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1.013 – Senior Civil and Environmental Engineering Design

All undergraduate students in the department of Civil and Environmental complete their program by taking 1.013 Senior Civil and Environmental Engineering Design, often referred to as the CEE Capstone subject. The CEE capstone is a semester-long, project-based class in which students work either independently, in pairs or in small groups on a research a topic of interest and relevance to their degree program. The capstone subject encourages students to use, integrate and build upon the knowledge and skills that they gained throughout their program.

Students are encouraged to create their own capstone project based upon their academic interests and goals or they can select from a list of possible projects proposed by CEE faculty. All capstone projects directly related to the student’s academic focus and support their career and academic objectives.

In their capstone projects, students are challenged to demonstrate creativity in applying theories and methodologies while considering their project’s technical, environmental, social and ethical feasibility.

While the CEE capstone class itself takes place in the spring semester, students who are seeking to further enhance their project can begin research as early as the fall of their senior year through dedicated, department-supported UROPs that offer a deeper experience through a year-long engagement.

Capstone provides students with the opportunity to tackle some of the biggest challenges in our field. Whether they’re optimizing public transportation systems, tracking air and soil quality in our forests, or developing seismic barrier protection for critical infrastructure, the capstone subject allows for a deep engagement with real-world problems.


September – Faculty present possible capstone projects to all seniors
September 20 – Direct funding deadline for a fall UROP (if interested to compliment spring subject)
November 15 – Deadline for students to notify the Academic Program Office of their project
February through May – Students work on their capstone during the spring semester
May – Students present their work to the class and the broader CEE community

Previous Capstone Projects


Jillian Dressler: machine-learning with MassDOT’s (the Massachusetts Department of Transportation) traffic cameras
Clio Macrakis: evaluation of data types for metamodel traffic calibration
Mikayla Murphy: the evolution of the bacterial genome.


Kali Rosendo, Rebecca Sugrue, and Tiffany Wang: roadside emissions and calculated emission factors from cars
Elaine Cunha, Kathy Dieppa, Ru Mehendale, and Erin Reynolds: quantifying vehicle emissions from cars in Cambridge