Civil and Environmental Engineering

Learning to plan, design, construct and maintain infrastructure including structural, transportation, water resources, geotechnical and environmental systems

Related Student Organizations and University Programs

American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)

Chi Epsilon (civil engineering honor society)

Global Learning Opportunities for Bucknell Engineers (G.L.O.B.E.)

National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE)

Society of Women Engineers (SWE)

Tau Beta Pi (engineering honor society)

Career Paths

Bucknell’s civil and environmental engineering students are in high demand by both graduate schools and industry. They often pursue careers in consulting, construction and government. Recent alumni have secured the following positions:

  • Engineer, Stearns & Wheler
  • Field Engineer, Moretrench
  • Field Engineer, Weeks Marine, Inc.
  • Analyst, Deutsche Bank
  • Project Engineer, Plano-Coudon, LLC
  • Staff Engineer, Rediss & Mead
  • Office Engineer, Clark Construction Group
  • Civil Engineer, PennDOT

Recent Faculty Grants

National Cooperative Highway Research Program

Factors Related to Serious Injury and Fatal Motorcycle Crashes with Traffic Barriers

Guidelines for Design, Selection, Installation, and Maintenance of Cable Barriers

Synthesis of Crash Tested Precast Concrete Barrier Designs

National Science Foundation

Acquisition of Equipment for Melt- and Solid-State Fabrication and Barrier Performance Evaluation of Polymer Nanocomposites

Hydraulic Sustainability of Soil- Bentonite Cutoff Walls Subjected to Cyclic Wetting and Drying

Acquisition of Drilling Rig and Accessories for In Situ Investigations of Slurry Trench Cutoff Walls

Enhanced Clay Membrane Barriers for Sustainable Waste Containment

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Urban Momentum Roughness Parameters: Modeling and Simple Parameterization


Bucknell provides opportunities for students to find summer employment in industry, government or academia. Recently, students have interned at:

  • Buck Seifert & Jost Consulting Engineers
  • Pennsylvania Department of Transportation
  • Deutsche Bank
  • Kittelson and Associates, Inc
  • Whiting-Turner Contracting Co.
  • DMJM Harris | AECOM
  • Clark Patterson Associates
  • Johnson, Mirmiran & Thompson
  • Weeks Marine

Recent Faculty Awards

Ronald Ziemian: Bucknell University Presidental Professor, 2010

Kelly Salyards: ASCE ExCEEd Assist Mentor, 2010

Douglas Gabauer: ExCEEd 2009 Fellow (American Society of Civil Engineers)

Jessica Newlin: ExCEEd 2009 Fellow (American Society of Civil Engineers)

Jeffrey Evans: Best Paper Award, American Society for Engineering Education, 2008

Stephen Buonopane: The Robert L. Rooke Chair in Social and Historical Context of Engineering

Thomas DiStefano: The Rooke Professor of Engineering

Graduate and Professional School

Recently, alumni of Bucknell’s civil and environmental engineering program have gone on to:

  • Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Purdue University
  • University of Michigan
  • Princeton University
  • Cornell University
  • Drexel University
  • University of Delaware
  • University of Texas-Austin
  • Lehigh University
  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University

Study Abroad

Each year, about 20 percent of our engineering students study overseas in their junior year at such locations as the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom and the University of Queensland in Australia.

For students unable to spend a full semester or year abroad, Bucknell offers a three-week program titled Engineering in a Global and Societal context. The program has been taught in England, Argentina, Western Europe, Scandinavia and Brazil.

Program Details

  • Professors identify teaching as their number-one priority and they welcome close interactions with students.
  • The curriculum offers courses to undergraduates in a wide range of areas, including environmental engineering and waste treatment, transportation systems, geotechnical engineering, hydraulics and structural engineering.
  • The program strikes a balance between modern computer applications and “hands-on” engineering.
  • The civil engineering program seeks to prepare students to be successful professionals recognized for their fundamental knowledge of humanities, social sciences, mathematics, science, engineering science and a broad range of civil engineering technical areas.
  • Bucknell’s civil and environmental engineering majors learn about global and societal concerns, ethics and sustainability when making engineering decisions.
  • Selected students can participate in the Institute for Leadership in Technology and Management, a joint effort with Bucknell’s School of Management. The goal of the two-summer institute is to bring engineering and business students together to prepare the next generation of technology managers.
  • All civil and environmental engineering students participate in multiple field trips to major construction sites and other civil engineering works, including a three day trip during their senior year.


Bucknell’s civil and environmental engineering faculty members provide close, personal attention to students in the classroom and in the lab. The professors are active researchers who often invite students to become involved in their work.

Stephen Buonopane, P.E.
B.S.E. Princeton; M.S. Cornell; Ph.D. Johns Hopkins
Scholarly interests: structural reliability; performance-based design; analysis and preservation of historic structures; sustainable design; civil engineering history

Richard Crago, P.E.
B.A. Grinnell; B.S.Washington University in St. Louis; M.S., Ph.D. Cornell
Scholarly interests: land surface/atmosphere interactions; evapotranspiration; watershed hydrology

Thomas DiStefano, P.E.
B.S. Drexel; M.Eng., Ph.D. Cornell
Scholarly interests: biological treatment of industrial wastes; bioremediation of hazardous waste sites

Jeffrey Evans, P.E.
B.S. Clarkson; M.S. Purdue; Ph.D. Lehigh
Scholarly interests: environmental geotechnics; slurry trench cutoff walls; stabilization and solidification

Douglas Gabauer
B.S., M.S. Rowan; Ph.D. Virginia Tech
Scholarly interests: occupant injury in roadside crashes; crash performance of roadside hardware; application of recorded kinematic data from real-world crash events

