Graduate Division

Engineering Ph.D. with a Concentration in Environmental Engineering

Section 1

Overview

The Ph.D. Degree in Engineering with Concentration in Environmental Engineering is administered by the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. It is an interdisciplinary program with two broad focus areas: water and energy & climate. Students are encouraged to complement their research with a broad range of elective courses tailored for their specific research objectives.

What Sets Us Apart?

Environmental Engineering is broadly concerned with understanding how human activities impact the environment and designing solutions to reduce or avoid negative environmental impacts. Examples of emphasis in UCI's Environmental Engineering program include:

  • development of strategies to control anthropogenic emissions of pollutants to the atmosphere, waterways, and terrestrial environment;
  • remediation of polluted natural systems;
  • design of technologies to treat waste;
  • energy efficiency and environmentally responsible power generation; and
  • evaluation of contaminant fate in the environment.

Environmental Engineering is inherently interdisciplinary and requires practitioners and researchers to understand fundamentals in air- and water-quality sciences, energy, contaminant fate and transport, and design concepts for pollutant emission control and treatment.  Students study topics in engineering, science, and policy including:

  • environmental air and water chemistry and microbiology
  • combustion technologies and aerosol science
  • environmental transport phenomena
  • ecology of natural waters
  • physical, chemical, and biological processes related to water and wastewater treatment and water reuse
  • pollutant fate and transport
  • mathematical modeling
  • energy systems
  • fluid mechanics
  • hydrometeorology and climatology
  • energy and global climate change including carbon footprint analysis and alternative fuels

Interdisciplinary research commonly bridges many of these different subjects and their importance to new and emerging technologies. Curriculum objectives strive to balance the depth and breadth of program scope for each student.

Quick Facts

Program Type

Doctoral Program

Normative Time to Degree

5 years

Capstone Type

Dissertation

Accordion Section

Admissions Requirements

The department receives a large volume of graduate applications each year and the selection process is extremely competitive. Minimum requirements are as follows:


GPA

A cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 during undergraduate study


GRE

The general portion of the GRE is required for all applicants. UCI does not require a minimum score on the GRE.

TOEFL

International applicants must take either the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exams. Please select institution code 4859 to have your official score sent to UCI.

More information

For the TOEFL exam, international applicants must obtain a minimum score of 80 on the Internet-based Test (IBT) or 550 on the paper-based test (PBT). The requirement for the IELTS exam is an overall minimum score of 7 for admission, with a score of no less than 6 on any individual module. If an international applicant has obtained an advanced degree in the United States, this requirement may be waived. Please contact April Heath to confirm if this requirement can be waived.

Transcripts

Applicants must upload unofficial transcripts directly to the online application for all institutions attended since high school. If an applicant is admitted, official transcripts will be requested only from the institution(s) were a degree was earned.

Personal History Statement

This is required of all applicants.

Letters of Recommendation

Letters must be uploaded digitally; paper LORs will not be accepted.

Required Background

The interdisciplinary nature of the program allows students with a variety of backgrounds to undertake studies in this field. Students with a background in engineering—particularly chemical, civil, environmental, and mechanical engineering—as well as scientists from biology, chemistry, environmental science, and physics, are encouraged to participate.

Students admitted to the program are expected to have had rigorous undergraduate exposure to a number of relevant subject areas including air quality, environmental chemistry, fluid mechanics, microbial processes, and reactor theory and design. The degree to which each student meets the program’s background requirement is determined by participating faculty at the time of admission. Students with an insufficient background who are offered admission will be required to take a set of appropriate prerequisite courses. Prerequisite work typically involves at least two and frequently as many as five or six upper-division, undergraduate courses each of which must be completed with a final grade of B or better. Occasionally, lower-division work in chemistry, mathematics, or physics is required. The student’s specific prerequisite course work requirement, if any, is stated in the letter of admission.

The background requirement establishes a common foundation for graduate study in the program. Not all students are required to take prerequisite course work; those who are may do so following matriculation in the graduate program. In addition, M.S. students may use a limited amount of upper-division undergraduate course work taken to meet the background requirement in partial fulfillment of graduate degree requirements.

Examples of commonly required prerequisite courses within each of the required background areas are as follows:

    Air Quality and Energy: Engineering MAE110, MAE115, or MAE164
    Environmental Chemistry: CEE162 or Earth System Science 102
    Environmental Microbiology:CBEMS112 or CBEMS116/216
    Fluid Mechanics: CEE170, CBEMS120A, or MAE130A
    Reactor Theory and Design: CEE163 or CBEMS110

Additional sample courses and descriptions can be found in the catalog.

Financial Support

The department has several sources of financial support for highly qualified students. These include fellowships, research assistantships and teaching assistantships. In addition, a large number of external competitive fellowships/awards are available for students meeting the criteria of the sponsoring organization.

