Research and Innovation Initiatives

Research Areas

Computational Mechanics (Civil Engineering)

Developing automated finite element modeling techniques, adaptive analysis procedures, adaptive multi-scale solution techniques, and employing multiple-scale modeling and micro-mechanics via continuum and discrete approaches.

Participating faculty

Earthquake Engineering (Civil Engineering)

Understanding and developing seismic analysis and design methodologies to mitigate the impact of earthquakes on infrastructure, buildings, bridges, and pipelines (water, sewer, gas, and oil). Developing analytical relationships that support decision-making and advance the state-of-the art in design codes, a key to future sustainability and durability.

Our research relies heavily on our world-class geotechnical centrifuge facility and a 1g shaking table for structural system testing. The geotechnical centrifuge facility, one of the largest in the U.S. and among the top 20 in the world, has in-flight 2-D shaking and robotic testing capabilities. Both the centrifuge and the shaking table are the major experimental components of CEES (Center for Earthquake Engineering Simulation), a School of Engineering Interdisciplinary Research Center (see Center for Earthquake Engineering Simulation).

Participating faculty

Geotechnical Engineering (Civil Engineering)

Understanding the behavior of soils and foundations under cyclic and dynamic loads; design methods to accommodate natural (earthquake) and man-made vibrations; geostochastics; soil dynamics, stability of earth slopes, structures, and dams, geoenvironmental engineering, landfill design, groundwater and groundwater contaminant transport, geotechnical centrifuge modeling, blasting, and disaster recovery, energy geotechnics, multiphysics geomechanics and energy geo-storage.

Participating faculty

Structural Engineering (Civil Engineering)

Developing understanding of the performance of structures under various static and dynamic loading conditions, including environmental loads due to earthquakes and extreme wind.  Evaluating natural and supplementary damping devices to mitigate damage under these loading conditions.

Participating faculty

Transportation Engineering (Civil Engineering)

Rensselaer's transportation group contributes to the fight against climate change by conducting research on how to plan and operate transportation systems in a more efficient manner. The transportation group also works on planning, design, analysis, maintenance, and operation of transportation systems and facilities; applications of data science to transportation operations and planning, user behavior, freight transportation management, planning, and modeling; sustainable freight policy; disaster response logistics; multi-modal transportation systems and micro-mobility in the context of passenger travel and freight and service delivery; intelligent transportation systems, freight transportation systems, connected vehicle systems, and transit systems; real-time, multi-objective network management and control, including route guidance, scheduling, parking management, signal control, and dynamic traffic assignment.


Participating faculty

Pollutant Fate and Transport (Environmental Engineering)

Assessing pathogen loading and transport in water supplies and treatment systems, fate of hydrophobic organics in sediment, environmental chemistry of PAHs, molecular modeling in environmental chemistry, and structure activity relationships.

Participating faculty

Site Remediation and Bioremediation (Environmental Engineering)

Researching combined advanced oxidation and biological treatment of sediment and soil slurry systems, in-situ degradation of chlorinated organics in groundwater, and solid phase treatment reactors for soils, slurries, and municipal solid wastes.

Participating faculty

Water Treatment (Environmental Engineering)

Studying the influence of natural organic matter properties and water chemistry on the formation of disinfection byproducts, understanding fouling mechanisms in the use of membrane processes in water treatment, membrane modifications for water treatment, adsorption processes and hybrid processes for removal of DBP precursors.

Participating faculty