A Letter from Our Chair, Dr. Erin Bell

dr bell with young students at memorial bridge

Welcome to the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of New Hampshire. We appreciate your visit!

Civil and environmental engineering are broad and diverse engineering disciplines that encompass the design, construction, assessment and maintenance of the constructed and natural infrastructure of society.  This infrastructure includes dams, water treatment plants, highways, bridges, tunnels, irrigation canals, traffic control systems, skyscrapers, airport runways and mass transit systems, just to name a few. Our role in society is to promote sustainable development of ours and future generations.

Civil engineers have influenced history since the water resources management of the Ancient Romans through the super-tall skyscrapers of the modern world.  Can you imagine your life without the contributions of civil engineers?  How would you live without clean water, safe roads, buildings and efficient transportation routes?

Our graduates enhance the quality of life for people both locally and around the world by providing safe structures such as bridges, highways, pavements, skyscrapers, tunnels and dams, and by helping to restore and maintain water quality and the environment. We offer training in professions that are exciting and fulfilling.

The Department currently offers two undergraduate degree programs: one in Civil Engineering and one in Environmental Engineering. We pride ourselves with a civil engineering program that has been accredited since 1936 and we became one of the first universities to offer an accredited undergraduate degree in Environmental Engineering starting in 2000.  As a faculty, we make sure that you will have the foundation to face the challenges of today, and tomorrow as a professional engineer. Our current enrollment is at an all-time high, with 463 undergraduates and over 90 graduate students, totaling over 550 students. Our engineering research programs in environmental, water resources, structures, materials and geotechnical are vibrant and focused on including sustainability in each project.  Research awards typically total in excess of $5 million with multiple research awards from state, federal and private sources and several centers addressing issues of regional, national and international importance.

To ensure that the experience at UNH is rewarding and fulfilling, we encourage students to take advantage of all available opportunities such as getting involved with the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Student Chapter, Students/Engineers Without Borders (EWB), Environmental and Water Resources Institute (EWRI) Student Chapter, Society of Women Engineers (SWE), the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) and other student organizations.  Several of our faculty and students are actively involved in spreading the word civil and environmental engineering to learners of all ages.

Study abroad opportunities for one semester through our exchange programs throughout Europe, or our International Affairs dual major are also available.  We have an architectural studies minor offered with the Arts Department.  We also have a 5-year BS/MS degree for students who qualify and conventional MS and PhD degrees should you choose to further enhance your formal education.

As you will quickly discover, our top-notch faculty are here to help all students succeed. Please do not hesitate to contact us for further information regarding our programs and the opportunities available in Civil and Environmental Engineering.

Make a difference. Engineer the future.

Erin Santini Bell, Ph.D., P.E.
Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Chair