Pitt | Swanson Engineering

Welcome to the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department’s website!  We are glad you are here.  Please enjoy exploring and learning about our department.  If you have questions, do not hesitate to contact us.

The University of Pittsburgh is proud of its history and tradition in civil and environmental engineering education, reinforced by a faculty who are dedicated to their students.  The curriculum prepares students to tackle today’s most eminent engineering, environmental and societal challenges.  Undergraduate and graduate students (M.S. and PhD) have the opportunity to study and conduct research in a diverse range of areas, including structures, geotechnical and pavements, water resources, transportation, mining, environmental, water resources, sustainability and green design, and construction management.  Graduates of the department have become leaders in our profession, serving with government, private consulting firms and contractors as well as research in private industry and academic institutions.

The department offers a Bachelor of Science in Engineering degree that may be obtained by majoring in civil engineering or a new major in environmental engineering.  You can find more information on the requirements for each degree under the undergraduate tab.  The civil engineering major has been continuously accredited by ABET since its inception in 1936.  The environmental engineering major was established in 2015 in response to strong demand from students, industry and government agencies and will seek ABET accreditation in the Fall of 2017.  The Department also offers minors in civil engineering and environmental engineering to students majoring in other disciplines.

The undergraduate curriculum culminates in a capstone design project, which enables students to put into practice what they learned in the classroom, and offers a direct connection to local civil and environmental engineering professionals who consult with students throughout the semester on their projects. 

The department employs world-class faculty, offers access to first-rate educational and research facilities and partnerships with industry, all of which provide the necessary edge for our graduates to discover and pursue satisfying careers that have profound impact on meeting the current and any future challenges for the society. 





Nov
29
2016

Going Viral

Civil & Environmental

PITTSBURGH (November 29, 2016) … Believed by some to be the most abundant known virus in the human digestive system, cross-assembly phage (shortened to crAssphage) remained undetected until researchers sorting through hundreds of thousands of lines of DNA accidentally stumbled upon its circular viral genome of about 97,000 base pairs. A study published in the journal Nature Communications officially introduced crAssphage to the world in the summer of 2014.Despite the bad rap of most headline-making viruses, crAssphage can’t make you sick. It’s a bacteriophage, which means it infects bacteria, and it may actually help to keep you healthy by feeding on potentially harmful gut bacteria. Because it resides exclusively in the human digestive tract, crAssphage may also serve as an accurate indicator of viral contamination in food and water. Thanks to a recent award by the Center for Produce Safety (CPS), a researcher at the University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering will investigate whether crAssphage can indicate contamination in water used for irrigating crops.“Viruses, not bacteria, pose the greatest risk to people exposed to contaminated water; however, water quality is currently monitored using bacterial indicators,” said Kyle Bibby, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering at Pitt and principal investigator. “Bacteria are actually poor representatives of viruses in water samples. Ideally, we would use viruses, but many viral indicators are limited because they can be difficult to detect in the environment. The abundancy of crAssphage in sewage makes it a promising candidate for finding pathogens.”Dr. Bibby began studying crAssphage after receiving a National Science Foundation grant designed to use the bacteriophage to track the source of pollution in waterways. The ongoing study is an attempt to achieve the ultimate goal of the Clean Water Act, which seeks to eliminate environmental pollution until all of the United States waterways are “fishable and swimmable.”Waterways contaminated with human fecal matter are particularly threatening to human health because they are more likely to contain pathogens such as Salmonella, Hepatitis A and Norwalk-group viruses. Rather than testing for each pathogen individually, a technique called “microbial source tracking” can determine if a water sample is contaminated by using an indicator microorganism likely to inhabit the same environmental conditions as the pathogens. Because crAssphage’s abundance in human feces, its presence in a water sample is likely to serve as a good indicator of fecal contamination and associated pathogens.Finding an accurate and abundant indicator of contamination in water used to irrigate crops could have an enormous impact on the fresh produce industry. But first, Dr. Bibby and his team will need to prove crAssphage to be a reliable indicator for contamination. The study, “Developing Cross-Assembly Phage as a Viral Indicator for Irrigation Waters,” will sample irrigation water and measure crAssphage, viruses and other indicators that establish a correlation between crAssphage and pathogens.“We will need to take enough water samples to determine if crAssphage appears in irrigation water,” Dr. Bibby explained. “The next step would be taking a retrospective look at contamination outbreaks and finding a correlation between crAssphage’s presence and the spread of disease. Having an effective viral marker for detecting pollution would greatly increase public safety and produce quality.” ### Image above: Dr. Bibby (left) with PhD student Elyse Stachler.
Author: Matt Cichowicz, Communications Writer
Nov
16
2016

