports by our alumni and friends, for the financial contributions to establishing these awards.   

The Department also established a new Civil Engineering Student Leadership Award, which is to recognize student leaderships to enrich Department and campus life.   The recipients for this year are Ms. Sarah Carlson, former president of Case ASCE chapter,  and Ms. Maryam Mortazavi, former president of Civil Engineering Graduate Student Association.


The Department of Civil and Environmental is pleased to announce the following promotions that have been recommended by the Department and CSE and appoved by the University:

Dr. Huichun (Judy) Zhang has been promoted to the Full Professor rank

Dr. Kurt Rhoads has been promoted to Associate Professor rank

Ms. Katie Wheaton has been promoted to senior instructor


August 29, 2020

Congratulations on Prof. Yue Li for being appointed as the Leonard Jr. Case Professor, which is a distinctive honor for a faculty member in the Case School of Engineering.

Professor Yue Li earned his Ph.D. degree in Civil Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology in 2005. Dr. Li’s research interests include resilient civil infrastructure and sustainability, natural and man-made hazard mitigation, effects of climate change on infrastructure risk assessment and climatic adaptation. He is the incoming (October 2020) Section Editor of ASCE Journal of Structural Engineering, the section covers topics in Structural Safety and Reliability, Structural Optimization, Wind Effects, Wood Structures, Fire Effects. He has been an Associate Editor for the journal since 2012. He is also an Associate Editor of ASCE Journal of Performance of Constructed Facilities. In addition, he is on the Editorial Board of Structure Safety, and Journal of Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure.

Congratulations on Prof. Huichun (Judy) Zhang on two new grants to address water pollution challenges:
- $500,000 over three years from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to develop new methods that could be used nationally to test for and remove contaminants in livestock manure that stem from the use of antibiotics and growth hormones, especially in large factory farms; and
- $200,000 over two years from the Ohio Water Development Authority to remove excess nutrients from agriculture runoffs.

More details of the story can be found at the following link

The following links contain stories on algae bloom where Dr. Zhang's work is featured.  

Ram Krishna Mazumder, a Ph. D. student from the Department of Civil Engineering wins the first prize in a poster competition in the American Society of Civil Engineer’s (ASCE) Pipelines 2020 Conference. The Pipelines 2020 Conference is part of the new Utility Engineering & Surveying Institute (UESI) of the ASCE. Due to this unprecedented situation, the conference was held virtually for this year. Ram’s poster titled “Seismic Damage and Renewal Cost Analysis of Buried Water Pipelines: A Python-based Computational Framework” was focused on estimating pipeline damage and renewal cost of buried water pipelines by extending the existing fragility model that accounts for the effect of corrosion deterioration of pipeline. A computationally efficient python-based framework named ‘SeismoPi: Seismic Damage Assessment Tools for Buried Pipelines’ was developed in this research. Posters were judged by a panel of experts from UESI based on the significance and rigor of the science, clarity of presentation, and other factors.