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Environmental, Water Resources, and Coastal Engineering

Our research addresses tough questions across a range of domains.
Our group — Environmental, Water Resources, and Coastal Engineering  — addresses a wide array of research questions that span different research areas and utilize a variety of methodological approaches. The research performed within our group cuts across the following domains.


Katherine AnardeHuman-landscape interactions in the coastal zone, barrier island response, drivers and impact of chronic flooding, meteotsunami generation and contributions to extreme water levels
Sankar ArumugamHydroclimatology, water management, uncertainty reduction in hydrologic modeling, environmental impacts assessment
Tarek AzizEnvironmental process engineering, waste to energy, life cycle analysis
Morton BarlazSolid waste management, decomposition in landfills, life-cycle analysis
Emily BerglundWater resources management, systems analysis, evolutionary computation, complex adaptive systems
Downey BrillEnvironmental systems analysis, modeling, optimization
Douglas CallWater-energy nexus, resource recovery from wastewater, microbial electrochemistry, salinity-gradient energy
Francis De Los ReyesEnvironmental biotechnology, biological processes, wastewater treatment
Joseph DeCarolisEnergy systems modeling, uncertainty quantification, climate change mitigation
Casey DietrichCoastal hydrodynamics, large-scale modeling of coastal hazards, finite elements, high-performance computing
Joel DucosteEnvironmental processes, water and wastewater treatment, CFD
Billy EdgeSustainable engineering practices in the coastal environment, coastal engineering, dredging technology, coastal zone management, hydraulic engineering, modeling of coastal processes
Chris FreyAir pollution emissions, prevention, and control, measurement and modeling of onroad and nonroad vehicle emissions, exposure and risk analysis, variability and uncertainty, modeling, and evaluation of energy systems
Fernando Garcia MenendezAir quality, environmental modeling, climate-air pollution interactions, wildland fire, high-performance computing
Jacqueline GibsonInterdisciplinary research on the quantification of risks due to environmental contamination and on the quantitative comparison policy options for controlling environmental risks
Andrew GrieshopAir pollution, atmospheric aerosols, characterization of combustion sources, air pollution exposure assessment, links between air pollution and climate change
Angela HarrisEnvironmental health microbiology, sustainable access to safe drinking water and sanitation, food-water nexus
Jeremiah JohnsonEnergy systems analysis, renewable energy integration, life cycle assessment, industrial ecology
Detlef KnappeDrinking water treatment, adsorption processes, oxidation processes, emerging contaminants
Dan ObenourWater quality and watershed modeling, environmental forecasting, geospatial modeling, uncertainty quantification
Ranji RanjithanWater resources, infrastructure systems, sustainability and resilience, systems analysis, mathematical modeling, optimization, evolutionary computation
Jacelyn Rice-BoayueCoastal ecosystems altering water currents, sediment transport, and the geomorphological evolution of coasts
Jorge E. San JuanCoastal ecosystems altering water currents, sediment transport, and the geomorphological evolution of coasts

Graduate Research

Dr. Knappe and graduate students field sampling at Haw River

Depending on the research area, students can learn laboratory and field measurement techniques, computational modeling, geographic information systems, and decision support methodologies. Our graduate students benefit from an array of cross-disciplinary activities and can shape their graduate programs accordingly. We actively communicate research results via peer-reviewed journal papers, seminars, and short courses. Our students frequently win the best paper awards at national conferences. Graduates find placement in local, state, and national government agencies, consulting and environmental service firms, non-profit research institutes, non-governmental organizations, and academia.

Graduate Degree Programs

We offer programs of study leading to the Master of Science in Civil Engineering (MSCE), Master of Science in Environmental Engineering (MSENE), Master of Civil Engineering (MCE), Master of Environmental Engineering (MENE), and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degrees.

  • The MS degrees require a minimum of 30 credit hours of graduate coursework that includes six hours of thesis credit, and a one-credit seminar course.  It is suggested that at least 15 credit hours should be fulfilled through environmental engineering courses, as listed below. Exceptions are allowed with the consent of your advisor and thesis committee.
  • The MCE and MENE degrees require 30 hours of graduate coursework, and a one-credit seminar course; an independent study project may be substituted for up to three hours of coursework with the agreement of a faculty adviser. It is suggested that at least 18 credit hours should be fulfilled through environmental engineering courses, as listed below. Exceptions are allowed with the consent of your advisor.
  • The MCE and MENE degrees are also available by distance education through Engineering Online.
  • For the Ph.D. program, there are no definite credit hour requirements, although 54 credit hours (~ 3-4 years) beyond the master’s degree is typical. The major element of the doctoral program is the dissertation, which reports an original investigation leading to a significant contribution to knowledge. For the Ph.D. degree, consult with your advisor for appropriate courses.
  • Final oral examinations are required for the MS and PhD degrees.

Doctoral students have access to several professional development opportunities, offered by the CCEE Office of Graduate Professional Development and the NC State Graduate School (e.g., Preparing the Professoriate (PTP)) to help them prepare to succeed in research and academic careers.

Graduate Courses

We offer over twenty-five graduate courses that support education and research in the six focus areas. All of these courses are available to on-campus students and many are available to distance education students via the Engineering Online (EOL) program.

CourseCourse NumberCreditsCurrent and Planned Offerings*
Physical Principles of Environmental Engineering*CE 5713
Biological Principles of Environmental Engineering*CE 5733
Chemical Principles of Environmental Engineering*CE 5743
Engineering Principles of Air Pollution Control*CE 5763
Engineering Principles of Solid Waste Management*CE 5773
Energy and Climate*CE 5783
Principles of Air Quality Engineering*CE 5793
Fluid Mechanics in Natural EnvironmentsCE 5813
Coastal HydrodynamicsCE 5823
Engineering Aspects of Coastal ProcessesCE 5833
Hydraulics of Ground Water*CE 5843
Engineering HydrologyCE 5863
Water Resources Engineering*CE 5883
Special Topics: Engineering Measurement and Data AnalysisCE 5963
Special Topics: Surface Water Quality ModelingCE 5963
Special Topics: Sustainable Building DesignCE 5963
Special Topics: Water and Sanitation in Developing CountriesCE 5963
Physical-Chemical Water Treatment Processes*CE 7713
Environmental Exposure and Risk Analysis*CE 7723
Environmental Bioprocess Technology*CE 7743
Modeling and Analysis of Environmental SystemsCE 7753
Advanced Water Management SystemsCE 7763
Stochastic Methods in Water and Environmental EngineeringCE 7773
Ground Water Contaminant TransportCE 7843
Complex Adaptive Systems AnalysisCE 791
Special Topics: Atmospheric AerosolsCE 796
Special Topics: Coastal ModelingCE 796
Special Topics: Environmental Life Cycle AssessmentCE 796
Special Topics: HydroclimatologyCE 796
*Note: offered through Engineering Online. **Note: Course offerings are subject to change.

Financial Support

Fellowships and graduate assistantships are available for highly qualified students. Outstanding applicants may also be considered for Dean’s Merit Fellowship awards (approximately ten awards each year), which adds a supplement to a graduate assistantship. Exceptional doctoral applicants are eligible for several university Doctoral Fellowship awards (about two each year). In addition, several students are supported by NSF Graduate Fellowship awards and funding from the Fulbright Program. Graduate assistantship awards typically include tuition and health insurance coverage. Applicants wishing to be considered for financial support should submit a complete application, including GRE scores, by February 10 of each year.

Facilities and Centers

Related Information

Contact Information

Andy Grieshop
Group Coordinator

Director of Graduate Programs
Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering