May 30, 2024  
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Professor Kathleen M. Smits, Chair

Professors: Khaled F. Abdelghany, Usama S. El Shamy, Paul Krueger, Zhong Lu, Nicos Makris, Barbara S. Minsker, Halit Üster
Associate Professors: Andrew N. Quicksall, Brett Story, David A. Willis
Assistant Professor: Janille Smith-Colin
Senior Lecturer: John H. Easton
Lecturer: Waleed Thanoon
Clinical Associate Professor: Jessie Marshall Zarazaga
Adjunct Faculty: Yasser Abdelhamid, Samir Bougacha, Mark K. Boyd, Robert Casagrande, Brandon Chance, Gretchen Coleman, Jennifer Cottingham, Weiping Dai, John Furlong, Sina Iman, Qiguo Jing, S. Nazanin Kardi, Patrick Kennedy, Mehedy Mashnad, Steven D. McCauley, Elizabeth R. del Monte, Jon D. Rauscher, Goria Ruiz, Paris Rutherford, Hosam Salman, Patricia A. Taylor, Philip K. Turner, Mikel Wilkins, Rumanda K. Young

General Information

Department Facilities

CEE departmental offices and instructional and research laboratories are located in the state-of-the-art J. Lindsay Embrey Engineering Building, which is certified as a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Gold Building in LEED’s internationally recognized green building certification program. Teaching and research laboratories include dedicated space for air quality and meteorology, industrial hygiene, environmental microbiology, soil and water quality, mechanics of materials and structural engineering, hydraulics and hydrology, geotechnical engineering and transportation materials, infrastructure and environmental systems, and intelligent transportation systems.

The environmental teaching and research laboratories have sophisticated analytical capabilities for performing chemical analyses of air samples and for assessing the quality of water supplies and wastes and the effectiveness of water and waste treatment procedures Major equipment includes a Thermo Scientific inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer, a PerkinElmer fourier transform infrared spectrometer with attenuated total reflectance, a Dionex ion chromatography unit, an Agilent gas chromatography and mass spectrometry unit, a PerkinElmer thermogravimetric analyzer with scanning calorimetry, a Quantachrome surface area analyzer, and an Agilent high performance liquid chromatograph. Other miscellaneous equipment includes continuous ambient air monitoring devices, UV-visible spectrophotometers, pH and other specific ion meters, incubating ovens, microscopes, anaerobic chamber, furnaces, centrifuges, dissolved oxygen meters, several temperature control baths, hot and cold rooms, autoclave, microscopes, and a UV light reader.

Civil engineering teaching and research laboratories include dedicated space for structural engineering, hydraulics and hydrology, geotechnical engineering and transportation materials, and intelligent transportation systems. The Structural laboratory is equipped for instruction and research on the behavior of materials under various loading conditions. This lab is equipped with an Instron 5582 universal materials testing machine, a 16’ x 20’ strong floor for small scale load and reaction frames, and comprehensive data acquisition capabilities. Data from string potentiometers, accelerometers, cameras, and strain gages is collected by a wired Strainbook 616 DAQ and Lord Microstrain wireless nodes through a Lord WSDA base station. Major hydraulics and hydrology laboratory equipment includes a 5-meter open channel flume with various accessories (e.g., undershot weir, rotary undershot gate, and sharp and broadcrested weirs), a basic hydraulics bench for fundamental fluid mechanics experiments (e.g., hydrostatic pressure forces, Bernoulli’s theorem and pipe friction losses), and a hydrology study system for hydrology experiments (e.g., simulating rainfall over watersheds and measuring resulting outflow hydrographs, and groundwater flow profiles). The geotechnical engineering and transportation materials laboratory has a Geocomp soil testing equipment automated set, a Geocomp direct residual shear test system automated set, a pocket penetrometer and the torvane shear device, and liquid and plastic limit devices. Traditional geotechnical testing equipment such as sieve analysis, hydrometer, constant head/falling head permeameter, liquid and plastic limits, compaction, and relative density are also available.

