The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering offers the Master of Science (thesis and non-thesis options), and Doctor of Philosophy degrees. Areas of study include Environmental Engineering, Geotechnical Engineering, Structural Engineering and Mechanics, and Water Resources Engineering at the master’s and doctoral levels.
Environmental and Water Resources Engineering
The Environmental and Water Resources Engineering areas focus on qualitative and quantitative aspects of marine and inland surface waters, groundwaters and wetland environments within the broad context of environmental sustainability. The programs allow for study in environmental engineering including biological and chemical aspects of water quality and remediation; water resources engineering including surface and groundwater hydrology, hydroclimatology and adaptive environmental management; and coastal engineering, river and estuarine mixing and transport processes. Interdisciplinary approaches incorporating environmental and water resources engineering course work and content, and intersecting with other departments’ related programs are encouraged.
The University of Maine is fortunate to be located in a region having an extensive and diverse system of lakes, streams, and rivers, providing one of the finest outdoor laboratories in the world for research on water quality and quantity. The Environmental Chemistry, Environmental Microbiology and Water Resources Laboratories are equipped with essential sample preparation, analytical chemistry, anaerobic cultivation, molecular biology and computing equipment. State of the art low detection level analytical capabilities, microscopy and sequencing facilities are also available on campus.
A program of study can be planned in one of the following areas:
- Environmental engineering: Physical, chemical and biological processes affecting water quality; freshwater and marine pollution control; industrial wastes; water supply; wastewater treatment; hazardous wastes; element and nutrient cycling in the environment, and pollutant fate and transport modeling.
- Water resources engineering: Surface and groundwater hydrology, hydroclimatology, coastal engineering, river and estuarine mixing and transport processes, hydrologic response to climate change and adaptive environmental management and policy.
The geotechnical engineering graduate program provides opportunities for specialized training and research in soil mechanics and thermal soil mechanics, slope stability, site investigations, soil-structure interaction, foundation engineering and design of earth retention structures. Students in the program may choose either a thesis option, conducting research applied to practical engineering problems, or a professional practice option without a thesis.
Graduate courses are offered in advanced soil mechanics, thermal soil mechanics, subsurface investigations, ground improvement techniques, slope stability, shallow and deep foundations and earth retaining structures. Additionally, students have the opportunity to incorporate coursework across disciplines, such as from the structural and environmental engineering programs offered by the department and Earth Sciences.
Research opportunities are available to study: behavior of soft and stiff clays; investigation of natural hazards in land, coastal, and near-shore environments as related to formation, failure, improvement and prevention, and engineering within these features, such as slope stability; soil structure interaction using full scale installations and/or modeling of scaled systems, specifically for soil nail walls, offshore foundations and pile foundations; onshore and offshore site characterization employing in situ, geophysical, and laboratory methods; thermal behavior of soils related to energy transfer, permafrost vulnerability and cold regions engineering; and application of reliability in geotechnical engineering.
Structural Engineering and Mechanics
The program offers graduate courses and opportunities for advanced research in several areas of modern structural mechanics and design. This includes the application of innovative materials and structural systems to solve problems of traditional civil infrastructure, marine applications, and other non-traditional applications. Particular areas of strength are composite materials, including wood-based, polymer matrix, and cement-based systems, as well as innovative computational modeling approaches.
Research opportunities are available in the development of lightweight modular blast-resistant structural systems, bio-based materials and renewable systems, characterization and processing techniques for composite materials in ship structures, the use of composite materials in civil infrastructure, structural health monitoring, experimental micromechanics, and structural modeling. Many student projects are conducted in the AEWC Advanced Structures and Composites Center, a State-of-the-Art facility for material processing and fabrication, small scale testing and characterization, and large scale structural testing.
Required and elective graduate courses and seminars are offered in the Civil and Mechanical Engineering departments and these cover the areas of structural design, structural mechanics, structural dynamics, numerical methods, composite materials, bridge engineering, fracture mechanics, experimental mechanics, finite-element analysis, bridge engineering, fracture mechanics, experimental mechanics, and related topics. The program is research oriented but sufficiently flexible to permit students to develop their interests and individual objectives.
Applicants for the M.S. program normally should have a B.S. degree in Civil Engineering from an accredited institution. Applicants who do not meet this requirement may find it necessary to take certain courses without graduate credit. A grade point average of at least 3.0 usually is required for admittance. Candidates with a grade point average less than 3.0 can be accepted, based on sufficient evidence of satisfactory performance.
