Virginia Tech® home

About Us

Fast Facts about the CEE Department

Patton Hall, Virginia Tech
Patton Hall, Virginia Tech

The Charles E. Via, Jr. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering is ranked among the top 10 accredited civil and environmental engineering departments (US News & World Report) in the United States and our department is one of the largest programs in the United States. 

The CEE Department currently has 55 full-time faculty, 700 undergraduates, and 315 graduate students. The Department awarded 250 Bachelor of Science, 125 Master of Science, and 25 Doctor of Philosophy degrees last year. 

Civil engineers are the principal designers, constructors, operators, and caretakers of many of the constructed facilities and systems that contribute to the high quality of life enjoyed in the United States.

The Charles E. Via, Jr. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering offers educational programs in all areas of civil engineering practice.


U.S. News and World Report (2021)
#11 Undergraduate Program
#7 Graduate Program for Civil Engineering
#5 Graduate Ranking for Environmental Engineering


Blacksburg, Virginia
National Capital Region of Washington, D.C.

Faculty & Staff

Total Faculty: 56
Professors: 25
Emeritus Professors: 26
Associate Professors: 7
Assistant Professors: 12
Research Professors: 2
Administrative Faculty: 6
Endowed Professorship Holders: 9
National Academy of Engineering Members: 4
National Academy of Construction Members: 2


Undergraduate: 652
Graduate: 310

Program Areas

Vecellio Construction Engineering and Management Program
Environmental and Water Resources
Geotechnical Engineering
Structural Engineering and Materials
Transportation Infrastructure and Systems Engineering
Bowman Sustainable Land Development Program

Degrees Offered

BSCE – Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering
MSCE – Master of Science in Civil Engineering
MSENE – Master of Science in Environmental Engineering
MSESEN – Master of Science in Environmental Science and Engineering
PhDCEE – PhD/CE Doctor of Philosophy in Civil Engineering

The mission of the Charles E. Via, Jr. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering is to:

  • Provide a high-quality learning environment for students to gain fundamental and specialized engineering knowledge, while they develop skills in critical thinking, communication, learning, and leadership.
  • Create opportunities for students and faculty to conduct basic and applied research that contributes to society by advancing sustainable engineering principles and practices.
  • Provide civil and environmental engineering leadership and service to the state, the profession and society at large.


Virginia Tech is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award doctorate, masters, baccalaureate and associate degrees. For questions about the accreditation of Virginia Tech, please contact the Commission on Colleges at:

1866 Southern Lane
Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097
Phone: 404.679.4500

The Bachelor of Science program in Civil Engineering is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET,, under the commission's General Criteria and the Program Criteria for Civil and Similarly Named Engineering Programs.


Dr. Joseph Dove, Director of Curriculum and Assessment
Via Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (MC 0105)
750 Drillfield Drive, Rm. 110
Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, VA 24061
Phone: 540.231.2307, email: jodove(at)

Program Educational Objectives and Student Outcomes

Program Educational Objectives (PEOs) are statements that describe the expectations of CEE graduates within 3-5 years after graduation. The CEE faculty, alumni, and employers have defined the following PEOs for the Undergraduate Program.

The Program Educational Objectives of the Civil Engineering undergraduate program are that, within a few years of program completion, alumni should:

1.  Serve society in the practice of civil engineering or related professions and develop into leaders within their chosen fields.
2.  Adhere to state and local rules of professional conduct and uphold the American Society of Civil Engineers Code of Ethics.
3.  Apply civil engineering principles in the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of infrastructure and environmental systems, recognizing the complete life cycle, including deconstruction and reuse.
4.  Communicate effectively over all mediums, fostering meaningful interactions with other technical disciplines, coworkers, clients, the public, and policymakers.
5.  Exhibit proficiency in technical problem-solving.

