What Do Civil & Environmental Engineers Do?

Our standard of living depends on our civil infrastructure, a sophisticated system of buildings, bridges, dams, airports, transportation networks, water and power distribution systems, and environmental protection systems.

Civil and environmental engineers are responsible for designing, maintaining and enhancing our civil infrastructure. They help to sustain the living standards and quality of life of the population. Civil engineers are also master builders. They create structures that stand as timeless symbols of our civilization. Environmental engineers identify and design solutions for problems involving the environment. To do so, they have to be broadly educated and technically trained to address a wide spectrum of issues.

Civil & Environmental Engineering @SC

Fall 2016


Research Labs
and Centers


Resources for
Current Students


Featured Research Assistant

Simin Ahmadi Karvigh

Research Focus: Improving building’s energy efficiency via providing activity-driven and user-centered automation in buildings
Advisors: Dr. Burcin Becerik-Gerber and Dr. Lucio Soibelman
Expected Graduation: 2018
Previous Education: Bachelor’s from University of Tehran, MS in Construction Engineering and Management from USC, and a MS in Computer Science (Data Science) from USC
Hobbies: Hiking, camping, and traveling to explore new places, cultures and natural beauties
Learn More

Research Areas

Sustainable Development

Sustainability in the context of civil engineering targets long-term viability of natural resources and engineered civil systems.

Water Quality, Access, and Distribution

Providing an adequate supply of potable water, considering population growth and climate variability.

Disasters and Extreme Events

All aspects of an event, from a fundamental understanding of the physical processes controlling its evolution to the resulting environmental and social reaction.

Coupling of Complex Systems

Efforts aim to integrate research across the Sonny Astani Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, as well with all outside disciplines that interact with civil systems.


Arsalan Heydarian’s New Position at University of Virginia

Arsalan Heydarian, who has just completed his PhD in Civil Engineering from USC Sonny Astani in Spring 2017, under Dr. Burcin Becerik-Gerber’s supervision, will be starting as an Assistant Professor in the civil and system engineering departments at the University of Virginia starting this fall. This is an amazing opportunity and we congratulate Arsalan on his success.

Featured Research Assistant for July 2017: Simin Ahmadi Karvigh

Simin is a PhD candidate, in the area of Informatics for Intelligent Built Environments, co-advised by Dr. Burcin Becerik-Gerber and Dr. Lucio Soibelman. She started her PhD studies at USC in Fall 2013 and expects to graduate in 2018. Her research is focused on improving building’s energy efficiency via providing activity-driven and user-centered automation in buildings, using techniques in Artificial … Read More

Featured Research Assistant for June 2017: Pouyan Hosseini

Pouyan is a PhD candidate working under supervision of Dr. Ketan Savla. His research focuses on control and optimization techniques for transportation networks. More specifically he is interested in designing feedback control algorithms that use the real-time data collected by traffic sensors to control the traffic flow more efficiently. His work consists of developing theoretical guarantees for these algorithms as … Read More

View All Announcements


Read More

Building Leaders

USC Hosts the Global Leadership Forum for Construction Engineering and Management Programs

Read More

2017 Viterbi Master’s Student Awards

Accomplishments of Viterbi Masters students celebrated in inaugural event

View all News