The Embrey Building also houses computing facilities with general applications software and specialized software for engineering problems, including air dispersion modeling, AutoCAD, ArcGIS, hydrologic and hydraulic modeling, statistical analysis and stochastic modeling, structural analysis and design, transportation systems planning and analysis, and water quality modeling.

Graduate Programs

Graduate programs in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering educate and train leaders in the fields of environmental protection, resource management, engineering design, and construction and facilities management. Programs are tailored to the individual needs and interests of students, so that students with interests in studying global climate change, protecting the quality of drinking water, designing the next generation of high-rise buildings or smart highways, managing commercial buildings, or managing large institutional and industrial facilities receive the training they need to excel in their careers.

Civil and environmental engineering are inextricably linked. While civil engineering focuses on the infrastructure of modern society, environmental engineering is concerned with the well-being and health of people and the environment. Civil and environmental engineering entered the early 1900s as a single integrated discipline, when it was critical to address sanitary problems to protect public health and to develop regional water supplies and the civil infrastructure to support rapid urbanization and early industrialization. Separate disciplines gradually emerged, evolving and broadening to address the overall quality and function of modern society – preserving the environment while enabling the realization of an enriched life through technology.

Graduate Degrees. The Civil and Environmental Engineering Department offers the following graduate degrees:

  Civil Engineering M.S.C.E.
  Environmental Engineering M.S.Env.E.
  Sustainability and Development M.A.
  Civil and Environmental Engineering Ph.D.

Civil Engineering Program. Civil engineers are engaged in planning, design, construction, maintenance and management of the infrastructure of modern society. They are responsible for the design of water-supply and wastewater treatment systems; transportation systems such as highways, railways, waterways, mass transit, airports, ports and harbors; dams, reservoirs and hydroelectric power plants; thermoelectric power plants; transmission and communication towers; high-rise buildings; and even aircraft and aerospace structures, shuttles and space stations. Every major structure critical to this country and global society depends on the work of civil engineers. The civil engineering program prepares graduates for professional and academic careers through a focus in the following areas: 1) construction management, 2) geomechanics and foundations, 3) structural analysis and design, and 4) transportation planning.

Environmental Engineering Program. Today, the environmental field is dynamic and wide-ranging, comprising many different disciplines and professional roles. Environmental engineering and science involve not only traditional water and wastewater management, but also the management of hazardous and radioactive materials, pollution prevention and waste minimization, innovative hazardous waste treatment and site remediation processes, environmental and occupational health, resource conservation and recovery, sustainable development of natural resources and air quality management, and air pollution control. In addition, modern manufacturing, both domestic and worldwide, is focusing on products fabricated from recycled and natural materials that are both competitive and harmlessly degraded in the environment. The trend toward global manufacturing will grow stronger in the years ahead. Environmental challenges presented by this movement must be overcome if the economic and lifestyle benefits of globalization are to be extended to all people of the world.

SMU’s environmental engineering program prepares graduates for professional and academic careers dealing with a broad spectrum of environmental issues: 1) atmospheric systems and air-pollution control, 2) environmental and occupational health, 3) environmental chemistry and biology, 4) environmental systems and process modeling, 5) hazardous and waste materials management, 6) solid-waste management, 7) surface and groundwater quality management, and 8) wastewater management.

Contact Information. For more information about graduate programs in civil engineering and environmental engineering, students should call 214-768-3894 or visit the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering website at Additional contact and enrollment information is available from the Lyle School of Engineering at 214-768-1817 or

Distance Learning. All M.S. and M.A. degrees offered by the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering are available to distance learning students. The distance-learning program is managed by the Lyle School of Engineering and is available to students throughout the United States and many foreign countries. Lectures are available via streaming video on the Internet.


    Dual Degree


      Civil and Environmental Engineering
      Advanced Special Topics  



      Special Projects


      Master’s Thesis




      Special Topics



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