About Us

The mission of the Engineering Systems and Environment Department is to serve the commonwealth of Virginia, the nation and the world by graduating engineers with the broad knowledge necessary to design and manage the operation of complex systems integrating people and technology at scales that range from personalized technologies to large-scale civil and environmental infrastructure. We create and disseminate new technical knowledge resulting from high-impact research to advance these human- and socio-technical systems.


Our Mission

The mission of the Department of Engineering Systems and Environment is to educate future leaders, and to create and disseminate knowledge that advances the design and operation of complex, sustainable engineering systems integrating people and technology to improve health, security, quality of life, and environmental quality in society.

Implementing Our Mission

The department achieves this mission through a collaborative team of scholars with the wide background and knowledge in the core areas needed for the advancement of engineering systems, which include:   systems analysis, simulation and modeling, human systems engineering, environmental transport and reactions, automation and robotics, large scale sensing and data analytics.  In addition, the team includes scholars with deep domain knowledge in engineering systems critical to quality of life, including infrastructure systems, healthcare systems, defense systems, and environmental systems.  These scholars work together to deliver modern, innovative degree programs in systems engineering and civil and environmental engineering guided by the departments core focus on complex engineering systems.

Our Vision

The Department of Engineering Systems and Environment (ESE) at the University of Virginia was created in 2018 to address some of society’s most difficult engineering problems. The new department strategically integrates the Civil and Environmental Engineering and Systems Engineering programs, placing it in a preeminent position of field leadership in the study of human- and socio-technical engineering. We create knowledge and innovations that will help solve engineering’s “Grand Challenges.” These problems are often emergent, large-scale and complex, such that decision- makers have historically been poorly equipped to achieve outcomes that enhance long-term human well-being in a rapidly changing world. We believe that a better future is possible for all by training the leaders of tomorrow in a collaborative academic environment that encourages excellence in the classroom, laboratory and field.

You Should Know

  • Our students and faculty are part of UVA Engineering's Link Lab for cyber-physical systems, a first-of-its-kind, multidisciplinary center of excellence that is developing and deploying the connected technologies needed to make life easier, safer and more efficient in the 21st century.
  • Our research program, which includes our Center for Transportation Studies, is enhanced by our long-standing and ongoing partnership with the Virginia Transportation Research Council of the Virginia Department of Transportation.
  • We continually reinvest in our laboratories, recently upgrading our instrumentation for structures and material testing and environmental analysis.
  • ESE offers a Cyber-Human Systems Engineering Lab where researchers investigate the complicated questions that arise when people interface with technology. 
  • Our department offers ORCL, a state-of-the-art virtual reality lab utilizing technology to research human behavior and reaction to virtual environments. This lab includes high-end graphics and processing computers, multiple HTC Vive Pro Wireless headsets, Wahoo Kicr Pro bicycle trainer with haptic feedback devices, physiological wearables, and much more! 
  • The Engineering Social Justice program addresses racial and social inequality within the engineering field. This course attempts to serve as a transformative catalyst to facilitate engineering practices that center social justice.
  • The department offers a Master of Engineering (M.E.) in Systems Engineering and a Master of Engineering (M.E.) in Civil Engineering. Both M.E. degrees are designed to help students rapidly acquire the specialized knowledge that is demanded by businesses today.
  • Our Master of Science (M.S.) in Systems Engineering and Master of Science (M.S.) in Civil Engineering are research-focused degrees that are often a first step towards attaining a Ph.D. 
  • We offer a Master of Engineering (M.E.) in Systems Engineering through a unique weekend format, which students can take as part of our ACCELERATED MASTER'S PROGRAM (AMP) for working professionals.