Two civil engineering faculty at Pitt recognized by the journal Environmental Science & Technology

Civil & Environmental

PITTSBURGH (November 16, 2016) … Kyle Bibby and Leanne Gilbertson, assistant professors of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering, were two of 17 engineering and science faculty from around the world recognized with the 2016 ES&T Excellence in Review Award from Environmental Science & Technology (ES&T).The ES&T Excellence in Review Award was established in 2003 to recognize recognizes individuals who consistently provide the journal with scholarly and timely reviews. Environmental Science & Technology is a biweekly peer-reviewed scientific journal published since 1967 by the American Chemical Society. It covers research in environmental science and environmental technology, including environmental policy.“Each year we present reviewer awards to recognize the efforts of exceptional reviewers who somehow found time in their busy schedules to review multiple papers and share deep insights with us,” noted Editor-in-Chief David L. Sedlak in the ES&T announcement. “These are the people who went the extra distance to provide reviews that bring authors back to ES&T. They are the ones who turned a good manuscript into an excellent paper. They are truly the peers behind our peer review.”Dr. Bibby’s interests include understanding the presence, ecology, and diversity of microorganisms, such as viruses and bacteria, in an environmental engineering context. As the most abundant and genetically diverse biological entities on earth, microorganisms are at the core of many of society’s environmental challenges, including waste treatment and environmentally transmitted disease. In the Bibby Lab (bibbylab.blogspot.com), emerging molecular biology techniques such as proteomics, genomics, metagenomics and transcriptomics are integrated with fundamental, quantitative environmental engineering practice to develop new insights and solutions to these problems. He received his bachelor of science in civil engineering and geological sciences from the University of Notre Dame, and his master of science, master of philosophy, and PhD in environmental engineering from Yale University. In 2015 he was one of 70 educators nationwide who were selected to participate in the National Academy of Engineering’s seventh annual Frontiers of Engineering Education Symposium. Dr. Gilbertson’s research group (www.leannegilbertson.com) aims to inform sustainable design of emerging materials and products, ensuring their inherent safety while simultaneously realizing an improved or novel functional performance. To date, her group has focused on nanomaterials and nano-enabled products spanning molecular level design to systems-level analysis. At the molecular level, Gilbertson’s research probes interactions at the material-bio interface using carefully controlled and characterized material and biological systems to isolate governing mechanisms of the interaction as a path towards material manipulation for an intended outcome. Recognizing that materials are utilized in many environmental applications with tangible benefits, yet themselves have the potential to introduce adverse impacts, her group uses life cycle assessment as a tool to define the design space in which these products are able to meet or exceed the desired functionality while also being safe to humans and the environment. After earning a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Hamilton College in 2007 and serving several years as a secondary school teacher, Dr. Gilbertson earned her PhD in environmental engineering from Yale University in 2014 with support from a NSF Graduate Research Fellowship and an EPA STAR Fellowship. Her doctoral research identified underlying material properties that govern carbon nanotube cytotoxicity serving as a foundation for the development of safer nanomaterial design guidelines. She joined Pitt in 2015 after completing her postdoctoral research in Yale’s Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering and the Center for Green Chemistry and Green Engineering. “I am thrilled to be recognized and thank the ES&T editors. Publications are an important factor in academic success and peer-review is a critical component of high-impact publications. It is an honor to be among this group of reviewers and I look forward to continued service to ES&T.” ###

