News: CEE

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

city landscape, focus on road and NYC flat iron building in background.

Smart intersections could reduce autonomous car congestion

By: By Melanie Lefkowitz

December 16, 2019 In the not-so-distant future, city streets could be flooded with autonomous vehicles. Self-driving cars can move faster and travel closer together, allowing more of them to fit on the road – potentially leading to congestion and gridlock on city streets. A new study by Cornell researchers developed a first-of-its-kind model to control traffic and intersections in order to increase car capacity on urban streets, reduce congestion and minimize accidents. “For the future of mobility, so much attention has been paid to autonomous cars,” said Oliver Gao, professor of civil and... Read more

Software helps planners design walkable cities

By: Melanie Lefkowitz

Walkable cities reduce traffic congestion, which causes around 3.3 million deaths and $121 billion in economic losses every year. But when architects are developing pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods, they often rely on trial and error, intuition or specialized simulations that are hard to use and to incorporate into their designs. Urbano, a free software launched Oct. 26 by Cornell researchers, employs data, metrics and an easy-to-use interface to help planners and architects add and assess walkability features in their designs as effectively as possible. Read more

Professor Gu wins Ralph Fuhrman Medal for Outstanding Water Quality Academic-Practice

Professor April Gu was selected by the Water Environment Federation as the 2019 recipient of the prestigious Ralph Fuhrman Medal for Outstanding Water Quality Academic-Practice Collaboration in connection. Gu shares this award with her colleagues, Charles Bott, James Barnard, Peter Schauer, Andrew Shaw, Imre Takacs and Paul Dombrowski. The research paper associated with this award is titled, "The Investigation of the Mechanisms for Optimization and Design of a Side-Stream EBPR Process as a Sustainable Approach for Achieving Stable and Efficient Phosphorus Removal." WER writes, "this pioneering... Read more

Wind turbines generating electricity with blue sky - energy

To rid electric grid of carbon, shore up green energy support

By Blaine Friedlander October 28, 2019 Cornell and Northwestern University engineers, along with a federal economist, have created an energy model that helps to remove carbon-generated power from the U.S. electric grid – replacing it with a greener, financially feasible wind, solar and hydro energy system. Their new model is explained in a paper published Oct. 28 in Nature Energy. “We’re trying to balance the priorities of maintaining a reliable, low-cost, efficient electricity system in the U.S., while shifting to a cleaner, greener system,” said co-author Jacob Mays, a Cornell postdoctoral... Read more

Oliver Gao and Shuai Pan stand outside looking forward

Curbing diesel emission could reduce big city mortality

By: Blaine Friedlander

U.S. cities could see a decline in mortality rates and a related beneficial reduction in health care costs through midcentury if federal and local governments maintain stringent air pollution policies and diminish concentrations of diesel freight truck exhaust, according to Cornell research published in the journal Environment International. “The U.S. must reduce emission in the transportation sector. By improving air quality through better policies and technology in the freight transportation sector, we can breathe better and save lives,” said senior author Oliver Gao, professor of civil and... Read more