77 Massachusetts Ave. • 1-290 • Cambridge, MA 02139 • (617) 253-7101
Grounded in science and engineering, the MIT Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering seeks to understand the world, invent, and lead with creative design. To address some of the greatest challenges of our time, we use pioneering approaches that range from basic scientific principles to complex engineering design, at scales from the nano to the global. Our students define the future and make an impact in the world as scholars, professionals, and innovators.
Emphasizing the use of quantitative approaches, CEE features two vibrant centers of gravity: environment, what exists as natural systems; and infrastructure, what is created by human activity.
Our core mission is to educate, inside and outside the classroom. We offer undergraduate degree programs in the broad areas of infrastructure and environment. Our graduate programs provide limitless possibilities at the frontier of knowledge and innovation, and foster multi- and interdisciplinary research.
CEE consists of people from a very broad range of academic disciplines who work together to contribute to exciting intellectual networks across the department and MIT. We are defined by our singular strengths, collaborative synergies and our commitment to excellence. We foster diversity of people, research and interests, and champion the careers of our students, researchers, staff and faculty.
Our efforts in the area of infrastructure focus on innovative science and engineering approaches that advance the design of infrastructure materials, transportation systems, cities and energy resources. Emphasizing collaborations across MIT, we seek to address fundamental issues that are critical to society and the environment, and to serve as the center of excellence in the design, manufacturing and operation of infrastructure. We are particularly interested in advancing areas such as benign materials design, infrastructure data analytics, smart infrastructure, geo-chemo-mechanics for subsurface energy and other material resources, as well as resilient cities. A priority is identifying and applying radically new approaches to the design, manufacturing and characterization of infrastructure materials. The Pierce Laboratory serves as the home for these activities, and its members and affiliates play a leadership role in many cross-cutting initiatives and programs.
Our long-term objective in the area of environment is to understand and engineer human adaptation to a changing environment, the core mission of the Ralph M. Parsons Laboratory for Environmental Science and Engineering. Human activities are affecting the global environment at rates that are likely to increase dramatically. In light of global effects such as rising temperatures, rising sea levels, and changing weather patterns, the specific local impacts of global environmental change on water, agriculture and food, water and air quality, natural hazards and public health remain largely unknown. A priority is to understand which local changes must be made due to global changes, how marine and terrestrial ecosystems respond to global changes, and how local ecosystem services are affected and utilized. We are particularly interested in advancing areas such as microbial ecology, terrestrial ecology, coastal processes and engineering, and chemical impacts of materials design and manufacturing.