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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.

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. 

A project led by Prof. Xiong (Bill) Y (PI) and Dr. Fabio Piola Rizzante (co-PI) from the Department of Comprehensive Care, CWRU School of Medicine, has received a COVID-19 pilot grant. The project entitled "Understanding the behaviors of dental aerosol flume and engineering effective capture system for COVID-19 risk mitigation" is proposed in light of that dental treatment procedures produce high-speed dental aerosols, which can carry COVID-19 and possess a major threat to the health of dentists, staff and patients.  It aims to understand the behaviors of dental aerosol flume and its interactions with engineered surfaces, From these, solutions will be developed to effective capture and sanitize dental aerosols and mitigate the risk of COVID-19 at dental clinics.  The collaborative research is built upon research at Dr. Yu's group on the electrospray fabrication and leverage expertise by Dr.

The Civil Engineering Graduate Student Association (CEGSA) held an online Facebook (@CWRUCEGSA) photo contest to display their adaptation towards resilient life in spite of the influence of COVID-19 pandemics.  Graduate students and faculty shared photos of their colorful daily moments such as studying, cooking, or selfies.  The winners are ranked based on the number of Likes received and were presented with prizes award.   The Department sponsored this event to enrich the life of students and faculty. 

Posted July 5, 2020


Congratulations to Dr. Heo for a one year project from Office of Naval Research (ONR) to investigate the feasibility of the smart risk management concept for instrumented buildings using public ground motion databases, which potentially lead to a successive multi-year project to calibrate the numerical models using multi-phase sensor data measured from ship structures. This research will contribute to ONR by developing smart inference engines for unmanned naval systems to determine cost-effective and timely strategies to manage their system integrity in operations during the extended service life. This research will be transferable to offshore and marine structure.  

CWRU engineering students Aaron Mann (Civil & Environmental), Kevin Pataroque (Chemical Engineering), and Peter Thompson (Civil & Environmental) won first prize in the Northeast Section of the Ohio Water Environment Association (NESOWEA) Student Design Competition for their design for an upgraded biosolids treatment process for the Upper Tuscarawas Water Reclamation Facility. The team, mentored by Civil & Environmental Engineering Prof. Kurt Rhoads, will represent Ohio in the national competition at WEFTEC 2020 in New Orleans in October, 2020.

Judy Zhang, associate professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, received a two-year, $200,000 grant from the Ohio Water Development Authority (OWDA) for a project entitled "Regeneration of Phosphorus Sorbing Materials (PSMs) toward Sustainable P Removal from Agricultural Runoff and Tile Drainages."


Posted 4/9/2020