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About Us


Civil Engineering and Earth Sciences at Notre Dame share a deep tradition of serving people and society. We have always focused on training our students to solve the pressing scientific and engineering problems of the day and to be tooled to grow with rapidly evolving technologies. Today we continue these traditions as we synergize to develop the fundamental and applied technologies that impact people’s health, well being, and ability to thrive.

Our department focuses on problems related to Natural and Manmade Hazards, Civil Infrastructure, Environment, Energy, Water, and Earth and Planet Systems. Developments across our department have deepened the fundamental understanding of the underlying processes, have led and continue to lead to advanced design tools, and have been used to design major infrastructure projects and/or to evaluate risk and hazards across the world.  We have organized our department into four focus groups that provide the necessary depth to impact our understanding of the problems we solve, and facilitate the sub-disciplinary interaction in order to have the inherent breadth necessary to address these complex multi-faceted problems.  Our four research focus groups are Structural Engineering, Environmental Fluid Dynamics, Environmental Engineering, and Earth Sciences.

We have very innovative and exciting undergraduate programs that synergize classroom teaching with research, field trips, lecture series and hands on experiences that expose students to the realities and professionals in their field. These programs are designed to be inspirational and lead to inquiry as well as lead to life-long connections in the field.  All of our students experience in-depth fieldtrips and the majority of our students participate in research programs, thematic professional competitions, and professional lecture series. In addition, our students have a strong tradition of service in programs such as NDSEED, a student organization that proposes, designs, finances and builds bridges for poor communities in Central America.

The department has a long tradition of placing its graduates from both undergraduate and graduate programs into sectors that truly serve society from their most basic needs of clean water and shelter to the advanced energy and transportation systems that sustain a thriving economy and a high standard of living.  Our alumni have a history of success and exemplary leadership in academia, consulting, national laboratories, construction, and industry.

We have dynamic and thriving undergraduate and graduate programs that are integrated into our research enterprise that concentrate on our core research themes focusing on Infrastructure Response to Natural and Manmade Hazards, Fluid Flow and Transport, Actinide Materials, and Chemical, Microbial, and Biogeochemical Interactions in Natural and Engineered Systems. Progress in these areas has led to the advancement of basic science and applied engineering tools that substantially impact people across the world every day.

We have recently changed our department name to better reflect our activities and strengths. We have also launched our new web site that we will be updating continuously to reflect the activities of our faculty, students, and alumni. We welcome you to visit us virtually by exploring our web site or to visit us in person at Notre Dame.

Sincerely Yours,


Joannes J. Westerink

Joseph and Nona Ahearn Professor in Computational Science and Engineering
Henry J. Massman Chairman