Student Outcomes are statements that describe what students are expected to know and be able to do at the time of graduation.  At graduation, CEE students will have:

  1. an ability to identify, formulate, and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science, and mathematics
  2. an ability to apply engineering design to produce solutions that meet specified needs with consideration of public health, safety, and welfare, as well as global, cultural, social, environmental, and economic factors
  3. an ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences
  4. an ability to recognize ethical and professional responsibilities in engineering situations and make informed judgments, which must consider the impact of engineering solutions in global, economic, environmental, and societal contexts
  5. an ability to function effectively on a team whose members together provide leadership, create a collaborative and inclusive environment, establish goals, plan tasks, and meet objectives
  6. an ability to develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data, and use engineering judgment to draw conclusions
  7. an ability to acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies.


Program Enrollment and Graduation Data

Program enrollment in Fall semester by year (sophomore to senior):
2012: 480
2013: 454
2014: 483
2015: 530
2016: 568
2017: 561
2018: 625
2019: 616
2020: 695
2021: 700
2022: 675
2023: 620

BSCE degrees awarded by academic year:
2012-2013: 197
2013-2014: 175
2014-2015: 158
2015-2016: 195
2016-2017: 199
2017-2018: 175
2018-2019: 217
2019-2020: 189
2020-2021: 240
2021-2022: 204
2022-2023: 242
2023-2024: 213 (tentative)

Curriculum Overview

All College of Engineering students are enrolled in the General Engineering program during the first year.  The freshman year provides the mathematics, introductory design, and basic science training that serves as the foundation of upper-division courses.  Students also gain a common technical background in the major in this year.

The second year of the curriculum begins the journey within the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.  The second year introduces students to the field of civil and environmental engineering and requires continued training in basic science and mathematics.  Additional training is provided in precision civil engineering field measurements, engineering mechanics, introductory virtual modeling, and written, oral, and visual communication.  Selection of upper-division courses begins during the second semester of the sophomore year.

In the junior and senior years, each student selects fundamental and advanced coursework across six of the eight specialty areas within the civil engineering department, according to their personal interests.  Regardless of the specialty areas chosen, the required variety in technical content ensures that all students receive a strong fundamental civil engineering education.  Students in the junior and senior years also take courses in computer applications, data analytics, and they build additional communication skills.

Students earning the Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering possess the technical skills required to enter practice as civil or environmental engineers in a wide range of organizations.  Students with strong academic records may transition during the senior year into the department's Master of Science program.  This program provides in-depth training within a specific area of civil engineering. 

A brief overview of the eight specialty areas within the department is provided below.  Additional information, including opportunities for graduate study, is available from the individual specialty area web pages that are accessible via this link.

Contact Lauren Varboncoeur, the CEE Director of Advising at 540.231.0981 or if you need more information.

Program Specialty Areas

Construction Engineering and Management— The Vecellio Construction Engineering and Management Program (VCEMP) offers opportunities through coursework and faculty research interests, for students to acquire expertise in all phases of the construction life cycle. Leading industry trends and technological innovations are hallmarks of this internationally prominent program.

Environmental— Environmental Engineering specialty area draws heavily upon the applied sciences of biology for biological treatment processes, chemistry for chemical treatment and contaminant fate and transport, and physics for air pollution. Computer programming is a useful skill in many advanced courses, especially for students considering advanced degrees.

Geotechnical—Geotechnical Engineering is the branch of civil engineering concerned with the design and construction of structures built on, in, or with the earth. Geotechnical input is required for most projects.  Examples where geotechnical engineering is critical include: foundations for structures, earth slopes, earth dams, retaining walls, embankments, tunnels, levees, wharves, landfills, land development, energy exploration, and resource recovery. Geotechnical engineering is also vital for the assessment and mitigation of natural hazards such as earthquakes, liquefaction, sinkholes, rock falls and landslides.

Land Development—Land Development Design (LDD) has emerged as a discipline of critical importance in civil engineering education. LDD encompasses several unique topics, many of which are typically not addressed in the traditional undergraduate curriculum. These topics can generally be categorized into feasibility, planning and policy, conceptual design, and site engineering.

Materials—Materials Engineering focuses on the natural and manufactured substances used to construct human infrastructure. Although engineers employ a wide range of materials, those of primary significance to civil engineering are steel, concrete, and asphalt pavements.