Sources of departmental support include:

Tuition & Fees

Graduate/Credential Student Fees 2018-19

  Fall 2018 Winter 2019 Spring 2019 Annual
Student Services Fee 376.00 376.00 376.00 1,128.00
Tuition 3,814.00 3,814.00 3,814.00 11,442.00
Assoc. Grad Students Fee 9.00 9.00 9.00 27.00
Student Center Fee 137.88 137.88 137.87 413.63
Bren Events Center Fee 23.00 23.00 23.00 69.00
Recreation Center Fee 88.00 88.00 88.00 264.00
eTech Fee * 60.00 60.00 60.00 180.00
Document Fee † 80.00 0.00 0.00 80.00
Student Health Insurance 1,348.00 1,347.00 1,347.00 4,042.00
Total California Resident $5,795.88 $5,794.88 $5,794.87 $17,385.63
Nonresident Supplemental Tuition 5,034.00 5,034.00 5,034.00 15,102.00
Total Nonresident $10,829.88 $10,828.88 $10,828.87 $32,487.63

Posted 10 August 2018 at http://reg.uci.edu/fees/2018-2019/graduate.html

The tuition, fees, and charges posted to your billing statement or account are estimates based on currently approved amounts. These figures may not be final. Actual tuition, fees, and charges are subject to change by the Regents of the University of California and could be affected by increases or reductions in State funding, or other developments. Accordingly, final approved levels (and thus your final balance due) may differ from the amounts shown.

The non-refundable eTech Fee is required of all students and is used to support the maintenance and improvement of existing education technology, and new services and capabilities. The eTech fee is listed separately as the charged amount varies based on the amount of undergraduate units the student is enrolled in and is assessed later in the term than the other fees listed. The fee is $4 per unit of undergraduate lecture course, up to a maximum amount of $60 (or 15 units) per quarter. It will be assessed after the third week of instruction. The $60 eTech Fee included on this chart reflects the maximum possible fee.

† The Document Fee provides lifetime access to official transcripts and academic verifications without a fee for in-person pickup or delivery by USPS. In addition, there is no fee for mailing the initial diploma. Effective Fall 2018, new undergraduate, professional, and graduate students are assessed the one-time document fee. Eligible students are able to use financial aid to cover the Document Fee.

Core Faculty

Sunny Jiang, Ph.D.
Professor and Chair, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering; Environmental Health Sciences
Research Interests: water pollution microbiology, environmental biotechnology, aquatic microbial ecology
department profile
E-mail: sjiang@uci.edu
Research Lab

Mohammad Javad Abdolhosseini Qomi, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering
Research Interests: mechanics and physics of multi-scale porous materials, nano- and meso-chemo-mechanics, engineering advanced materials for sustainable infrastructures
department profile
Email: mjaq@uci.edu
Research Lab

Adeyemi Adeleye, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering
Research Interests: water chemistry; environmental applications of nanotechnology; fate and effects of emerging contaminants (engineered nanomaterials, pharmaceuticals, and microplastics); nanotoxicity; water and wastewater treatment
department profile
Email: adeyemi.adeleye@uci.edu

Amir Aghakouchak, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering
Research Interests: Hydrology, climatology, remote sensing of environment, climate extremes, water-energy nexus, climate change, stochastic modeling, water resources management
department profile
Email: amir.a@uci.edu
Research Lab

Kristen Davis, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering; Earth System Science
Research Interests: coastal oceanography, fluid mechanics, turbulent flows
department profile
Email: davis@uci.edu
Research Lab

Russell Detwiler, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering
Research Interests: groundwater hydrology, contaminant fate and transport, subsurface process modeling, groundwater/surface-water interaction
department profile
Email: detwiler@uci.edu
Research Lab

Efi Foufoula-Georgiou, Ph.D.
Distinguished Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Research Interests: hydrology and geomorphology with emphasis on modeling the interactions between the atmosphere, land, and the terrestrial environment at plot to large-watershed scale
department profile
Email: efi@uci.edu
Research Lab

Stanley Grant, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering; Chemical Engineering and Materials Science
Research Interests: environmental engineering, inland and coastal water quality, coagulation and filtration of colloidal contaminants, environmental microbiology
department profile
Email: sbgrant@uci.edu
Research Lab

Kuo-Lin Hsu, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering
Research Interests: remote sensing of precipitation, hydrologic systems modeling, stochastic hydrology, water resources systems planning
department profile
Email: kuolinh@uci.edu
Research Lab

Michael Hyland, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering
Research Interests: modeling, design, control, and analysis of smart city transportation systems with emphases on shared-use autonomous mobility services and urban transit networks
department profile
Email: hylandm@uci.edu

