Vision for a New Department

The School of Engineering and Applied Science will soon be launching a new department.


We are a preeminent engineering department and leaders in the study of human- and socio-technical engineering. We create knowledge and innovations that will help address society’s most wicked problems, which are often called 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 wellbeing 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.


The Department serves the Commonwealth, 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.

Educational Programs

The Department delivers Systems Engineering and Civil Engineering degree programs at the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels, along with related professional/continuing education.


Systems and Information Engineering

Maximizing the value of data to produce more efficient, sustainable and powerful systems and decisions

Many of the new technologies being introduced today hold the promise of substantial societal benefit if we successfully apply the technologies to solve real-world problems, such as treating and curing diseases and protecting critical systems from cyber attacks. In our department, we push the boundaries of knowledge in our three core areas—human interaction, optimization and secure control, and information modeling—to improve performance across the range of human activity. Newly developed approaches have produced advances in domains as varied as aviation safety, juvenile diabetes, manufacturing, precision medicine and surgery. Through all our work, we seek to benefit society by fostering safety, efficiency and sound decision-making.

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Delivering Systems that Strengthen Communities and Enhance Quality of Life

Whether the challenge is creating more efficient transportation, coping with rising sea levels, modernizing the built environment or providing clean water, our students, faculty and staff create resilient systems that meet the needs of our communities. In the process, we push beyond the limits of current technology, from cyber-physical systems for smart cities to nanotechnology for low-cost water purification. We also ensure our solutions meet community needs by actively collaborating across disciplines, including public policy, business, public health and architecture.



In order to achieve this vision, The Department will have expertise and capability in both enabling science and technologies and application domains. Expertise in both areas is needed to produce new knowledge and products capable of addressing grand challenge problems of critical importance to society and to educate new engineers through the systems engineering and civil engineering degree programs offered by the Department. Key focus areas within the department include:

Enabling Science and Technologies

Application Domains

  • Data Science and Machine Learning
  • Decision Systems and Analytics
  • Design Thinking
  • Environmental Chemistry and Microbiology
  • Environmental Processes
  • Human-Machine Teams
  • Model-based Engineering of Systems
  • Societal and Human Systems
  • Structural and Infrastructure Modeling
  • System Assurance
  • Transportation Engineering
  • Climate Resilience and Adaption
  • Civil Engineering Infrastructure
  • Cybersecurity
  • Environmental and Water Resources Engineering
  • Financial Systems
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Systems
  • Public Health Engineering
  • Integrative Health Systems
  • Smart Cities