Civil and Environmental Engineering at UNO

The University of New Orleans is an urban university located along the south shore of Lake Pontchartrain. The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering offers an ABET accredited program in undergraduate and graduate studies with emphasis on environmental, geotechnical, structural, or water resources engineering. The department is also a participant in the Ph.D. program in Engineering and Applied Science.

Environmental Engineering

The Environmental Engineering program provides a basic understanding of multimedia environmental concerns with specialization in three areas, water and waste-water treatment, solid and hazardous waste management, and air pollution control. Water and waste-water treatment courses cover water supply and sewer system, design of water and waste-water treatment plants, and treatment plant process chemistry and microbiology. Solid and hazardous waste courses include solid waste management, hazardous waste management, and pollution prevention. Research is focused on municipal solid waste and industrial hazardous wastes. Air pollution courses include air pollution control, air quality monitoring, air pollution meteorology and atmospheric dispersion modeling, air pollution control engineering. The research focus includes industrial air quality management, worker exposures, and impact assessment.

Geotechnical Engineering

The design of foundations and the settlement behavior of the structure being supported depend on the character of the underlying materials and their action under these loads. The presence of water may also cause important stresses in the soil and can change its properties. Soil is also used as a construction material for many engineering structures such as highway pavements, earth embankments, dams, and levees. Geotechnical engineering applies the fundamental principles of soil and rock mechanics in foundation design and the use of geotechnical materials in construction.

Structural Engineering

Structural Engineering involves the study of geometric and component selection for structures such as buildings, bridges, docks, and towers. Effective structural engineering requires knowledge of the behavior of materials such as steel, concrete, and wood; familiarity with structural loads such as wind and earthquake; and the ability to analyze the effects of these loads on structures. Students are introduced to classical methods of analyzing beams, trusses, and frames. Matrix methods-computer codes are used in the solution of complex structural problems. Courses in this area include Statics, Mechanics of Materials, Structural Steel Design, and Reinforced Concrete. The faculty are involved in research in the following areas: design code modification, finite element analysis of building frames using nonlinear materials, and the structural testing of building components and connections.


The Surveying program provides the requisite course work necessary for registration and licensing as a Professional Land. Determination of property boundaries, topographic mapping with aerial photos (Photogrammetry), highway surveying, construction surveying, hydrographic surveying and Geodesy all encompass the specialties of the Topographic Engineer, the Surveyor, or the GIS Mapping Scientist. Research is focused on industrial applications of Digital Image Photogrammetry and lidar ("laser radar") to shipbuilding. Research is ongoing for the Geodesy of Subsidence in Southeastern Louisiana using GPS Satellite observations, gravimetric (gravity) observations and differential leveling techniques. The geodesy of classical geodetic datums and Grid systems with respect to new GPS satellite-derived systems is a topic of continuing research and development.

Water Resources

Water resources program encompasses engineering studies and works involving water quantity and quality. The Water Resources program provides students with knowledge of the fundamentals related to the development, utilization, and protection, of surface water and groundwater resources. Courses offered include Hydraulic engineering, Water Resources Engineering, Hydrology, Modeling and Design in Environmental Hydraulics, and Groundwater Engineering. The faculty of the Water Resources program are involved in research that focus on surface water hydraulics, river mechanics and sediment transport, wetland hydrology and physical, chemical, and biological wetland functions, fate and transport of conventional and toxic pollutants in urban and rural environments, physical and numerical modeling, and the application of geographic information systems (GIS) to water resources management.