Structural—Structural Engineering concerns the analysis and design of buildings, bridges beams, columns, and other components of the structural environment employed in all aspects of human social development.

Transportation—Transportation course content provides students with the ability to recognize the primary role that civil engineers play in ensuring the continuing adequacy of the transportation infrastructure to meet human needs. Courses include all areas of systems engineering, assessment of transportation system operations, optimization of transportation systems, infrastructure engineering including assessment of existing conditions and performance, planning and design of transportation systems.

Water Resources—Water Resources engineering deals with the movement of water through the hydrologic cycle and the ways that humans intervene in those natural processes. These interventions include efforts to enhance contributions such as water supply and to control negative aspects such as flooding. Increasingly, these efforts encompass projects to protect and rehabilitate natural aquatic environments impacted by human activities.

Please visit each specific program area to learn about the research in that area. Interdisciplinary research endeavors are listed below.

Construction Engineering and Management

The CEM program research is active and focused on :

  • project delivery systems
  • infrastructure maintenance and management
  • best practices in field operations
  • simulation and visualization – Visit the STROBOSCOPE site

Research and Laboratory Infrastructure 
Desktop computing. The CEE department computer lab contributes significantly to our educational mission and student use. Additionally, we maintain 4 to 5 general use computers and printers for graduate student use. Click here for more>>>>

Mission specific lab computing. We have 3 mission specific research labs. These labs include the Field Operations Analysis Lab (FOAL), Asset Management Lab, and Visualization Lab.

The Field Operations Analysis Lab consists of state of the art digital technologies and analysis tools for operational analysis of field operations.

ASSET Management LAB
As part of the very significant and long-term research Partnership for Highway Maintenance Monitoring Program and for Innovation in Maintenance/Construction Contracting, we have begun the development of a Computer-assisted wireless data collection infrastructure .

Visualization LAB
We have begun an initiative to establish a visualization lab which compliments the data collection successes we have experienced with the development of the FOAL lab.

Environmental and Water Resources Engineering

The Environmental and Water Resources Engineering Program offers graduate studies and research opportunities in the planning and design of a broad scope of environmental and water resources projects, including the ones listed below:

Air Quality Research
Coastal Engineering
Drinking Water Research
Environmental Biogeochemistry
Environmental Biotechnology
Environmental Chemistry
Environmental Fluid Mechanics
Environmental Nanotechnology
Environmental Quality Monitoring and Modeling
Ground Water and Pollutant Transport
Hydrology and Water Resources Management
Lakes and Reservoirs
Sustainable Water Infrastructure
Water and Wastewater Treatment

Geotechnical Engineering

Current Research Projects

  • The Application of Energy Concepts to the Evaluation and Remediation of Liquefiable Soils
  • Behavior of Soils Under High Pressure Impact
  • Characterization of Construction Material Surface Topography
  • Characterization of Rock Fractures Based on Cylindrical Samples
  • Compaction and Compressibility of Municipal Solid Waste
  • Comparison of Computer Programs for Analysis of Reinforced Slopes
  • Composite Piles for Bridge Superstructures
  • Consolidation in Soil-Bentonite Backfilled Trenches
  • Deformations and Stability of Water-Filled Tubes
  • Design of Geotechnical Interfaces
  • Development and Implementation of a Rockfall Hazard Rating System
  • Development of an Improved Numerical Model for Concrete-to-Soil Interfaces in soil-Structure Interaction Analysis
  • Development of an Internet/GIS-Based Landslide Inventory
  • Development of a Pilot-Scale Subsurface Barrier Test Facility
  • Earth Force Reduction by a Synthetic Compressible Inclusion
  • The Effects of Vibration on the Penetration Resistance and Pore Water Pressure in Sands
  • Evaluating the Hydraulic Conductivity of Soil-Bentonite Cutoff Walls
  • Experimental and Analytical Investigations of Piles and Abutments of Integral Bridges
  • Experimental Study of Liquefaction Behavior of Sand
  • Geotechnical Engineering in Piedmont Residual Soils
  • Geotechnical and Environmental Problems with Pyritic Shales
  • The In-Situ Evaluation of Soil Liquefaction Potential Using a Piezovibrocone Penetrometer
  • Investigation of Shear Strength for Pseudo-Static Analysis of Repaired Landslides
  • Laboratory and Field Study of Composite Piles for Bridge Substructures
  • Passive Site Remediation for Liquefaction Risk Mitigation
  • Performance of Improved Ground and Reinforced Soil Systems during Earthquakes — Case Studies and Numerical Analysis
  • Prediction and Geographical Information System (GIS) Mapping of Ground Motions and Site Response Due to Varying Local Soil Conditions in Charleston, SC and Two Neighboring Counties: First Phase Development of a GIS for Seismic Hazard Evaluation
  • Quality Control for Ground Improvement
  • Review of Computer Programs for Analysis of Deep Foundations
  • Steady-State Strength Behavior of Interfaces as an Abrasion Process
  • Unique Geological and Geotechnical Factors Associated with Liquefaction of Ancient Beach Deposits in Coastal SC
  • Use of Slug Tests to Assess Hydraulic Conductivity of Soil-Bentonite Cutoff Walls