Simon Ghanat
B.S., M.S., Ph.D., Arizona State
Scholarly interests: risk analysis and numerical modeling; seismic studies; engineering characteristics of strong ground motions; impact of soil-structure interaction on geotechnical and structural system; developing a duration model for subduction zone and intra-plate earthquakes; and developing an energy-based model for liquefaction and seismic displacement analyses

Matthew Higgins
B.S., M.S. Maine; Ph.D. Virginia Tech
Scholarly interests: coagulation; flocculation; solid/liquid separation; viable-but-nonculturable bacteria; heavy metal speciation; biosolids treatment

Michael Malusis, P.E.
B.S. Bucknell; M.S., Ph.D. Colorado State
Scholarly interests: enhanced waste containment barriers; waste-soil compatibility; clay membranes and coupled solute transport; polymer-clay nanocomposites

Jessica Newlin
B.S. Bucknell; M.S. University of California, Davis; Ph.D. Penn State
Scholarly interests: hydraulics and geomorphology of rivers and streams; management of stable stream channels near bridge crossings

Kelly Salyards, P.E.
B.A.E, M.A.E., Ph.D. Penn State University
Scholarly interests: dynamic behavior of structures; vibration serviceability; dynamic computer modeling

T. Michael Toole, P.E.
B.S. Bucknell; M.S., Ph.D. MIT
Scholarly interests: construction innovation; construction safety; project management

Ronald Ziemian, P.E.
B.S., M.Eng., Ph.D. Cornell
Scholarly interests: application of advanced methods of nonlinear analysis in the design of metal structures; dynamic analysis of structural systems; experimental testing of metal structures

Undergraduate Research

Bucknell’s civil engineering faculty members welcome students’ participation in conducting research. Opportunities and funding are available through sources including the Chiloro Fund, College of Engineering, the Katherine Mabis McKenna Summer Environmental Internship Program and the Bucknell Program for Undergraduate Research. Students present their results at the annual Kalman Research Symposium and often travel with faculty to professional conferences. Recent projects include:

  • Anaerobic Biodegradation of Bucknell University Food Waste
  • Development and Calibration of a Lab-size Slump Cone
  • Membrane Behavior in a Geosynthetic Clay Liner Exposed to Organic Solutes
  • Water Budget of a Watershed Dominated by Subsurface Storm Flow: Impact of Urbanization
  • Turbulent Transport Efficiency in Vegetation Canopies
  • Field Investigation of Sedimentation Analysis at Stream-Bridge Crossings
  • The Effectiveness of Bendway Weir Stream Restoration Structures at Bridge Crossings
  • Behavior of Multiswellable Bentonite
  • A Calibrated Advection – Aridity Evaporation Model Using No Humidity Data
  • Effects of Corrosion on Guardrail Performance
  • Using Load Estimation Method to Produce Crowd-Induced Forcing Functions

Selected Faculty Publications

The scholarship of civil and environmental engineering faculty members has recently appeared in the following publications:

ASTM Geotechnical Testing Journal

International Journal of Vehicle Safety

Journal of Construction Engineering and Management

Journal of Environmental Engineering

Journal of Hydrometeorology

Journal of Safety Research

Journal of Structural Engineering

Journal of the American Water Resources Association

Soil and Sediment Contamination: An International Journal

Water Research

Water Resources Research

Facilities & Resources

Bucknell’s facilities and instrumentation allow students to participate as active learners, not as observers, in laboratories. For example, in addition to our indoor geotechnical engineering laboratory, students participate in “field” laboratories using a full-scale drilling rig and associated in situ testing and sampling equipment. Laboratories include:

Materials testing lab – Contains a 30,000 lb. and 66,000 lb. capacity computer controlled Instron testing machines; 200,000 lb. capacity hydraulic universal testing machines; 60,000 lb. torsion testing machines; various mechanical and electronic systems to measure strains and displacements.

Structural testing lab – contains a testing machine with a load capacity of 600,000 lbs. and over 200 concrete anchor points.

Hydraulics/fluids lab – Contains a water supply system featuring a 10,000 gallon reservoir and max flow rate of 1,000 gallons per minute; tilting channel flume (32 ft. by 4 ft.) to investigate sediment transport, waves, and unsteady flow in open channels; motorized titling channel demonstration flume.

Environmental science and engineering laboratories – Equipped with gas and liquid chromatographs, atomic absorption spectrophotometer, air stripper, respirometer, carbon analyzer, batch continuous bioreactor, inductively coupled plasma spectrometer, molecular biotechnology, lab, thermalcycler, ultra-low temp high speed centrifuge, anaerobic glove bag, belt filter press simulator.

Geotechnical engineering lab – equipped with consolidometers, shear testing machines, drying kiln, triaxial compression control boards, compression testing machines.

Courses Offered

Civil Engineering Design
Construction Engineering
Design of Concrete Structures
Design of Steel Structures
Earthquake Engineering
Engineering Planning and Project Management
Environmental Engineering
Environmental Engineering Biotechnology
Environmental Engineering Chemistry
Environmental Geotechnology
Forensic Engineering
Geotechnical Engineering I and II
Ground Improvement Engineering
GIS Applications for Engineers
Hazardous Waste Management
Introduction to Roadside Safety
Introduction to Structural Engineering
Introduction to Transportation
Introduction to Urban and Regional Planning
Mass Transportation Seminar
Physical/Chemical Treatment
River Mechanics
Special Topics in Civil Engineering
Structural Analysis I and II
Traffic Engineering
Transportation Policy and Planning
Travel Demand Modeling
Undergraduate Research
Water Resources Engineering
Water Treatment Design

Quick Facts

Number of full-time faculty: 13

Ranked third in U.S. News & World Report’s 2010 Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs

Average number of majors per class year: 34