Welcome from Our Department Chair

Welcome to the Civil Engineering Department at Rensselaer.

Take a look at our program and tell us what you think. We believe you'll like what you see and want to join us as we advance the state-of-the-art in the civil engineering.

Our goals are to graduate top-quality civil engineers with Bachelor's degrees; develop creative, innovative professional engineers; conduct internationally acclaimed research; and educate first-rate doctoral students, who will be able to obtain academic appointments at other excellent engineering schools.

We see a bright future for civil engineering. Infrastructure renewal has become a common theme at the local, state, national, and international levels, so the job market for civil engineers should continue to expand.

Civil engineering has also become "high-tech." Sensors are being used to monitor various types of facilities, and new materials are becoming available for a wide range of construction environments. Civil engineers use computers every day for a wide variety of tasks, from simple spreadsheet programs and word processing to computer-aided design and virtual reality packages.

This trend toward "smart civil systems" is a theme on which we want to capitalize. We want to teach civil engineers how to use these sensors to learn about a facility's 'state of health' and determine what actions should be taken to increase its life expectancy and improve its performance. Many of our faculty are developing tools and techniques that take advantage of this information, allowing us to be smarter about analysis, design, construction, maintenance and operation of civil infrastructure systems.

We've also received a grant from the National Science Foundation to "instrument" the Rensselaer campus, and develop laboratory courses where we acquaint our undergraduates with these sensing devices. We can show them how they can be used "in situ." The department is introducing new ways to teach analysis and design so that our students know how to use the data these sensors provide and create facilities that are easier to maintain and operate.

At the graduate level, we have an expanding professionally-oriented masters degree program and an increasing number of continuing education students.

At the undergraduate level, we're stressing 'world-class civil engineering.' Not that we expect all of our undergraduates to work oversees, but rather, we want them to be able to practice civil engineering under the most demanding of conditions, being attune to local conditions and constraints. As you know, civil engineers face a very wide range of application environments, from developed to underdeveloped countries, hot to cold, desert to swamp. Really good civil engineers, like the ones we try to educate, are able to apply what they learn, effectively and efficiently, in all of these environments, producing facilities that meet their intended needs.

Let us know what you think of our program. We look forward to hearing from you.

Send email to listg@rpi.edu

department phone number 276-6360

department fax 276-4833