Civil and Environmental Engineering

University of California, Berkeley


The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) at UC Berkeley is a worldwide leader in developing engineering solutions to societal-scale challenges. The Department conducts cutting-edge research, in evolving and vital areas that address societal needs for well-designed and well-operated buildings, energy, transportation, and water systems. These critical systems must be reliable and resilient in the face of hazards such as earthquakes and flooding. Extensive efforts will be needed to adapt civil infrastructure to withstand adverse changes in weather and climate. Our research and teaching serve the needs of a growing and increasingly urban world population that requires sustainable improvements in standards of living.

CEE research establishes and advances the intellectual foundations of new fields of study. We develop theory and improve understanding, and provide tools and techniques for solving important new problems. Educational activities of the Department focus on developing future leaders in the engineering profession, in academia, and in the broader societal context. Through individual and collective efforts, the Department serves the needs of our College and University, and provides technical expertise and service to other public, private, and professional entities.

The Department is a place of intellectual vitality and diversity in which all students, faculty, and staff have the opportunity and the impetus to achieve their highest potential. Signs of this vitality and diversity are seen in innovative research conducted by students and faculty; creative, flexible, adaptable, and forward-looking curricula; outstanding classroom teaching; attentive academic mentoring; and a shared sense of a community that is inclusive and respectful of all members. We are proud of our contributions to the public mission of the University of California, as demonstrated for example by our role in providing access to higher education for students from low and middle-income families.


The Kresge Engineering Library, located in the nearby Stephen D. Bechtel Engineering Center, contains over more than 175,000 volumes, more than 2,000 journals and periodicals, and 680,000 technical reports.

The Water Resources Center Archives, located at UC Riverside, specializes in material related to hydraulics, hydrology, and coastal engineering, with 100,000 titles in water resources and over 15,000 reports and papers on ocean engineering and oceanography.

The Institute of Transportation Studies Harmer E. Davis Library contains one of the largest multimodal, interdisciplinary transportation reference and research collections in the world. The library holds over 125,000 volumes and receives more than 2,500 serials. The library is also a depository for government transportation publications.

The Earthquake Engineering Research Center (EERC) Library is an affiliated library of UC Berkeley, specializing in structural engineering, geotechnical engineering, engineering dynamics, engineering seismology, and earthquake public policy. It is located at the Richmond Field Station, five miles from the main Berkeley campus and is accessible by a Berkeley-RFS shuttle.

Research Laboratories

Located on the second floor of Davis Hall within the UC Berkeley campus, the Structural and Materials Laboratory houses equipment for studying the behavior of structural elements and systems on both scale models and prototypes. The laboratory is based upon the base-isolated strong floor, to which the reaction frames, actuators, and specimens are securely fastened during the tests. Testing facilities range from miniaturized precision equipment to a four-million-pound capacity testing machine.

The Environmental Fluid Mechanics Laboratory, located in O’Brien Hall, is equipped for experimental work in general fluid mechanics, granular flow, water-sediment interactions, hydraulic structures, wave hydrodynamics, and sediment transport that supports field-based studies of environmental hydrodynamics. Hydrology laboratories in Davis Hall provide equipment and instrumentation supporting terrestrial, ecological and in-channel hydrology, and field deployment staging areas. Several large-scale experimental facilities are available at the Richmond Field Station, including a wave flume, a tow tank and a large wave basin. Computational facilities are available through the Berkeley Research Computing program.

Environmental Quality laboratories are located in Davis and O’Brien Halls. The campus laboratories for research and teaching are configured for organic and inorganic chemical analysis in air, water, and soils; process analysis for aerosol dynamics, biological transformations, photochemical reactions, and mass transfer rates in porous media; and computational facilities to support environmental transport modeling. Additional facilities, including mesocosms and experimental wetlands, are utilized at the Richmond Field Station and at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

The Geotechnical Engineering Laboratories (on campus) and the Soil Mechanics and Bituminous Materials Laboratory (situated at the Richmond Field Station) provide extensive facilities for research on soil and rock properties, soil and rock mechanics, foundation engineering, and the behavior and properties of asphalts and asphaltic mixtures. State-of-the-art computer facilities are available for test control, data acquisition, data processing, and numerical analysis. Graduate students working toward master's or doctoral degrees in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering conduct individual research in these laboratories, usually as part of a continuing program of research conducted by faculty members.

Research Groups

The Center for Smart Infrastructure was formed in 2021 as a collaboration between UC Berkeley and the East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD). The center, based at Richmond Field Station, applies cutting-edge technology to tackle infrastructure challenges caused by climate change, aging systems and natural hazards. 

The Institute for Environmental Science and Engineering (IESE) is an interdisciplinary Organized Research Unit of UC Berkeley that has a mandate to support research that helps protect public health and the environment.  The institute plays a major role in supporting the efforts of the Berkeley Water Center, an organization that coordinates campus-wide research on topics such as urban water infrastructure, water and sanitation in developing countries, and water-related climate change adaptation.

The Institute of Transportation Studies (ITS) is a multidisciplinary program that has supported transportation research at the University of California since 1948. The ITS administers several Organized Research Units, including Partners for Advanced Transit and Highways (PATH) and the Pavement Research Center. The ITS is a member of the National Center of Excellence for Aviation Operations Research consortium and is the home of the University of California Transportation Center.

The Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center (PEER) is a multi-institutional research and education center with headquarters at UC Berkeley. Investigators from over 20 universities, several consulting companies, and researchers at various state and federal government agencies contribute to research programs focused on performance-based earthquake engineering. These programs aim to identify and reduce the risks from major earthquakes to life safety and to the economy by including research in a wide variety of disciplines, including structural and geotechnical engineering, geology/seismology, lifelines, transportation, architecture, economics, risk management, and public policy. The center also provides software through the Open System for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (OPENSEES) project, operates the NISEE Library, and houses a Strong Motions Database of earthquake records.

The Project Production Systems Laboratory (P2SL) at UC Berkeley is a research institute dedicated to developing and deploying knowledge and tools for project management. P2SL staff and students partner with companies worldwide, and especially those involved in the Northern California construction industry, to advance the theory and implementation of the lean construction philosophy, principles, and methods in the industry, its companies, and its projects. 

Undergraduate Programs

Civil Engineering: BS
Environmental Engineering: Minor
Geotechnical Engineering: Minor
Structural Engineering: Minor

Graduate Programs

Civil and Environmental Engineering: MEng, MS, PhD

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Civil and Environmental Engineering

Contact Information

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

760 Davis Hall

Phone: 510-642-3261

Fax: 510-643-5264

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Department Chair

Joan Walker, PhD

763 Davis Hall

Vice Chair for Undergraduate Studies

Dimitrios Konstantinidis

727 Davis Hall

Vice Chair for Graduate Studies

David L. Sedlak

644 Sutardja Dai Hall

Director of Student Services

Robbie Powers

707 Davis Hall

Phone: 510-643-8944

Academic Affairs Office

750 Davis Hall

Phone: 510-643-6640

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