Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Established in 1889 as the first engineering degree program at Delaware College, Civil Engineering at the University of Delaware was a small undergraduate program that offered practical instruction in building, railroad and dam construction. The program has since evolved into a diverse department that encompasses research and graduate education in coastal, environmental and water resources, geotechnical, structural, and transportation engineering. The department’s first major research funding came in the 1950s and ’60s from the Delaware Highway Department for the study of surface materials. Renamed in the late 1990s, the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering continues to focus on the engineering needs of society’s cities and towns, with a new emphasis on environmental impacts. By the turn of the century, the creation of centers in coastal, environmental, bridge, and transportation engineering had enabled the department to emerge as a leader in these areas by facilitating cutting-edge research and innovation in their respective fields. As the future unfolds, the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department will continue to look for ways to enhance both the nation’s economic health and the quality of life of its citizens by finding new ways of monitoring, maintaining, and renewing the civil infrastructure. Solutions to these challenges will include applications of “green” engineering, the use of new materials and renewable resources, and provisions for the security of critical infrastructure systems.

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