Structural Engineering and Materials

The Structural Engineering and Materials program offers graduate studies and research opportunities focused on the broad advancement of structural engineering and the built environment. Specific research topics include:

Bridge Engineering Center
Computation Modeling, Materials and Mechanics
Earthquake Engineering
Sustainable Infrastructure Materials
Thin-Walled Structures

Transportation Infrastructure and Systems Engineering

The Transportation Infrastructure and Systems Engineering (TISE) Program of the Via Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Virginia Tech provides unique graduate study and research opportunities. The program includes all aspects of planning, design, construction, operation, management, and rehabilitation of transportation infrastructure and systems.

TISE program is multimodal, with an emphasis on ground transportation by private automobiles and transit, and air transportation. As its name suggests, TISE Program consists of two sub-areas: Infrastructure and Systems.


Civil Infrastructure Engineering

Civil Infrastructure Engineering emphasizes the highly interdisciplinary nature of civil infrastructure projects by drawing on a diverse mix of faculty both within CEE and outside. Projects would systematically address issues of deterioration science, assessment technology, renewal engineering, socio-economic and environmental impact methodologies, and innovative financial vehicles such as privatization, user fees, enterprise zones and independent authorities.

Contact Information:
Dr. Antonio A. Trani, (540) 231-4418, e-mail:

Sustainable Land Development

Our program was created out of need recognized by our faculty and industry partners for more adaptive, highly skilled land development engineers with expertise in sustainable design and coordination. Students in our program learn about conceptual designs, comprehensive plans, grading, erosion and sediment control, and stormwater management. They also learn how principles of sustainability are interwoven within the context of a site plan and a larger comprehensive plan, which are critical when considering how new development or redevelopment contributes to community, regional, and global societal needs today and in the future.

Contact Information:
Dr. Tripp Shealy , (540) 231-6478, e-mail:

The G.V. Loganathan Distinguished Lecture

The G.V. Loganathan Distinguished Lecture Series was established to honor the contributions of scholarship, instruction and service by Dr. G.V. Loganathan in the area of water resources engineering and in memory of Dr. Loganathan and his students of the Advanced Hydrology class, 2007.

G.V. Loganathan was an internationally renowned researcher in the field of engineering hydrology and water resources systems.  G.V. joined the Virginia Tech faculty in 1982 after completing his Ph.D. degree from the School of Civil Engineering at Purdue University. G.V. wrote more than 150 peer-reviewed academic publications on a variety of topics including urban stormwater hydrology, drought modeling and low-flow analysis, optimization and decision analysis and drinking-water infrastructure. He received the ASCE Wesley W. Horner Best Paper Award in 1996.  He was named the Outstanding Civil Engineer of the Year by the Virginia Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers in 2007. G.V. was the five-time recipient of the CEE Faculty Achievement Award; an annual award determined by the CEE student body.