Oct
17
2016

Tenure Track Faculty Position: Water Resources

Civil & Environmental, Open Positions

The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh invites applications for a tenure-track faculty position at the Assistant Professor level effective September 1, 2017.  This position is part of the strategic expansion intended to support research and teaching activities in the areas of sustainable water and environmental engineering. The successful candidate must demonstrate potential for high-quality research and teaching. The Department seeks a candidate with outstanding analytical, computational, and/or field skills in groundwater hydrology/environmental fluid mechanics and with specific expertise that compliments the existing strengths (http://www.engineering.pitt.edu/Departments/Civil-Environmental/). Research areas of particular interest include one or more of the following: interactions of groundwater with river and coastal systems (e.g., stream-groundwater interactions, coastal-groundwater interactions), coastal flooding, multiphase flow in porous media and fractured rocks, fate and transport of contaminants/nutrients in the subsurface and their interactions with river systems, computational fluid dynamics (e.g., Large-Eddy Simulations of flow through submerged and emergent vegetation), mixing and dynamic behavior of fluids in natural flows (e.g., rivers, lakes, coastal waters, and estuaries), sediment transport, fluids engineering related to climate change, or similar areas. Candidates interested in collaborative and interdisciplinary research and teaching within the Department are encouraged to apply. Outstanding candidates will have the opportunity to join our vibrant and growing department of 21 faculty members, 280 undergraduate and 150 graduate students (50 of which are PhD students). The successful applicants will be expected to develop and sustain a strong, externally funded research program within their area of expertise and contribute to the teaching mission of the graduate and undergraduate programs. An earned doctorate in civil engineering or a closely related field is required prior to appointment. A professional engineer license, or the potential to obtain one, is desirable. Interested applicants should submit a cover letter, a detailed resume, statements describing teaching and research interests and future plans, copies of three representative publications, and the names and contact information for at least three references, all in a single PDF file, to CEE16SEE@pitt.edu. Applications will be considered beginning December 1, 2016 and will continue until the position is filled. We highly encourage candidates from underrepresented US minority groups and/or females to apply for this position.  The University of Pittsburgh is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, marital status, national or ethnic origin, race, religion, sexual orientation or veteran status.

CEE15SEE@pitt.edu
Oct
17
2016

Tenure Track Faculty Position: Advanced Infrastructure Systems

Civil & Environmental, Open Positions

The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh invites applications for two tenure-track faculty positions effective September 1, 2017.  These positions are intended to support research and teaching activities in the broad areas of structural engineering, structural mechanics and civil engineering materials.  Candidates with specialization in computational mechanics and methods such as generalized finite element and mesh-free methods, stochastic computational mechanics, inverse problems, system identification, steel and composite steel/concrete structures, and structural stability are especially encouraged to apply. The successful candidates must demonstrate potential for high-quality research and teaching. The Department seeks candidates with outstanding analytical, computational, and/or experimental skills in structures, mechanics and/or civil engineering materials having expertise that complements the existing strengths within the department (http://www.engineering.pitt.edu/Departments/Civil-Environmental/). Candidates interested in collaborative and interdisciplinary research within the department and existing centers (http://www.engineering.pitt.edu/Research) across the Swanson School of Engineering are encouraged to apply. These initiatives include nanomaterial fabrication, additive manufacturing, computational modeling, and advanced materials development. Preference will be given to an appointee at the Assistant Professor level but applicants with outstanding credentials will be considered at other levels. Outstanding candidates will have the opportunity to join our vibrant and growing department of 23 faculty members, 280 undergraduate and 150 graduate students (50 of which are PhD students). The successful applicants will be expected to develop and sustain a strong, externally funded research program within their area of expertise and contribute to the teaching mission of the Department’s graduate and undergraduate programs. An earned doctorate in civil engineering or a closely related field is required prior to appointment.  Interested applicants should submit a cover letter, a detailed resume, statements describing teaching and research interests and future plans, copies of three representative publications, and the names and contact information for at least three references, all in a single PDF file, to CEE16AIS@pitt.edu. Applications will be considered beginning December 1, 2016 and will continue until the position is filled. We encourage candidates from underrepresented groups and/or woman to apply for these positions.  The University of Pittsburgh is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, marital status, national or ethnic origin, race, religion, sexual orientation or veteran status.

