sustainable design

Learn to design and implement systems for a sustainable future

2020 has been a pivotal year for our future and the climate. As we go through a pandemic, we continue to face a climate crisis causing frequent flooding, longer wildfires and extreme droughts. These environmental challenges are urgent, and need our immediate attention before global warming passes the “point of no return”.

According to the 15th edition of the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report 2020, the world’s most pressing matters are all related to the environment and climate change. The report prefaces, “The challenges before us demand immediate collective action, but fractures within the global community appear to only be widening. Stakeholders need to act quickly and with purpose within an unsettled global landscape.”

For those who are passionate about this cause, a degree in civil engineering can help you create a variety of solutions towards building a more sustainable future. Civil engineers play a key role in this goal, building facilities that allow people to meet their needs without threatening future populations. Here are four universities in the US that champion responsible innovation for a sustainable future:


The University of Kansas boasts a world-class Department of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering. On its beautiful campus in the rolling countryside of eastern Kansas, students develop into job-ready graduates with a strong theoretical foundation and a practical understanding of engineering concepts.

The department is known for their Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering and Bachelor of Science in Architectural Engineering. For the BS in Civil Engineering, students can choose broad concentrations in either general civil engineering or environmental engineering.

For the former, students have the option of electives in selected areas of civil or environmental engineering design, such as transportation, structural, geotechnical, environmental, and water resources engineering. For the environmental engineering stream, electives may focus on water quality and treatment, bioremediation, solid and hazardous wastes, air quality, and air pollution control.

In the multidisciplinary BS in Architectural Engineering, you’ll get the latest scientific knowledge and technologies for planning, analysing, designing, constructing, and operating building systems and facilities. It is one of the very few Architectural Engineering programmes that offers studios taught by professional architects.

Both degrees offer a highly hands-on approach and exposure to the major engineering subdisciplines. This will give you the opportunity to interact with other students, go on multiple internships, and conduct research alongside professors and graduate students.

Multidisciplinary and experiential — these are the engineering degrees that will equip you with the professional expertise and ethical know-how to become a sustainable engineer of tomorrow. Find out more here.


The University of California, Berkeley is moulding the next generation of leaders in the civil and environmental engineering fields. Their Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering organises cutting-edge research to find engineering solutions for societal-scale challenges. This allows them to introduce new theories and improve understanding in an experiential manner, as well as provide students with the updated tools and techniques needed for solving current problems.

This is made possible by having some of the best laboratories for teaching and research in the US, and the dedication of fifty full-time faculty members and twenty-two staff. Their location in the San Francisco Bay Area also provides students with valuable opportunities to experience local civil and environmental engineering projects in addition to participating in professional activities.

One-quarter of their undergraduates go on to pursue a graduate education – making it one of highest percentages in the College of Engineering. Others progress into a myriad of career opportunities, thanks to their skill set gained here to address the many pressing needs to improve and expand the infrastructure and protect the environment. In its latest national rankings, US News and World Report ranked both of the department’s undergraduate and graduate programmes top in the country.


Ranked 30th out of 209 programmes in the US, Michigan Technological University’s Civil and Environmental Engineering programme produces future-proof graduates with their extensive hands-on lab work and state-of-the-art equipment. Students are given opportunities to facilitate sustainable development, beneficial infrastructure, and social change — preparing them for some of the top issues the engineering workforce is facing.

Their Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering provides a better understanding of engineering disciplines through special educational and research amenities. While securing your foundation, you’ll learn how to adapt to future change and improve the condition of humanity.

If safe drinking water, air quality and waste management matter to you, the university offers a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering. This programme will teach you how to be a caretaker for our planet — nurturing the technical and problem-solving skills needed to identify and address environmental issues at all levels. With Michigan Tech’s D80 Programme, opportunities with Engineers without Borders and International Senior Design, and the Green Campus Enterprise, you’ll be ready for what tomorrow needs. You can also earn a master’s in one additional year through the accelerated master’s programme.


Following a four-year curriculum, the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering’s Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering arms graduates with the professional requirements needed to enter and excel in the workforce, or the solid groundwork to continue their studies. This degree programme is designed with providing essential course materials in mind, offering students the flexibility to select elective courses with a wide topic coverage.

If you prefer to choose from a broad range of electives, the school is able to provide you with the options to meet your interests. This will enhance your ability to contribute to society in numerous ways, as well as your teamwork skills and adaptability to other disciplines.

Earlier this year, the 2021 list of engineering specialty programmes from the US News and World Report ranked both of the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering’s graduate programmes among the top five in the nation. The civil engineering graduate program is ranked third and the environmental engineering program is fifth.

“It is extremely gratifying that our graduate programs continue to be highly recognized nationally,” said Donald Webster, Karen and John Huff School Chair of the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, “As always, we strive for excellence in addressing our mission to pursue cross-disciplinary research, service-based learning, and innovative course content and delivery.”

*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International

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