The School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment (SSEBE) was created in July 2009, blending civil and environmental engineering and construction management-focused programs.
In October 2010, SSEBE added a construction engineering program, which combines the design principles of civil engineering with the business knowledge of construction management. It is one of about fifteen programs nationwide.
Sustainable engineering is a revolutionary approach to engineering that:
- transforms the traditional design and construction methods of complex systems by the application of life cycle assessment, risk and uncertainty analysis and other emerging techniques;
- redefines the design boundaries of infrastructure, natural and social systems; and
- focuses on the long-lasting improvement of the human condition.
The built environment includes society’s physical infrastructure and integrated systems such as housing, business and commerce, transportation, communication and power systems, and water services which facilitate the smooth operation of basic services and create the conditions for health, prosperity and social well-being.
Keeping a focus on this critical infrastructure, the school is re-writing the way educational programs incorporate sustainable engineering planning, design and construction processes. In the process, SSEBE is developing the new field of sustainable engineering and construction which incorporates three key elements:
- analysis of complex urban systems that involves quantification of risk and uncertainty in engineering design and construction
- development of green technologies from novel materials, biotechnological approaches to carbon and nitrogen cycle management, and design for disassembly of urban infrastructure
- application of sustainable practices in all areas of urban infrastructure through partnerships with industry and municipal governments—water resources and treatment, geotechnical management, transportation materials and analysis of transportation systems, novel composite materials, construction “green” building techniques, building information modeling (BIM) and computation approaches to design
Research and Outreach
Interdisciplinary research is accomplished through the Water and Environmental Technologies (WET) Center; the Center for Earth Systems Engineering and Management (CESEM); the Center for Environmental Biotechnology (CEB); the Center for Sustainable Materials and Renewable Technology (SMART); the Performance Based Studies Research Group (PBSRG); and the Construction Research and Education for Advanced Technology (CREATE).
Civil, Environmental and Sustainable Engineering