Masters Degree Program in Civil Infrastructure Engineering

Civil engineering today is concerned with the deterioration of the nation’s roads, bridges, water and power distribution systems, storm and sanitary sewers and other public infrastructure. In cities across the country, the infrastructure is wearing out. A deteriorating public works infrastructure leads to increased costs for business, and ultimately for consumers. Many of our water and sewer systems, roads, streets, bridges, and subways are cracking under the pressure of age and overuse.

Civil engineers have an important role in accurately assessing infrastructure needs and making the proper decision in allocating resources in correcting deficiencies. Formal approaches must be presented for closing the socio-technological loop by relating technological demand to social needs, and technological supply to socio-economic development on the one hand and environmental impact on the other. Infrastructure investment must respond to three areas: infrastructure requirements for a growing society; infrastructure to support economic development; and infrastructure for improved quality of life. Addressing the current needs in Civil Infrastructure Engineering (CIE) the Charles Edward Via Jr. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) at Virginia Tech offers a Masters degree program with emphasis in Infrastructure Engineering.

The Civil Infrastructure Engineering program is predicated on two related ideas. The first is that the engineer is responsible for the life-cycle of the system s/he creates. The second is that the engineer must be capable of optimizing the total system performance of large-scale public works projects, including their social and environmental impacts, in a way that addresses critical issues of infrastructure behavior, deterioration science, and structural rehabilitation.

The program in Civil Infrastructure Engineering responds to the education, research, and extension missions of the University through the coordinated activities of the CEE Department, the Commonwealth Graduate Engineering Program (CGEP), and our off-campus distance learning program. The program emphasizes to our students the highly interdisciplinary nature of civil infrastructure projects by drawing on a diverse mix of faculty both within CE and outside. Graduate project reports would systematically address issues of deterioration science, assessment technology, renewal engineering, socioeconomic and environmental impact methodologies, and innovative financing vehicles such as privatization, user fees, enterprise zones and independent authorities.

The CIE program is offered via compressed video courses originating in Blacksburg and Northern Virginia. The degree program has two required courses of three core offerings. Please refer to Table 1 for a list of required and elective courses in this program. Note that several courses are generally available during each semester through the Commonwealth Graduate Engineering Program (CGEP).

The Civil Infrastructure Engineering Program has two options: (1) Project and Report and (2) Coursework only. The former consists of eight 3-credit hour courses and a 6-hour Project and Report; the latter, ten 3 credit-hour courses. Of the eight formal scheduled courses, two are required courses. Other offerings include two courses in the existing Systems Engineering Program, two courses in the existing Environmental Engineering Program and various courses in Construction Management and Transportation Engineering (see Table 1).

The Civil Infrastructure Engineering Program has strong pedagogical and practical links to both of these programs. Systems Engineering involves the integration of many different engineering specialties into a total engineering effort, the results of which constitute an efficient and effective product output. A major aspect of systems engineering is a concern for the overall life cycle of the system; i.e., planning, design and development, testing, production, operations, sustaining maintenance and support, and system retirement.

The Civil Infrastructure Engineering program is the logical place to launch the overlapping and intertwined concepts of “green engineering” and “sustainable development” by including electives from the Environmental Engineering program while concentrating on defining the role of infrastructure. Civil Infrastructure Engineering is an activity ideally positioned to trade-off environmental and developmental concerns.

CIE Program Courses

Table 1 offers an example of the multiple course offerings at Virginia Tech in support of this program. Some of these courses originate in Northern Virginia and others in Blacksburg. Many of these courses are now offered through the Virginia Graduate Engineering Program. Others are offered point-to-point via the Virginia ATM Network (a high-speed link between various universities and sites across the state). Up to nine credit hours of courses can be taken at other universities as part of the M.S. CIE degree program. Consult with the CIE Program Faculty Coordinators to verify transfer options. Consult with your campus coordinator or with any of the CIE Program Faculty Coordinators to verify the most recent schedule.

Requirements: 4 core courses, at least 2 primary courses, 2-4 elective courses

Table 1 CIE New Curriculum; April 30, 2009

Core CEE 5600 Civil Infrastructure Systems Analysis
Core CEE 4634 Infrastructure Condition Asessment
Core CEE 5080 Infrastructure Asset Management
Core BC 5144 Sustainable Civil Infrastructure Systems
Primary CEE 5754 Pavement and Bridge Management Information Systems
Primary CEE 5204 GIS Applications in Civil Engineering
Primary BC 5134 Sustainable Facility Systems
Primary CEE 5014 Facility Delivery and Financing Strategies
Elective CEE 4024 Construction Control Techniques
Elective CEE 5024 Contract Administration and Claims Resolution
Elective CEE 5010 Schedule Impact Analysis
Elective CEE 5074 Equipment Economics and Applications
Elective CEE 5634 Public Transit Design and Operations
Elective CEE 5644 Transportation Systems Planning and ITS
Elective CEE 5604 Traffic Characteristics and Flow
Elective CEE 5614 Analysis of Air Transportation Systems
Elective CEE 5620 Transportation Network Analysis
Elective CEE 5984 Transportation Risk, Reliability, and Security
Elective ENGR 5004 The System Engineering Process
Elective ENGR 5104 Applied System Engineering

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Participating Faculty

Abbas, M, Ph.D., PE., Associate Professor, traffic control, traffic signal systems.
de la Garza, J. M. Ph.D.,Vecellio Professor; construction management, computer aided construction, construction techniques, construction claims; Ph.D., University of Illinois.
Dymond, R., Ph.D.,PE., Associate Professor; GIS applications, virtual modeling, surveying, hydrology modeling.
Flintsch, G. W., Ph.D.,PE.,  Professor; pavement and infrastructure management systems, neural networks, pavement analysis and design, pavement evaluation and performance, life-cycle cost analysis.
Hancock, K. L., Ph.D., PE., Associate Professor, Associate Director CGIT, GIS applications.
Hobeika, A.G., Ph.D., Professor; transportation planning and evaluation,transportation simulation and modeling, intelligent transportation systems, transportation emergency management.
Murray-Tuite, P., Ph.D. Associate Professor, transportation network analysis, risk, evacuation modeling.
Rakha, H., Ph.D. P. Eng., Professor, Director of the Center for Sustainable Mobility, traffic flow modeling, traffic engineering.
Tignor, S. C., Ph.D. PE., FASCE, Adjunct Professor, highway traffic and safety engineering.
Trani, A. A., Ph.D., Professor; air transportation, air traffic control, simulation and modeling, transportation systems analysis and design, aviation operations.
Wang, L., Ph.D., PE., Professor, characterization, modeling and simulation of pavement and materials, application of imaging techniques to infrastructure materials.
Vorster, M.C., Ph.D., Professor; dispute review boards, mentor programs for small disadvantaged businesses, construction equipment methods and economics.

How to Apply

Dr. Jesus M. de la Garza (Blacksburg Campus)
VecellioProfessor of Construction Engineering and Management
Virginia Tech
200 Patton Hall
Blacksburg, VA 2406
Voice: (540) 231-5789
Email: chema@vt.edu