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Research Overview

Our department focuses on the theme of engineering for sustainability, including three core areas: built environment, environmental and water studies, and atmosphere/energy.

The Sustainable Built Environment Program includes creating processes, techniques, materials and monitoring technologies for planning, design, construction and operation of environmentally sensitive, economically efficient, performance-based buildings and infrastructure, and managing associated risks from natural and man-made hazards. The Environmental and Water Studies Program includes creating plans, policies, science-based assessment models and engineered systems to manage water in ways that protect human health, promote human welfare, and provide freshwater and coastal ecosystem services. The Atmosphere/Energy Program includes studying fundamental energy and atmospheric engineering and science, assessing energy-use effects on atmospheric processes and air quality, and analyzing and designing energy-efficient generation and use systems with minimal environmental impact.

Research work and instruction under the three programs are carried out in these facilities:

  • Building Energy Laboratory
  • Environmental Engineering and Science Laboratory
  • Environmental Fluid Mechanics Laboratory (EFML)
  • Geotechnical Engineering Laboratory
  • Structural Engineering Laboratory
  • Water quality control research and teaching laboratories.

The John A. Blume Earthquake Engineering Center conducts research on earthquake engineering including advanced sensing and control, innovative materials and risk hazard assessment. Research and advanced global teamwork education is conducted in the Project Based Learning (PBL) Laboratory.

In collaboration with the Department of Computer Science, the Center for Integrated Facility Engineering (CIFE) employs advanced CAD, artificial intelligence, communications concepts and information management to integrate participants in the facility development process and to support design and construction automation. The Collaboratory for Research on Global Projects (CRGP) is a multi-school, multi-university research program aimed at improving the performance of global engineering and construction projects, with a special focus on sustainable infrastructure in developing countries. The Stanford Sustainable Systems Lab (S3L) aims to advance the state of the art in the design, monitoring and management of built environment systems, with a special focus on smart grids, smart buildings and smart infrastructures.