Civil and Environmental Engineering

School of Engineering

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Rensselaer's Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering prepares students to provide for the world’s constructed facilities and the infrastructure on which modern civilization depends.

Rensselaer civil and environmental engineers develop a full range of skills in design, analysis, fabrication, communication, management, and teamwork. Rensselaer's civil and environmental engineering students are broadly trained and able to deal with the latest technologies. The growing panoply of sensors, instrumentation, intelligent facilities, and new materials highlights the high-tech character of the discipline, creating new educational challenges and redefining the skill set that civil and environmental engineers need to succeed.

Civil Engineering at Rensselaer has a long and distinguished history that dates back to 1835 when the Institute became the first U.S. school to issue a civil engineering degree. Early graduates include the builder of the Brooklyn Bridge and the Designer of the Ferris Wheel; 175 years later Rensselaer's civil and environmental engineers continue to be found at all levels in both private and public sectors throughout the world.

Environmental Engineering at Rensselaer has roots that date back to the late 1800s with a full degree program in environmental engineering introduced in the mid-1950s.

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Recent News

  • Rensselaer To Host Yearlong Climate Change Speaker Series

    September 16, 2019 -

    Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute will host a speaker series throughout this academic year examining the effects of human activity on climate, the changing climate’s impact on humans, and the action needed to address such a complex issue.

  • Studying Soil Behavior Under Pressure Could Save Millions of Dollars

    September 9, 2019 -

    TROY, N.Y. – Millions of dollars are spent fortifying dams to withstand earthquakes — but it may not be necessary.  New research being conducted at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is examining whether or not that spending actually contributes to public safety.

    “The Army Corps of Engineers has spent hundreds of millions of dollars retrofitting some dams which may not need to be retrofitted,” said Tarek Abdoun, a chaired professor of civil and environmental engineering at Rensselaer who is leading this research with support from the National Science Foundation.

  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Class of 2019 Encouraged To Change the World

    May 18, 2019 -

    During the 213th Commencement Ceremony at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the nation’s oldest technological university, the Honorable John P. Holdren urged the Class of 2019 to become emissaries “on the relevance of science and technology to the biggest issues affecting human well‐being.”