News: CEE

Map showing the portion of the Colorado River’s upper basin studied by Cornell Engineers, who examined the dynamics behind water shortages caused by drought and other factors. The Shoshone Power Plant owns one of the largest and oldest water rights in the basin and the highlighted tunnels are the most major transbasin diversions, exporting water to the eastern plains.

Complex dynamics of water shortages highlighted in study

By: Syl Kacapyr

Within the Colorado River basin, management laws dictate how water is allocated to farms, businesses and homes. Those laws, along with changing climate patterns and demand for water, form a complex dynamic that has made it difficult to predict who will be hardest hit by drought. Cornell engineers have used advanced modeling to simulate more than 1 million potential futures – a technique known as scenario discovery – to assess how stakeholders who rely on the Colorado River might be uniquely affected by changes in climate and demand as a result of management practices and other factors. Their... Read more

Samitha Samaranayake

Atkinson COVID-19 grants could inform policy decisions

By: Blaine Friedlander

"One project aims to produce a mathematical model that allows government officials to manage human mobility during a pandemic. It will be led by Samitha Samaranayake, assistant professor in civil and environmental engineering." Read more

3 students looking at wave tank

Go With the Flow Hydraulics research has a venerable history on the Hill—and now it’s helping to save the planet

By: Beth Saulnier

Blair Johnson, PhD '16, is an assistant professor at the University of Texas at Austin, where she teaches civil engineering. For her graduate work on the Hill - where she studied fluid mechanics - she conducted research on how sand and other sediments are transported in churning, fast-moving waters, like a wave slamming into the shore during a hurricane. "You want to be able to predict whether natural shorelines are going to be washed away during storms," she explains. Read more

What difference can one day make?

Cornell Giving Day is your chance to be a part of something big. March 12, 2020 Civil and Environmental Engineering is central to creating a healthy and productive urban environment enriching the quality of life for all. The Richard N. White Instructional Laboratory fund provides students with an opportunity to take what they learned in the classroom and apply it in experiments, often prompting new theories and new models of infrastructure-behavior. Students receive hands-on experience, designing, setting up and performing tests, and recording and analyzing real life data. In the process, not... Read more


CEE Launches a Sustainable Energy Systems Focus

In 2020-21, the Civil & Environmental Engineering School is launching a Sustainable Energy Systems focus under the CEE Environmental Engineering Master of Engineering concentration. This focus is open to all M.Eng students in any M.Eng. program. Students are invited to take courses on renewable energy systems, wind energy, energy economics, energy technology and subsurface resources, transportation and energy, and risk analysis from the CEE School and other departments. As our country tries to reorganize our economy and economic activities to be more sustainable, energy generation is a... Read more

Reed and Loucks Win the Quentin Martin Best Practice-Oriented Paper Award

Pat Reed, the Joseph C. Ford Professor (CEE), and Peter Loucks, professor emeritus (CEE), are part of a team that was awarded the 2020 Quentin Martin Best Practice-Oriented Paper Award from the Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management for their paper "Balancing Hydropower Development and Ecological Impacts in the Mekong: Tradeoffs for Sambor Mega Dam." The award will be formally presented in May during the World Environmental & Water Resources Congress 2020 in Nevada.The award recognizes a single paper published in the Journal of Water Resources Planning & Management in 2019 that... Read more

research members working in the lab

Nine assistant professors win NSF early career awards

Researchers studying the ethical implications of artificial intelligence algorithms, the development of new tools to analyze brain images and the role of fluids in triggering earthquakes are among the nine Cornell faculty members who have received National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development Awards. Over the next five years, each researcher will receive an expected minimum of $400,000 “to build a firm scientific footing for solving challenges and scaling new heights for the nation, as well as serve as academic role models in research and education,” according to the NSF website... Read more