Why CEE?

Our approach to education

Our goal is to provide a personalized engineering learning experience for every student. We view teaching as a partnership where students and faculty share the responsibility to excel. Through our engineering curriculum we emphasize teamwork, leadership, persuasive oral and written skills, ethics, project management and finance. Our intent is not just to graduate technically competent students, but engineering leaders in their field who can work seamlessly with professionals from other disciplines in local, national, and international environments.

Could CEE be the right choice for you?

The work of civil and environmental engineers is intellectually challenging, personally rewarding, and essential for sustaining and improving our quality of life. People who choose civil and environmental engineering (CEE) as a career are people who are compelled to make a difference in the world. Civil and environmental engineers design, build and improve various types of structures; they control and manage the use of natural resources, and develop new technology to control and remediate pollution. Civil and environmental engineers are creative designers and inventors.   

The need for civil and environmental engineers continually increases because growth in human populations and economic activities intensify the stresses humans place on the Earth and on the infrastructure that supports our activities. For example, environmental impacts range from changes in various elemental cycles in soil, atmosphere, and water bodies, habitat degradation, the hole in the ozone layer, to global warming). Problems associated with aging of urban infrastructure include bridge and highway deterioration, outdated water supply and waste management systems. And new reasons to protect the population have emerged from manmade threats such as biological and chemical terrorism, structural blast damage, and other homeland security issues as well as natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, and forest fires.

Civil and environmental engineers play a key role to play in addressing these issues by advancing our knowledge in such diverse areas as solid mechanics, environmental fluid dynamics, structural dynamics and adaptivity, smart materials technology, and molecular biology, among many others.

  • Make a Real Difference Now

    Duke Engineers for International Development (DEID) is an organization that supports high-impact engineering projects around the world by combining community-driven ideas with student design. DEID partners with under-served communities on cost-efficient and sustainable projects aimed at improving the standard of living of numerous individuals. Students gain real-world experience working on projects in a wide range of engineering disciplines that promote a sense of international responsibility.

    Photo: DEID team members constructing a classroom block in Uganda

  • Prepare for a Global Workforce

    The CEE curriculum affords any student the opportunity to study abroad in the junior fall semester, with a little planning. Students are always able to pursue study abroad during the summer semester. Many popular institutions for study-abroad offer technical courses that are pre-approved for Duke CEE requirements or students can take humanities electives when they are abroad.

  • Competitions Sharpen Your Skills

    Duke's student chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) provides students with opportunities to participate in hands-on civil engineering competitions, to build relationships with other students and faculty, and to learn about and get involved in civil engineering industries.

    Photo: Team gearing up for constuction of their concrete canoe

  • Explore Architectural Engineering

    Architectural engineering is the discipline concerned with the planning, design, construction and operation of engineered systems for commercial, industrial and institutional facilities. Duke's Certificate in Architectural Engineering provides students with an understanding of building design and the construction process.

    Photo: Brooke Rennick and Siu Chung Yau make final touches to their team project.

  • Dive into Energy and Environmental Issues

    Students can pursue the Energy and Environment Certificate and study biodiesel production from microalgae, wave-energy conversion systems, and even nanofiltration membranes for improved battery efficiency.

    Photo: Aaron Lee worked with Assistant Professor Claudia Gunsch on what affects the growth of microalgae, which is used in the production of biodiesel.

  • Get Prepared to be a Professional Engineer

    Our program is ABET accredited with approximately 2/3 of each graduating class electing to take the Fundamentals Exam (FE), 97% of whom pass the first time. These students are well on their way toward licensure as a Professional Engineer (PE).

    Photo: Civil engineering students at the concrete canoe competition

  • Independent Study for Research Experience

    In an independent study course students work with a faculty supervisor to focus on a special topic of the student's choosing by self-guided readings, developing and/or running computer simulations, and/or laboratory experiments. Independent study courses are usually taken in the junior and/or senior years.

    Photo: Lauren Wessel pursued independent study with Professor Mark Wiesner. Lauren's research peered into the comparative toxicity of water soluble fullerene molecules.

  • Virtual Reality Part of Student Design

    Duke's Immersive Virtual Environmental (DiVE) provides students an experiential opportunity that reveals the impact and inter-relationship of technical and aesthetic desicions made during the design process. The six-sided virtual reality theater provides an immersive and fully interactive spatial experience of the Overture's team design solutions.

    Photo: Danielle Ouellette and Dana Nicholson experience their team's structural design.

  • Smart Home for Student Research Exploration

    The Duke Smart Home Program includes a high-tech, 10-student residence for green living and learning. LEED Platinum certified, the 6,000-square-foot, live-in, engineering laboratory was designed by students and advisors and opened in November 2007. From its roof of plants and solar cells to the rainwater cisterns and sophisticated electronics in the basement, the smart home was designed to be adaptable, environmentally sustainable, and technologically integrated.