Randall Lecture

The Clifford W. Randall Lecture Series has been established to honor the long and dedicated career of service of Dr. Randall to the Environmental and Water Resources Engineering Program in the Via Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering – Virginia Tech and to the environmental engineering profession overall.

Schnabel Lecture


Faculty and staff in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering are committed to fostering an inclusive environment. We strive to recruit and retain a high quality, diverse community of students, faculty, and staff.


The Department will collaborate with the College of Engineering and the University in developing and implementing activities and policies designed to recruit and assist underrepresented faculty, staff, and students in their personal development and academic/professional achievements.

Overarching Goals:

Increase the population within the Department of historically underrepresented groups in civil and environmental engineering by:

Promoting educational/professional opportunities and enrichment activities to disseminate best practices in diversity and inclusion of students, faculty, and staff through organized activities and collaborative efforts.

Creating programs that provide access and establish connections departmentally and across campus for students, faculty, and staff, in traditionally underrepresented groups.

Exposing individuals from historically excluded groups to research opportunities.

Mentoring students, faculty, and staff, from traditionally underrepresented groups/at-risk individuals, to provide guidance needed to help ensure their environment for work, research and/or study is welcoming and positive, to identify university resources when needed for retention, and to serve as transformative role models for those who may not yet understand their real potential in a university environment.

Enrich the departmental environment through exposure to new perspectives on cultures, beliefs, practices, tolerance, acceptance, and a welcoming climate.

Provide leadership in any capacity that tangibly promotes an environment where diversity is welcomed, fostered, and celebrated.

Zach Boykin from Camden, SC
joins VCEMP with
Dr. Freddy Paige (Fall 2019)

Quote: “Participating in the New Horizons program has enabled me to become a better writer. With some of the other scholars within the program, we have established a weekly writing group. My writing group serves as my support group. They guide me in setting achievable goals within my writing and holding myself accountable each week.”

Zach Boykin

Kaleigh Yost from Princeton, NJ
joins GEOT with
Dr.Russell Green (Spring 2019)

Quote: “Participating in the New Horizon program has allowed me to make connections with students in other disciplines and has helped me develop the skills necessary to be successful as a graduate student and future academic. Participation in the program-sponsored reading groups increased my research productivity and provided an opportunity to practice presenting technical information to a diverse audience. The feedback and mentorship from more senior graduate students involved in this program has been invaluable, and it has been reassuring to know that the New Horizons faculty and staff are invested our success and happiness both inside and outside the classroom.”

Kaleigh Yost

Wendell Grinton of Harmony, NC
joins VCEMP with
Dr. Freddy Paige (Fall 2018)

Quote: “Being a member of NHGS has helped me to improve my reading methods, writing skills, expand my network, increase my professional development, and grow as a leader. For example, NHGS now has critical reading and writing groups every semester to help graduate students improve their reading and writing skills. Also, I’ve been able to increase my network and professional development by getting heavily involved within the program. When I first arrived at VT, I was assigned a great peer mentor, who then inspired me to become a mentor myself to help graduate students smoothly transition into graduate life in Blacksburg. I would strongly suggest that anyone who is thinking about coming to VT look into becoming a member of NHGS.”

Wendell Grinton

Kathryn Lopez from Miami, FL
joins EWR with
Dr. Marc Edwards (Fall 2018)

Quote: “I am grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the New Horizon program. Through workshops and seminars, this program has enhanced my professional development as well as expanded my professional network. Above all, the sense of community is what separates this program from others. Volunteering with the New Horizon Graduate Scholar Peer Mentoring program has been a fulfilling way to give back to the program. I would recommend the New Horizon program to any incoming students who may struggle to see themselves otherwise represented in graduate school. I have forged friendships and met great mentors through this amazing support system.

Kathryn Lopez

Please feel free to contact any committee members about departmental diversity initiatives. 

Gerardo Flintsch – Chair,
Lindy Cranwell,
Susan Hotle,
Jen Irish,
Rodrigo Sarlo,
Sunil Sinha,
Nina Stark,