Sustainability. It’s everyone’s buzzword. When it comes to civil infrastructure, civil engineers will be the ones transforming concepts into reality to achieve sustainable cities and sustainable villages.
Civil engineers must optimize use of water resources to meet industrial, agricultural, navigational, energy, recreational, and domestic needs in a way that maintains the quality of our environment now and in the face of continuing climate change. Civil engineers must plan air, highway, rail, and sea shipping transportation systems that support economic prosperity, that optimize energy use, that maximize the capacity of our existing infrastructure, and that preserve nature. And civil engineers must use and re-use natural resources sparingly to construct buildings that are energy-efficient, that anticipate climate change effects, that withstand extreme conditions, often on sites that may require pre-construction modification and environmental clean-up. Civil engineers are essential partners, then, in the stewardship of our planet, for sustainable cities and sustainable villages.
In the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Infrastructure Engineering at George Mason University, we are educating civil engineers for a changing future, both within the United States and beyond. Our commitment to teaching sustainability is threaded throughout the curriculum. It includes undergraduate electives that address sustainable land development in our cities, and water and sanitation design for small communities in developing countries. It is evident at the graduate level in courses on risk and reliability, and on intelligent transportation systems.
At George Mason we teach our graduates the tools, the values, and the vision they need to address the complex and evolving demands to create sustainable cities and sustainable villages for a sustainable world.