The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering offers students the opportunity to pursue a variety of programs under a common departmental structure. The Department has evolved over time to reflect the growth in technical knowledge and its application to problems of social concern. The Department offers four areas of concentration or stems:
- Structural Engineering
- Environmental Engineering
- Transportation Engineering
- General Civil Engineering
The coursework in each of these stems comes from four major civil engineering discipline areas. These stems allow the student to pursue individual areas of specialization by selecting sequences of technical electives. The Civil Engineering Program at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) encourages the development of an engineer equipped to compete nationally and prepares students to become registered professional engineers.
Engineering design is a critical element of the civil engineering profession, and as such our students are exposed to the design process throughout their education at UAH. Since engineering design is a decision making process in which the basic sciences, mathematics, and engineering sciences are used to meet a stated objective, the faculty believe that elements of the design process should be incorporated in engineering science courses in addition to the more traditional civil engineering design classes. This introduces civil engineering students to design concepts and processes at a very early stage of their engineering education. In the organization of the civil engineering program of study, courses that emphasize problem solving techniques precede those courses with significant design content which in turn precede the primary design courses. All courses with an engineering design component feed into the capstone design courses of the department, Civil Engineering Projects I and II (CE498 and 499). This gradual build-up of various design skills followed by the focused effort in the capstone design course introduces our students to the practice of the civil engineering profession.
The undergraduate environmental engineering option provides an education necessary for many aspects of environmental management and remediation. Students are introduced to water quality, atmospheric pollution, environmental systems, and statistics. The student can take courses in industrial waste, environmental sampling, and erosion as technical electives. Faculty promote an interdisciplinary approach to the solution of complex environmental problems. CE graduates with a major in Environmental Engineering are prepared for careers with government regulatory and advisory agencies, industries, and consulting organizations concerned with environmental problems.
The undergraduate structural engineering option at UAH provides students with a strong background in many aspects of structural engineering. Students will take courses in structural engineering, structural analysis, foundations, and reinforced concrete. The student may take additional courses in such areas as concrete mix proportioning, construction materials, and experimental mechanics. The faculty has expertise in many areas of structural engineering, such as space structures, timber structures, construction materials, and experimental mechanics. Frequently, opportunities arise for undergraduate students to work on research projects in these areas. Cooperation with the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department and Applied Optics Research Center presents further research and employment opportunities for Civil and Environmental Engineering students at UAH. After graduation, students with a major in Structural Engineering may find employment in design and analysis of space structures, highway bridges, and municipal buildings.
The undergraduate transportation engineering concentration at UAH provides students with the necessary skills to tackle tomorrow’s data and transportation issues. Required courses are in advanced surveying, introduction to GIS, Urban Transportation planning, and traffic engineering. The faculty have expertise in transportation modeling/simulation, applications of GIS for transportation management and use of traffic crash statistics. Opportunities exist for undergraduates to participate on research projects in many of these areas.
Common Degree Requirements
All engineering students must first acquire strong background courses in Mathematics (18 hours) and the Physical Sciences (16 hours). In order for our engineering students to obtain a broad university education, they also complete English courses (6 hours), History or Behavioral Science courses (9 hours) and Humanities/Fine Arts courses (9 hours) . Then the student completes 12 hours in Engineering core courses and 44 hours in common Civil Engineering courses. These are followed by 12 hours of courses in the student's area of concentration and 6 hours of technical electives. To obtain a Bachelor of Science in Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering students are required to take the curriculum outlined in the Undergraduate Catalog.