Candidates for the M.S. degree are required to take 24 credit hours of course work, 12 of which are to be 500-level and above. A thesis is required for which at least six credit hours can be awarded. Candidates for the non-thesis M.S. degree are required to take 30 credit hours of course work. Three hours of non-thesis M.S. course work can be replaced by a project with a written report. Students changing programs within the Department must have the approval of all members of the student’s advisory committee and the Graduate Coordinator.
The Ph.D. degree is granted in recognition of high scholastic attainment in some area of civil engineering in concert with a demonstrated ability for independent research. The preparation and defense of a thesis embodying the results of an original investigation in a specialized area of civil engineering are essential features of the program. The program for the Ph.D. carries a minimum residency requirement of two academic years and a course credit requirement of 42 credit hours, or the equivalent, beyond the bachelor’s degree. Transfer credit of up to 24 credit hours and one academic year of residency may be accepted. In view of the wide variety of specialized areas embodied in Civil and Environmental Engineering, each program of course work will be established by the student and the student’s committee. To attain the academic breadth necessary in the doctoral program, it is also required that all students complete an approved minor program consisting of at least nine credit hours of course work outside the major area of specialty. Before admission to candidacy for the Ph.D., a student must successfully complete a qualifying examination designed to test the student’s area of expertise. The qualifying examination will normally be taken as soon as possible after the student has completed the graduate school requirement of one and one-half years of study beyond the bachelor’s degree. No foreign language requirement is included in the program.
Financial assistance is available for graduate students from several sources, including teaching and research assistantships.
Shaleen Jain, Ph.D.
Graduate Coordinator of Civil Engineering
Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Cooperating Assistant Professor, Climate Change Institute
University of Maine
5711 Boardman Hall, Room 313
Orono, ME 04469-5711
Phone: (207) 581-2420
Dana N. Humphrey, Ph.D. (Purdue, 1986), Professor and Dean. Geotechnical engineering, reinforced embankments, soil stabilization, behavior of stiff clay, use of waste materials in construction.
Aria Amirbahman, Ph.D. (California, Irvine, 1994), Professor. Water chemistry, process dynamics and solute transport.
Habib J. Dagher, Ph.D. (Wisconsin, 1985), Professor. Probabilistic mechanics, timber structures, advanced wood composites, concrete structures, bridges.
Bill G. Davids, Ph.D. (University of Washington, 1998), John C. Bridge Professor and Chair. Structural engineering and computational mechanics; numerical modeling and finite element analysis; bridge design.
Per Garder, Ph.D. (Lund University, 1982), Professor. Transportation planning; forecasting, design & evaluation with emphasis on traffic safety & environmental aspects.
Kimberly Huguenard, Ph.D. (University of Florida, 2013), Assistant Professor. Coastal Engineering, estuarine and nearshore hydrodynamics, turbulence.
Shaleen Jain, Ph.D. (Utah State University, 2001), Associate Professor and Graduate Coordinator. Hydrology and water resources engineering, hydroclimatology, environmental sustainability, adaptive management.
Eric N. Landis, Ph.D. (Northwestern University, 1993), Frank M. Taylor Professor. Experimental mechanics, nondestructive evaluation, fracture, microstructure-property relationships for construction materials.
Melissa M. Landon, Ph.D. (University of Massachusetts Amherst, 2007), Associate Professor. Geotechnical engineering, physical modeling of soil-structure interaction, fundamental behavior of fine-grained soils, site characterization.
Roberto Lopez-Anido, Ph.D., P.E. (West Virginia University, 1995), Malcolm G. Long Professor. Mechanics of polymer matrix composites for infrastructure; modeling, design and experimental characterization of advanced composite systems; fatigue and durability of composite materials for construction; engineered wood composites; methods of structural analysis.
Jean MacRae, Ph.D. (University of British Columbia, 1997), Associate Professor. Biological treatment of solid wastes for resource recovery, bioremediation, environmental microbiology.
Edwin Nagy, Ph.D. (University of Maine, 2010), Lecturer. Structural engineering, Structural steel design, wood structures.
Thomas C. Sandford, Ph.D. (Illinois, 1976), Associate Professor. Geotechnical engineering; soil/structure interaction including piles, culverts, and abutments; soil-nail walls; reliability based design; soft clay behavior; and field monitoring.
Qingping Zou, Ph.D. (University of California San Diego, 1995), Assistant Professor. Turbulent boundary layers, wave dynamics and breaking waves, free surface flow interactions with fixed and floating structure, marine renewable energy, coastal flood risk and erosion, sediment transport, mixing and dispersion of pollutants in the coastal region, air-sea interactions