Skip to main content

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Resilience & Sustainability

To address challenges of resilience and sustainability, Vanderbilt researchers embrace cyber-physical technologies and data-driven approaches for environmental systems. For example, Vanderbilt's smart cities initiative aims to enhance the quality and performance of urban services, while reducing resource consumption and impacts, and providing resilient infrastructure.

Resilience & Sustainability

Graduate students work alongside faculty researchers who are pursuing topics such as:

  • Develop and provide an efficient risk-informed decision making process for the protection of civil infrastructures and determine the impacts of climate change on civil infrastructure and explore how to build for resilience in the future.
  • Use assessment of traffic conditions to determine how resilient our cities are to extreme events, and how quickly they recover.
  • Create the next generation of cyber-physical systems that integrate software to monitor and manage water quality and usage with applications to a new sustainable city south of Denver, metropolitan Nashville, and the Vanderbilt campus.
  • Develop and apply analysis tools and models that can be sued to inform and support public policymakers in transportation and other complex network systems.
  • Develop and utilize statistical learning methods to measure and analyze the risk, reliability, and resilience for preparedness and recovery of critical infrastructure systems and communities.

What current graduate students are doing within the department of Civil & Environmental Engineering:

  • Mackenzie Whitman completed a B.S. in Industrial and Systems Engineering at the University of Oklahoma. Her research interests include measuring resilience of critical infrastructure systems, modeling interdependence between transportation systems and the economy, and decision analysis techniques for risk management strategies.
  • Thushara De Silva completed her Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Electrical engineering at the University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka. Her current research is on developing decision support models for water resources and energy infrastructure planning and management.
  • Leslie Gillespie-Marthaler graduated from the United States Military Academy with a B.S. in Environmental Engineering. Her research is focused on sustainability and resilience of communities.

What graduates of the department of Civil & Environmental Engineering are doing:

  • Dr. Emily Burchfield is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Environment and Society at Utah State University. Her doctoral dissertation was Agricultural Adaptation to Drought. Much of her current research focuses on future food and water security in South Asia and in the western United States.
  • Dr. John Jacobi is Natural Catastrophe Modeling Manager at SCOR, a global reinsurance company. His doctoral dissertation was A Changing Climate in Sri Lanka: Shifts, Perceptions, and Potential Adaptive Actions.
  • Dr. Samrat Chatterjee is an operations research scientist at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. His doctoral dissertation was Development of an Analytic Basis for Performing All-Hazards Risk Management.