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

Allyson McGaughey

Research Focus: Membrane-based water treatment for resource recovery from challenging waters and wastewaters
Advisor: Dr. Amy Childress
Expected Graduation: 2020
Previous Education: B.S. in Chemical Engineering with a music minor at the University of Washington; M.S. in Environmental Engineering at USC
Hobbies: scuba diving, hiking and backpacking, and playing the cello
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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.



Astani Civil and Environmental Engineering Ph.D. Seminar

Fri, Sep 22, 2017
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Location: WPH B27
Speaker: Ali Kazemian and Mohammad Motie Share , Astani CEE Graduate StudentsTalk Title: TBA


Featured Research Assistant for September 2017: Allyson McGaughey

Allyson McGaughey is a third-year Ph.D. student in environmental engineering advised by Prof. Amy Childress. Her research focuses on membrane-based water treatment for resource recovery from challenging waters and wastewaters. Currently, she is exploring the relationship between membrane material properties and performance for the treatment of challenging wastewaters by membrane distillation. She is also studying the use of novel materials, … Read More

Featured Research Assistant for August 2017: Yun Li

Yun Li is a second year PhD student in environmental engineering, advised by Dr. George Ban-Weiss. Her research focuses on the impacts of urbanization on urban climate and air quality in the Los Angeles basin. Currently, she is working on incorporating high-resolution satellite-observed land surface data into a regional climate-chemistry model, and evaluating how these model advances improve simulated urban … Read More


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NAE President C.D. Mote, Jr. on Understanding and Executing Leadership

This year’s keynote Dorman Lecture, hosted by the Sonny Astani Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, was given by National Academy of Engineering (NAE) President C.D. Mote, Jr.

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USC-CMAA Celebrates their Tenth Anniversary by Winning the Student Chapter of the Year Award

From the dedicated students, to the supportive alumni, USC-CMAA president and vice president discuss what makes their chapter stand out

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