About MIT Civil and Environmental Engineering
The department’s intellectual focus is discovery and innovation to understand the world, invent and lead with creative design to sustain life and society in ever-changing environments. Our identity is the ability to educate and innovate science-based foundations with tangible engineering impact for societal problems that span across environment and infrastructure. The impact of our education and research is to:
- Lead our society into a new era with a solid understanding of the environment,
- Understand how the actions we take affect the natural world, and
- Define how we can further humanity’s progress by understanding, building and operating the infrastructures and systems that are crucial to sustainably support our growing society and civilization.
Emphasizing the use of quantitative approaches, CEE features two vibrant centers of gravity: environment (Parsons Laboratory), what exists as natural systems; and infrastructure (Pierce Laboratory), what is created by human activity.
Our faculty and staff are dedicated to educating our students such that they are best equipped to serve the nation and the world as professionals, scholars, academic leaders and entrepreneurs. Our research and educational programs challenge the status quo, advance the frontiers of knowledge and expand the limit of the possible. We develop and apply pioneering approaches that range from basic scientific principles to complex engineering design, at scales from the nano to the global.
We are focused on five strategic challenge areas:
- Ecological Systems (fundamental understanding of life processes in a changing environment, in water and on land, with the aim of improving environmental and public health)
- Resources (covering all the ingredients necessary for sustainability of society, including air, water, energy, food, materials, and their transport)
- Structures and Design (all physical and cyber physical structures that support our society)
- Urban Systems (emerging frontiers of human settlements, in particular smarter cities, resilient coastal areas, as well as urban transportation networks)
- Global Systems (climate global logistics and transportation systems)