Program Description

The Ph.D. in Infrastructure and Environmental Systems emphasizes the scientific analysis of environmental systems together with innovations in design, analysis, and management of urban, energy and environmental infrastructure, at the interface between the natural and built environments. INES students are expected to conduct interdisciplinary and original research that provide new knowledge to the profession, as evidenced by scholarly publications in refereed journals.

Current research areas can be categorized as follows:

  • Architecture and landscape
  • Climate change and atmospheric dynamics
  • Civil infrastructure and materials
  • Earth and geo-environmental systems
  • Ecological valuation and stream restoration
  • Energy analytics
  • Environmental science and technology
  • Natural hazards and geophysics
  • Quaternary geology and landform evolution
  • Renewable energy and environmental economics
  • Systems optimization and management
  • Transportation systems analysis and operation
  • Integrated watershed management

INES Ph.D. students participate in interdisciplinary activities throughout their program of study. Students begin with a set of four common core courses that teach them the key aspects of infrastructure and environmental systems present in all applications of INES. These common aspects are reflected in four core offerings of infrastructure systems, environmental systems, an interdisciplinary elective, and an on-going seminar.

Beyond the core, a student needs to support doctoral research with enrollment in particular courses related to his/her research. For this reason, a minimum of 12 credit hours have been reserved for specialized electives, which provide an opportunity for students to select a complementary set of specialized courses intended to support the student’s area of interest and research.

Each student must complete and defend a dissertation based on a research topic approved by the student’s doctoral committee. The dissertation must be of high quality and represent an original piece of research that advances the body of knowledge in infrastructure and environmental systems. Oral presentation and successful defense of the dissertation before the student’s doctoral committee in a forum open to the public is required.