About ESE


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.

ESE Leadership Team

  • Department Chair, Brian L. Smith
  • Department Associate Chair of Academics, William T. Scherer
  • Director of Operations, Michelle D. Busby
  • Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Garrick Louis
  • Systems Engineering Program, Sara Riggs
  • Systems Engineering Program, Laura Barnes
  • Civil Engineering Program, Devin K. Harris

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.