CEE16SEE@pitt.edu
Sep
27
2016

PITT CIVIL AND ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING DEPARTMENT ANNOUNCES FALL PROMOTIONS

Civil & Environmental

PITTSBURGH (September 27, 2016) … The University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering announced three promotions in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering this fall.Mark Magalotti, co-director of the Center for Sustainable Transportation Infrastructure and former senior lecturer, and John Sebastian, McKamish Director of Construction Management and former assistant professor, have been both promoted to professor of practice, non-tenure stream. Julie Vandenbossche, associate professor, will receive tenure.Mark MagalottiMark Magalotti received his PhD, MS and BS in civil engineering from the University of Pittsburgh. He is registered as a professional engineer currently in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia and previously in Maryland. He is a member of the Institute of Transportation Engineers and the Transportation Research Board, Transportation and Land Development Committee.Magalotti is the co-director of the Center for Sustainable Transportation Infrastructure at Pitt, where he implements the Center’s vision to advance the state of sustainable transportation research through collaborative, multi-disciplinary efforts, education and dissemination of new technologies and knowledge. He is also the coordinator of the Graduate Program for Transportation. Magalotti has more than 30 years of experience in the management of transportation planning and traffic engineering projects. He was the founder and CEO of Trans Associates, a regional transportation consulting firm. In this role, he was a civil engineering consultant specializing in transportation planning and design.John SebastianJohn Sebastian is the McKamish Director of Construction Management in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at the University of Pittsburgh. He oversees the Undergraduate and Graduate Construction Management Program, teaches undergraduate and graduate level courses in construction management and coordinates the adjunct professors within the program and networking with industry to support and enhance the program.Sebastian is the president of his own management consulting firm, Sebastian Consulting Solutions, LLC, which was founded based on his more than 35 years of experience in the construction industry from his work with Dick Corporation, a national general contractor, and DCK Worldwide, an international contractor and successor company to Dick Corporation. He served as a member of the firms’ Executive Management Team and its Board of Directors.Sebastian is a LEED accredited professional and a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, holding a BS in Civil Engineering and an MBA.  Julie VandenbosscheJulie M. Vandenbossche is a registered professional engineering and associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Pittsburgh. Before accepting a position in academia, she worked with the Minnesota Department of Transportation in the Office of Materials and Road Research. While with the Minnesota Department of Transportation, she accepted a loan-staff position with the Transportation Research Board (TRB) within the National Academy of Science, where she worked with the Research for Improved Concrete Pavements TRB Committee in developing a national research plan for concrete and concrete pavements.  Her primary research interests are in the area of cementitious materials and the design, analysis and rehabilitation of concrete pavements. Most of her research pertains to the advanced characterization of materials and the coupling of experimental and computational modeling. She has secured more than $7 million in funded research and has more than 55 peer-reviewed publications, 60 technical reports and 53 invited presentations. Other published material includes an on-line procedure (went live in 2013 thanks to the help of Paul Kovach and his group) developed for the design of bonded concrete overlays of asphalt pavements. There have been more than 8,000 users representing 49 different countries in the past two years (data prior to that are not currently available due to changes in the server hosting the site). http://www.engineering.pitt.edu/Vandenbossche/BCOA-ME/Vandenbossche’s research has led to three major awards. The first is the 2015 Marlin J. Knutson Award for Technical Achievement from the American Concrete Pavement Association. This prestigious award is presented annually to an individual or group who have made significant contributions to the development and implementation of innovative technical approaches in design or construction of concrete pavements. The second is the 2003 Transportation Research Board Fred Burggraf Award, which recognizes excellence in transportation research by researchers 35 years of age or younger. The third is the 2001 Bengt Friberg Award for Best Paper by a Young Author, presented at the 7th International Conference on Concrete Pavements, which is held every four years. Of the awards presented to Vandenbossche, she is extremely proud of the 2013 Professor of the Year, American Society of Civil Engineers Pittsburgh Section. Vandenbossche is very passionate about her teaching and therefore very grateful to be bestowed this honor. ###
Matt Cichowicz, Communications Writer

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