Cluster 9: Sustainable Civil Engineering Infrastructure



Dr. Joel Lanning, Civil and Environmental Engineering, UCI

Dr. Garrett Struckhoff, Environmental Engineering, CSUF

Prerequisites: Algebra II/Trigonometry, Chemistry

Course Description:

Civil and environmental engineers are, in many ways, responsible for our modern way of life. Structures provide us shelter and spaces in which to work; shipping ports, freeways, and roads provide the infrastructure that allows delivery of just about everything we use and eat; pipes, aqueducts, and dams transport and store our drinking water while treatment plants clean it; and waste management protects our soil, groundwater, rivers, oceans, and air from pollution. These are all infrastructure systems, structures, and processes designed and planned by civil and environmental engineers!

This extensive and critically important network is currently in trouble: the 2017 American Society of Civil Engineering (ASCE) Infrastructure Report Card gives the US infrastructure a D+ grade. Further, as populations and density in urban areas continues to increase (today nearly 55% of humanity lives in cities and is projected to be 67% by 2050) issues regarding pollution, access to clean energy and drinking water, and safety of structures will all continue be more and more relevant. For the nearly 40 million people living in California today, there is a growing need to improve our civil infrastructure as well as manage the impact that we have on the environment for the future sustainability of urban life.

The knowledge used by civil and environmental engineers to provide our way of life can also be applied to better people’s lives in developing parts of the world. In developing areas of the world (parts of Central and South America, Africa, and Asia) people are still struggling to have consistent access to drinking water and power. This makes the work of civil and environmental engineers relevant across the globe.

In this cluster, students will learn the fundamentals of civil engineering design and analysis with a focus on sustainability and green infrastructure. Student design projects will involve conventional civil systems including the design of structures and water treatment systems. The projects will incorporate fundamental skills like statics, strength of materials, and environmental chemistry. Sustainability technologies designed to relieve our civil infrastructure will also be covered through projects including green-roofs, solar water heaters and desalination units for producing drinking water from sea water. Combining these conventional civil and innovative environmental concepts will give students a unique perspective on the modern challenges and exciting solutions in store for the future of the world’s civil infrastructure.