R. Jayakrishnan, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering
Research Interests: transportation systems analysis
department profile
Email: rjayakri@uci.edu
Research Lab

Wenlong Jin, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering
Research Interests: intelligent transportation systems, traffic flow theory, transportation network analysis
department profile
E-mail: wjin@uci.edu
Research Lab

Joel Lanning, Ph.D., P.E.
Assistant Professor of Teaching, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering
Research Interests: seismic design of civil structures, large-scale testing, alternative building materials, teaching methods in engineering education
department profile
Email: joel.lanning@uci.edu

Anne Lemnitzer, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering
Research Interests: geotechnical and earthquake engineering, soil structure interaction, RC design, seismic monitoring
department profile
Email: alemnitz@uci.edu
Research Lab

Mo Li, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering; Chemical Engineering & Materials Science
Research Interests: Responsive materials, multifunctional materials and structures, fracture mechanics, cement chemistry, industrial ecology, materials-structure-environment interaction
department profile
Email: mo.li@uci.edu

Michael McNally, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering; Planning, Policy, and Design
Research Interests: travel behavior, transportation systems analysis
department profile
Email: mmcnally@uci.edu
Research Lab

Ayman Mosallam, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering; Materials & Manufacturing Engineering Technology
Research Interests: advanced composites and hybrid systems, seismic repair and rehabilitation of structures, diagnostic/prognostic structural health monitoring techniques, 3D printing in Construction and sustainable and green building technology
department profile
Email: mosallam@uci.edu

Farzad Naeim, Ph.D.
Adjunct Professor, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering
Research Interests: performance-based earthquake engineering; structural health monitoring; seismic instrumentation; structural design of tall buildings; nonlinear response of structures; seismic isolation; energy dissipation systems and devices; design characteristics of earthquake ground motions; seismic analysis and design of complex structures
department profile
Email: fnaeim@uci.edu
Research Lab

Phu Nguyen, Ph.D.
Assistant Adjunct Professor, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering
Research Interests: hydrology, GIS, satellite precipitation estimation algorithms, databases and visualization tools for remotely-sensed data and information, crowdsourcing, water resources systems
department profile
Email: ndphu@uci.edu
Research Lab

Wilfred Recker, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering
Research Interests: transportation systems modeling, traffic control, and urban systems analysis
department profile
Email: wwrecker@uci.edu
Research Lab

Stephen Ritchie, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering; Director of the Institute of Transportation Studies
Research Interests: transportation engineering, advanced traffic management and control systems, development and application of emerging technologies in transportation
department profile
Email: sritchie@uci.edu
Research Lab

Diego Rosso, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering; Chemical Engineering and Materials Science; Director of the UCI WEX Center
Research Interests: environmental process engineering, mass transfer, wastewater treatment, carbon- and energy-footprint analysis
department profile
Email: bidui@uci.edu
Research Lab

Brett Sanders, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering; Urban Planning and Public Policy
Research Interests: urban flooding, coastal flooding, dam-break flooding, flood hazard modeling, flood risk management, sediment management, shallow-water hydrodynamics and morphodynamics, computational methods, remote-sensing with drones, translational research for flood modeling targeting community resilience, population health and poverty alleviation
department profile
Email: bsanders@uci.edu
Research Lab

Jean-Daniel Saphores, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering; Economics; Planning, Policy, and Design
Research Interests: transportation and environmental systems (with a focus on air pollution and energy use), travel behavior analysis, alternative fuel vehicles, automated vehicles, transit use, sustainable infrastructure management, and decision making under uncertainty using real options
department profile
Email: saphores@uci.edu
Research Lab

Soroosh Sorooshian, Ph.D.
Distinguished Professor, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering; Earth System Science, Director of the Center for Hydrometeorology and Remote Sensing
Research Interests: hydrology, hydrometeorology and hydroclimate modeling, remote sensing, water sources management
department profile
Email: soroosh@uci.edu
Research Lab

Lizhi Sun, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering; Chemical Engineering and Materials Science
Research Interests: micro- and nano-mechanics, composites and nanocomposites, smart materials and structures, multiscale modeling, elastography
department profile
Email: lsun@uci.edu
Research Lab

Jasper Vrugt, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering; Earth System Science
Research Interests: examining how (eco)systems work, why theories deviate from data, how scientists diagnose change, as applied to biogeosciences, ecology, geomorphology, geophysics, hydrology, soils
department profile
Email: jasper@uci.edu
Research Lab

Farzin Zareian, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering
Research Interests: structural engineering, performance-based earthquake engineering, structural reliability, structural control
department profile
Email: zareian@uci.edu
Research Lab

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