Walter Scott, Jr. College of Engineering

Research Centers and Institutes

Center for Contaminant Hydrology

The Center for Contaminant Hydrology (CCH) is a nationally recognized program focused on finding innovative solutions for inadvertant release of contaminants to subsurface environments. Key attributes of the program include interdisciplinary studies, close collaboration with sponsors, collaboration with other academic programs, a focus on field scale studies, and innovation. Director: Thomas C. Sale Phone: 970-491-8413 Fax: 970-491-8224.


Center for Energy Water Sustainability

The Center for Energy Water Sustainability (CEWS) in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE), provides innovative, sustainable and climate smart environmental engineering solutions to promote collaboration between CSU and outside partners such as local governments, private sector/industry members and the U.S. Department of Defense. Current major initiatives include (1) providing the US. Air Force with expertise to assess and evaluate their wastewater and stormwater compliance programs (processes, operations, and associated permitting and regulations) in accordance with the Clean Water Act, (2) leveraging institutional knowledge to develop and deploy industry’s first standardized quantitative freshwater reporting framework and metrics to assess water stewardship in the unconventional oil and gas industry and ultimately award certification levels to companies that can meet sustainability metrics, an important component of a responsibly sourced gas (RSG) certification program and (3) conducting floodplain analyses for the U.S. Air Force, across the enterprise, for over six years. Most of the U.S. Air Force bases either lack any floodplain data or the flood risk information is severely outdated. With years of experience, robust methodologies have been developed to simulate floodplain area conditions for over 48 Air Force bases (nationally and internationally) using best available science, high resolution spatial data and the latest software/hardware tools. These high-quality flood maps are then used by the Air Force bases to identify vulnerabilities to natural and built infrastructure and plan for resiliency to mitigate flood risk. FEMA has reviewed the methods developed and utilized by the CEWS team and has provided a memo endorsing said models and methodology for generating the flood maps. This is an on-going effort and funding for studying additional bases is renewed each fiscal year.

The CEWS team is directed by Dr. Ken Carlson, tenured CEE Professor and employs one Research Manager, one Data Scientist, two Project Engineers and multiple Research Assistants that conduct research and execute deliverables for multiple projects on water, energy and sustainability.


Center for Sustainable and Intelligent Transportation Systems


Center of Excellence for Risk-Based Community Resilience Planning

The Center of Excellence for Risk-Based Community Resilience Planning at Colorado State University, funded by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), will accelerate the development of system-level models and databases that will provide the technology for enhancing community resilience in a research and development program involving three major thrusts. In addition to faculty at CSU, the team members include noted experts in resilience from the University of Oklahoma, Oregon State University, Rice University, Texas A&M University, the University of Illinois, the University of Washington, the University of South Alabama, and two minority serving institutions, California Polytechnic University, Pomona and Texas A&M-Kingsville. The decision framework created in the Center will provide a unique set of science-based measurement tools, supported by fully integrated databases and risk-informed decision methods, to optimize the design and management of individual facilities and interdependent community infrastructure systems so as to achieve resilience goals while managing life-cycle costs, thus making it possible to establish, for the first time, a business case for achieving community resilience.


Engineering Research Center

The ERC is an 110,000-square-foot research facility supporting faculty and student projects in civil, electrical, and mechanical engineering. Director: Christopher Thornton Phone: (970) 491-8394 Fax: (970) 491-8462.


Integrated Decision Support Group (IDS)

The Integrated Decision Support Group (IDS) combines advanced modeling techniques with software engineering to create Decision Support Systems for water and natural resources management. Develops decision support systems by combining software engineering and geographic information systems with advanced modeling techniques in natural resources management and civil and agricultural engineering. Promote “cross-pollination” of ideas by working with people who have different technical expertise including sponsoring agencies.


One Water Solutions Institute

The One Water Solutions Institute (OWSI) provides world-class research and innovative technologies to promote collaboration between CSU and outside partners such as local governments, private sector/industry members and non-profit organizations.  OWSI is home to several national research centers with specific efforts underway to address a variety of water sustainability challenges.


International Programs

The Department of Civil Engineering works with a number of institutions around the world. Our International Programs deliver a growing need for outreach to international students. The retention in the international programs grows in number each year.

Affiliated Centers and Organizations