News: CEE

Cornell Giving Day logo

Cornell Giving Day is March 11th.

Join us on Cornell Giving Day, March 11th! Make a gift to CEE. The School of Civil and Environmental Engineering is so grateful for the many esteemed and generous alumni who support our school. Help our students gain the skills to help make the world a better place.

This year we are raising funds for... Read more

molecular structure abstract background

Carbon mineralization pathways for carbon capture, storage and utilization

By: Greeshma Gadikota, Nature, Communications Chemistry

Carbon mineralization is a versatile and thermodynamically downhill process that can be harnessed for capturing, storing, and utilizing CO2 to synthesize products with enhanced properties. Dr. Greeshma Gadikota discusses the advances in and challenges of carbon mineralization, and concludes that tuning the chemical interactions involved will allow us to unlock its potential for advancing low carbon energy and resource conversion pathways. Read more

Flowchart depicting the research field of multi-sector dynamics.

Reed awarded $1.4M grant to advance human-natural system modeling

By: Syl Kacapyr

A Cornell engineer is advancing the field of ‘multi-sector dynamics’ with a new $1.4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy that will focus on techniques for better projecting the outcomes of human interactions with the natural world. Patrick Reed, the Joseph C. Ford Professor in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, received the grant in collaboration with the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory’s Integrated Multisector Multiscale Modeling project. As scientists and policy makers increasingly turn toward mathematical modeling to help inform their decision making, the... Read more

Dr. Zall in Alaska in 1973. provided to the NY Times by Linda Zall

Inside the C.I.A., She Became a Spy for Planet Earth

By: By William J. Broad

CEE Alumni Dr. Linda Zall's work is featured in this New York Times article. Linda Zall played a starring role in American science that led to decades of major advances. But she never described her breakthroughs on television, or had books written about her, or received high scientific honors. One database of scientific publications lists her contributions as consisting of just three papers, with a conspicuous gap running from 1980 to 2020. The reason is that Dr. Zall’s decades of service to science were done in the secretive warrens of the Central Intelligence Agency. Now, at 70, she’s... Read more

city skyline with graph overplayed over illustration by Elizabeth Nelson

Evaluating Weather-Related Risks for Cities

By: Cornell Research

Cities significantly alter local and regional weather patterns. Pavement and brick raise surface temperatures, skyscrapers generate air turbulence, and heat from cars and other forms of energy consumption affect air currents. Collectively, these factors interact with the lower atmosphere to change the likelihood of floods, droughts, and extreme weather generally. In effect, urbanization is concentrating populations and economies in the crosshairs of weather-related hazards. John D. Albertson and Qi Li, Civil and Environmental Engineering, are developing a predictive framework to understand the... Read more

Colorado Forest with water/lake

Different Models, Different Answers in Water Resource Planning

By: Terri Cook  - American Geophysical Union Eos Research Spotlight

The experimental design used in climate vulnerability assessments can strongly influence the assessments’ findings and skew decisions about which factors are most important for informing adaptation. Effective management of water resources depends on accurately predicting future water supplies and demands that regularly fluctuate because of population growth, climate change, and many other factors. To deal with large uncertainties in these considerations, water resource planners often use what is known as a scenario-neutral approach in their projections. In contrast to scenario-driven methods... Read more

Image from a 3D simulation of a grocery store used in an experiment conducted by Ricardo Daziano, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, to gauge New York City residents’ perceptions of social distancing.

In 3D simulation, shoppers prefer stores with more distancing

By: Melanie Lefkowitz

New York City residents are four times more likely to choose a store where shoppers respect 6 feet of distancing as opposed to one where no one is social distancing, according to an experiment Cornell researchers conducted in May using a 3D simulation. Ricardo Daziano, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, is principal investigator on a one-year, $102,700 RAPID grant from the National Science Foundation to use immersive virtual reality (VR) to continue assessing New Yorkers’ perceptions of social distancing as the COVID-19 pandemic evolves. “We want to understand how... Read more