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Phillip Ooi Chair

Aloha! Welcome to the Department of Civil, Environmental and Construction Engineering at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa. Whether you are a prospective undergraduate student, a prospective graduate student, current student, or a visitor, I hope you will find the information you’re seeking on this website. Please feel free to contact us at any time if additional information is needed.

The CECE department offers the degrees of Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering (BS CE), Bachelor of Science in Construction Engineering (BS CNST), Master of Science (MS CE), and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D. CE). We have approximately 300 undergraduate students, 60 graduate students, and 20 faculty members. The CE program is accredited by ABET, the U.S. accrediting board for engineering programs. In our long history, we have granted over 10,000 baccalaureate and graduate degrees.

As the only civil engineering program in the State of Hawai‘i, our graduates are found in nearly every public and private engineering agency and company in Hawai‘i, where many of them are in leadership positions. There has been a constant demand for civil, environmental and construction engineers in the state and we are often contacted by employers eager to fill vacant positions with our graduates.

Our faculty is dedicated to teaching, research, and professional service, which is consistent with the expectations of any major research university. Our talented faculty members have all received academic training at top research universities and have had practical work experience as well. All of us have a Ph.D. degree and most of us are also licensed as a professional engineer (PE). Research activities of our faculty have been funded by federal agencies including the National Science Foundation, NASA, NOAA, Office of Naval Research, FEMA, Department of Defense, Department of Agriculture, Federal Highway Administration, and Environmental Protection Agency. Funding support is also obtained from state agencies and from private organizations and companies.

The Hawaiian Islands are noted for their natural beauty and also provide unique research opportunities for civil, environmental and construction engineering in the areas of renewable energy, seismic soil-structure interaction, tsunami engineering, liquefaction hazards in coastal regions, sustainable development of basal aquifers, marine disposal of municipal wastewater, water desalination and wastewater re-use, and many more.

Please consult the other links on our site for specific information that you may be seeking. If you would like to visit, please contact us so that we can schedule meetings with faculty and arrange a tour of our teaching and research facilities. Below, I hope to answer a few questions that prospective undergraduate students might have about civil engineering and our program. Students interested in graduate study should refer to the graduate study page.

Prospective Undergraduate Students

Some of you may not have a clear idea of what civil engineers do. Quite simply, civil engineers are focused on improving the quality of life by engineering and managing the environment. They are responsible for the built environment as well as efforts to protect and maintain the natural environment. Civil engineers plan, design, and construct buildings, bridges, dams, levees, housing developments, roads and highways, airports, seaports, systems for the delivery of clean and safe drinking water, and systems for the removal and treatment of wastewater. Civil engineers work on the design of aircraft, automobiles, and marine structures; they plan, design, and manage transportation systems, and design and implement systems to protect the natural environment. The images on our website are from projects that have involved civil engineers. These images are each linked to a page that describes the project in greater detail. Through these examples, I hope you will gain a better appreciation for the role of civil engineers in society. In addition, the American Society of Civil Engineers website has a very informative presentation on the accomplishments of civil engineers.

Our department provides emphasis in six main subdisciplines of civil engineering. They are: construction management, environmental engineering, geotechnical engineering, hydraulics/hydrology, structural engineering, and transportation engineering. Our curriculum is designed such that the first two years reviews the science underlying the practice of engineering, especially mathematics, physics, and chemistry. In addition, students enroll in initial engineering courses in mechanics (specifically, statics, dynamics, and the mechanics of materials) and computer programming. In the third year, students take engineering courses in each of the department’s subdisciplines. This provides breadth to our student’s education, and also allows our students to discover areas that are of particular interest to them. In the fourth year, students have the opportunity to take more advanced courses in these specific areas of interest.

Thank you for your interest in our program.

If you would like to receive more information about our department, please feel free to contact us:

Department of Civil, Environmental and Construction Engineering
University of Hawaii at Manoa
2540 Dole Street, Holmes 383, Honolulu, Hawaii 96822, USA
Phone: (808) 956-7550 Fax: (808) 956-5014

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