aerial view of Duke Forest and Durham skyline


Duke Civil and Environmental Engineering research focuses on the broad themes of creating healthy, safe environments and engineering complex earth, water and built systems. Collaborating across disciplines and around the world, we apply engineering methods to solve global challenges posed by growing human needs and activities and uncertain environmental forces, with the goal of creating a healthier, safer and more sustainable world.

Duke CEE Research Areas

Dolbow lab research image

Computational Mechanics & Scientific Computing

Our researchers develop efficient, precise computational algorithms to solve problems related to complex mechanical systems, with applications from flood forecasting to energy extraction to synthetic tissue design.

CEINT mesocosm facility

Environmental Health Engineering

We study the connections between human and environmental health to understand risks and build resilience in both living populations and global ecosystems.

red sandstone in Antelope Canyon

Geomechanics & Geophysics for Energy and the Environment

Our researchers work to address issues related to underground engineering, exploration, resource use and environmental hazards.

NASA satellite view of clouds over North America

Hydrology & Fluid Dynamics

Our research efforts in this area focus on pressing problems in environmental fluid dynamics, hydrology and water resources, with impacts on human health, ecosystems and climate.

silver balls balancing

Risk & Resilient Systems

Our researchers are finding new and better ways of estimating and quantifying the dynamics, uncertainty and risks prevalent in diverse engineered and natural systems.

Duke CEE Research Facts

  • #10 in faculty scholarly productivity among U.S. engineering schools in civil engineering, and #12 in environmental engineering (Academic Analytics 2016 - published June 2018)
  • $6.8 million in new research awards, fiscal 2018
  • More than half of Duke civil and environmental engineering undergraduates engage in hands-on research

Major Centers & Initiatives

CEE faculty lead or participate in these Duke-based externally funded research centers and training initiatives:

  • Center for the Environmental Implications of NanoTechnology (CEINT)
  • Center for Water, Sanitation, Hygiene and Infectious Disease (WaSH-AID)
  • Duke Superfund Research Center
  • Integrative Bioinformatics for Investigating and Engineering Microbiomes (IBIEM)
  • Partnership for International Research & Education (PIRE)