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Keystone Bridge

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering


The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at South Dakota State University has a long tradition of delivering a rich educational experience that is focused on student success, before and after graduation.

Our academic programs are tailored for breadth and depth in the civil engineering disciplines. Our dedicated faculty and staff are devoted to providing first-rate education and student support. Our state-of-the-art facilities are essential components to learning, research and hands-on experience. Our outstanding student body is committed to scholarship and service.

I invite you to explore our site and learn about the department’s undergraduate and graduate programs, facilities, faculty, research activities and service opportunities. Please do not hesitate to contact me or a member of the faculty and staff for any question regarding our department and academic programs. We are interested in helping you achieve your goals.

Nadim I. Wehbe

John M. Hanson, Professor and Department Head

Civil Engineering: Advancing the Built Environment while Preserving Natural Resources

Civil engineering makes up the earliest branch of the engineering profession. As with all engineering disciplines, civil engineering is founded in mathematics and scientific principles.

Civil engineers are custodians of the built environment. They plan, design, construct and maintain facilities that propel modern civilization. This includes bridges and buildings, water and wastewater networks and treatment, highways and mass transit facilities, earth stabilizing and retaining structures and water resources and hydraulic systems. From simple projects that serve the basic needs of underprivileged communities to signature mega projects around the world, the final results stand witness to the ingenuity of civil engineers and the service they provide to society.

As the world’s demand for natural resources continues to grow, civil engineers constantly pursue the development of advanced materials and innovative designs to create resilient, environmentally friendly and sustainable infrastructure. The civil engineering profession provides boundless opportunities for exciting, challenging and rewarding careers.

CEE Department Fast Facts

  • Sub-disciplines covered in the program:
    • Environmental
    • Geotechnical
    • Structural
    • Transportation
    • Water resources and hydraulics
  • Number of students (2020-2021):
    • Undergraduate: 214
    • Graduate: 34
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 21:1
  • Degrees offered: B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. in Civil Engineering

The photo at the top of the page shows the Keystone Wye bridges in the Black Hills National Forest.

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering Events

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May 7

Big Sioux Water Festival 2024

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering News

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Sianne Downes performs the backstroke

SDSU engineers dominate all-league swim team selections

Please provide a story summary.Five members of the South Dakota State swim team were honored as 2023-24 Summit League Academic All-League members—all are from the Jerome J. Lohr College of Engineering.

Headley, Schaefer tabbed as SDSU Distinguished Engineers

An internationally recognized geotechnical engineer and the director of the Sanford Underground Research Facility have been selected as the 2024 Distinguished Engineers at South Dakota State University. Vernon Schaefer and Mike Headley will be honored at the April 23 Engineering Scholarship Banquet at Club 71 in Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium.

Can dental plaque be used to strengthen soils?

In South Dakota, expansive and sulfate-rich soils can cause serious problems for civil infrastructure, like roads and bridges, and agriculture production. In certain climatic conditions, these expansive — or "problematic" — soils will crack and swell. A new National Science Foundation-backed project from South Dakota State University will explore if biofilms made from dental plaque can help improve the stability of problematic soils.