Civil & Environmental Engineering

The Civil and Environmental Engineering program at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) was originally established as the Department of Civil Engineering. Recognizing the increased academic and scholarly activity of our faculty and students in environmental issues, in 2014 the department’s name was changed to the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

What is Civil Engineering?

Civil Engineering is a profession that deals with the infrastructure of society and impacts your everyday life. From the structures in roads, bridges and aircraft you use commonly to the drinking water that comes out of your tap at home, civil engineers work to develop safe, efficient and sustainable ways to continually improve the lives of people.

As a top-five career for engineering college graduates, civil engineers are responsible for designing, building and maintaining the underlying infrastructure that keeps our society running.

Major Concentrations

  • Geotechnical Engineering utilizes the disciplines of rock and soil mechanics to investigate subsurface and geologic conditions. These investigations are used to design and build foundations, earth structures and pavement sub-grades.
  • Structural Engineering uses the disciplines of structural analysis and mechanics to design structures, such as buildings, bridges, pipelines, industrial, tunnels, vehicles, ships, aircraft and spacecraft. Structural engineers need to understand the behavior of materials such as concrete, steel, wood, masonry, alloys and fiber reinforced composites.
  • Transportation Engineering is the application of technology and scientific principles to the planning, functional design, operation and management of facilities for any mode of transportation. The goal is to provide for the safe, efficient, rapid, comfortable, convenient, economical, and environmentally compatible movement of people and goods.
  • Environmental Engineering and Water Resources Engineering and Management: Environmental engineering uses the principles of engineering, soil science, biology, and chemistry to develop solutions to environmental problems. Water resources engineering (and management) includes engineering for both water supply management and water excess management.

Undergraduate and graduate students routinely work with faculty engaged in leading-edge research in areas such as:

  • Application of nanomaterials in construction and on surfaces
  • Industrial waste product utilization in structural materials
  • Design with polymer composite materials and structures
  • Water quality and sensing for contamination
  • New structural designs and methods
  • Flexible pavement design
  • Hydrodynamic modeling and fluid mechanics
  • Smart mobility technologies, smart traffic lights, intelligent transportation systems, big data analytics, urban computing and cloud computing

Career Paths
Civil engineers work in all levels of government and throughout the private sector.

  • Structural Designer
  • Construction Manager
  • Civil Drafter
  • Senior Pipeline Engineer
  • Project Engineer
  • Construction Inspector

For further information, please email

The Civil & Environmental Engineering program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET. ABET-engineering accreditation