Water, Environmental, and Coastal Systems

The water, environmental, and coastal systems technical expertise of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering focuses on the physical, hydrologic, hydraulic, and atmospheric processes that underpin the built and natural environment. Using a complex array of design strategies and tools, including modeling, artificial intelligence, Big Data, and in-situ sensors, our faculty and students are conducting timely research to inform policymakers and industry on the grand challenges of our time. Our faculty are harnessing cutting-edge technology such as satellite surveillance to monitor Earth’s surface water systems, developing solutions to extreme storms using biomimicry, and using machine learning to improve climate change forecasting models.

Areas of study

  • Impact of climate change, and climate prediction using AI and Big Data
  • Green infrastructure in the coastal environment
  • Water cycle and air systems modeling
  • Coastal processes and engineering
  • Coastal hazard prediction and mitigation
  • Natural and built waterways
  • Hydrologic modeling, dynamic simulation, and fluid dynamics
  • Water resource systems management
  • Remote sensing of the environment
  • Water-energy nexus
  • Industrial ecology and techno-economic assessment
  • Transport and fate of contaminants
Professor Jim Chen (right) prepares for the deployment of a wave sensor at the Northeastern Marine Science Center in Nahant, Massachusetts.