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A Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in engineering is the highest educational degree, and explores problem solving through extensive research. As an R1 research university ranked in the top 3% of universities worldwide by the Center for World University Rankings, UWM is a premier place with which to pursue your PhD.

You may choose a concentration in civil engineering which will be the subject of your doctoral dissertation. When you graduate, you will have marked scholarship in the broad field of engineering as well as a distinguished critical achievement in your chosen specialization.

Our civil engineering faculty are involved with research around construction materials, design, geotechnical engineering, hydrology, structural design and transportation.

Program Type


Program Format

On Campus

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Research Focus

Konstantin Sobolev, Ph.D., Civil & Environmental Engineering shows the potential for concrete road surfaces to be both durable and environmentally sustainable.

UWM Engineering & Applied Science students have the chance to work with Sobolev on research that will improve Wisconsin roads.

A PhD degree requires completion of 66 graduate credits beyond the bachelor’s degree. Some students pursue their PhD after completing a master’s degree, and others choose to earn a PhD instead of a master’s degree. Please see the academic catalog for specific requirements.

Many students earn Teaching Assistantships (TAs), Research Assistantships (RAs) or Fellowships during their graduate study which helps to fund their education while also building leadership skills. Assistantships decisions are made by the academic departments only after an applicant has been accepted to the program.

Earning a PhD in can provide you with a wide range of professional or academic opportunities that may include leadership roles in academia, government service, or high-level industrial research.

More Information

Contact the College of Engineering & Applied Science Graduate Programs Office.

We’re a top tier R1 research university and our students have the opportunity to work with civil and environmental engineering faculty engaged in cutting-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

Research is integral to our work at UWM and to the experience of students pursuing graduate degrees. Our college has a wide range of faculty-led labs that perform cutting edge research. Please see the Faculty tab to the right for the specific research interests and labs of each civil and environmental engineering faculty member. For a full list of our college’s research labs, centers and institutes, click here.


Sarah Blackowski
  • Assistant Professor of Engineering Education, Civil & Environmental Engineering
Andy Dressel
  • Scientist II, Civil & Environmental Engineering
  • Lab Manager, Bicycle and Motorcycle Engineering Research Laboratory, EMS W301
Rani Elhajjar
  • Associate Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Department Chair, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Andrew Graettinger
  • Associate Dean for Research, Engineering & Applied Science Office of the Dean
Sam Helwany
  • Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Jin Li
  • Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Qian Liao
  • Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
faculty image xiao qin
  • Lawrence E. Sivak '71 Professorship
  • Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Director, Institute for Physical Infrastructure and Transportation (IPIT)
  • Founder and Director, Safe and Smart Traffic Lab
Adeeb Rahman
  • Associate Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Tom Shi
  • Assistant Professor, Civil & Environmental Engineering
  • Founder and Director, Automated, Connected & Electric Mobility Systems Lab
Konstantin Sobolev
  • Lawrence E. Sivak '71 Faculty Fellowship
  • Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Habib Tabatabai
  • Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Director, Structural Engineering Lab
Hani Titi
  • Lawrence E. Sivak Faculty Fellowship
  • Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
faculty member yin wang
  • Lawrence E. Sivak '71 Professorship
  • Associate Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Jian Zhao
  • Associate Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering


Therese Crary
  • Advisor, Graduate Programs
  • Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Biomedical Health Informatics
Bob Packard
  • Advisor, Graduate Programs
  • Civil/Environmental Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Industrial/Manufacturing Engineering, Materials Science & Engineering

UWM is proud to be one of only two R1 research universities in Wisconsin. We’re also a top externally funded institution with robust opportunities for teaching and research assistantships. Partners that support our important research include:

  • A O Smith Corporation
  • ATSP Innovations
  • Badger Meter
  • Bloom Company
  • Caterpillar Inc.
  • Electric Power Research Institute
  • Federal Highway Administration
  • Gannett Fleming Inc.
  • Hyundai Motor Company
  • Iowa Department of Transportation
  • Milwaukee Electric Tool Corporation
  • Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District
  • Milwaukee Riverkeeper
  • National Academies
  • National Institute of Aerospace
  • National Science Foundation
  • National Space Grant Foundation
  • Space & Naval Warfare Systems & Command
  • USDA Forest Products Laboratory
  • UWM Foundation
  • Veolia Water Milwaukee
  • Village of Shorewood
  • WE Energies
  • Wisconsin Department of Transportation
Civil & Environmental Engineering
Contact Info:

Street Address
College of Engineering & Applied Science
3200 North Cramer Street
Milwaukee, WI 53211

Mailing Address
College of Engineering & Applied Science
P.O. Box 784
Milwaukee, WI 53201-0784