Strategic Plan

After a series of evaluation exercises and collecting input from faculty, staff, students and alumni, we proudly present the Department’s first-ever long-term strategic plan. This will guide the direction of our department as we enhance academic excellence and continue to grow our reputation nationally and internationally for the next five years.

Negar Elhami-Khorasani works with students in UB's furnace.

Our Vision

The University at Buffalo’s Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering is to pursue and provide excellence in research, educate the future leaders that will advance the resilience, sustainability, health and economic concerns facing society, and leverage the strengths of a diverse and international academic community to advance civil, structural and environmental engineering.

Our Mission

The mission of UB’s Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering is to serve the engineering profession and society through innovative original research, to educate students capable of innovating and leading the engineering disciplines in related fields and to find creative solutions to the most pressing challenges facing society and national and international communities.

Our Tradition

Founded in 1958, the Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering is the oldest engineering department in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at UB.

UB assistant professor Ning Dai collects water from a wastewater treatment plant.

We developed and implemented the country’s largest and most advanced multidisciplinary and multi-hazard earthquake engineering research center, MCEER.

We were early leaders in providing sustainability education opportunities through study abroad and master’s programs aimed at helping students become global leaders in sustainability.

We pioneered the interdisciplinary nature of structural engineering by incorporating fire, bridge and wind engineering into our faculty, and updating our earthquake lab to reflect these emerging areas.

We promoted sustainable restoration practices in surface and groundwater ecosystems.

We partnered with international universities to empower civil and environmental students around the globe.

We developed a board of industry and academic partners to help guide our department into the future.

Professor Constantinou reviews plans with a student.

We utilize our industry connections to advance the civil and environmental engineering

Assistant Professor John Atkinson discusses with a student atop a hill in Costa Rica.

Our Goals

1. Attract and support innovative, inspiring and diverse faculty and staff to enhance research and teaching impacts, reputation and ranking.

2. Recruit talented and diverse graduate students and fulfill their educational expectations.

3. Invest in our infrastructure to support excellent research and educational experiences.

4. Develop new degree programs to address civil and environmental engineering challenges in the changing world.

5. Enhance and maintain the Department's reputation among national and international constituents.

6. Enhance research discoveries with strategic targeting of opportunities and increased support.

7. Develop signature research areas to correlate with our faculty experts.

Our Values

Our values connect directly to the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences' values, as part of the collaborative culture we try to cultivate.

  • We tackle big problems
  • We inspire innovation
  • We are tenacious in pursuing our goals
  • We cultivate the joy of learning
  • We encourage and aim for excellence
  • We embrace diversity in all its forms
  • We nurture individual growth
  • We take pride in our history and accomplishments
  • We define the future
Stephen Still lectures students in a smart classroom.

Strategic Context

The strategic planning exercise was our proactive response to the period of growth engineering programs across the United States are experiencing. This was our opportunity to evaluate our current status and identify critical goals and strategies to address the needs born out of the national and global dialogue on the need for a STEM-educated workforce.

Over the last five years, the Department has carried out a specific hiring plan aimed at enhancing our research strengths. The faculty who were brought in based on that plan will help us meet the demands of a STEM-educated workforce, while providing a better and more complete environment for the pursuit of excellence by our students, staff and faculty.

Our plan addresses ways to build financial strength in the Department through targeted research areas and opportunities, so new and existing activities may be funded appropriately.

This plan also addresses the the factors that influence the national and international university ranking systems (U.S. News and World Report, ARWU, etc.). Incoming students and their parents pay attention to these rankings, and they provide tangible indicators of strengths and weaknesses, despite their much-discussed flaws.

UB faculty members and students collecting water samples from inside of a pumping station.

As one of nine collaborative departments in UB's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), The Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering Department aligns its goals and actions with the goals of UB SEAS.