In the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, exciting opportunities exist for students and faculty at all levels to address some of the Earth's greatest challenges. We consider it our mission as engineers to serve the common good, encompassing humanity and the natural world. 

Over a five-year period, Civil and Environmental Engineering faculty authored or co-authored nearly 170 publications in 47 different scholarly journals. They have been part of 55 different externally-sponsored research projects with more than $5M in research expenditures.



Work focuses on applying environmental interfacial chemistry to the remediation of contaminants in natural and engineered systems, public health microbiology and biological processes for waste management, and issues of sustainability.

Affiliated Faculty: Dr. Metin Duran, Dr. Wenqing Xu

Investigates the response of geomaterials and soil liquefaction during natural disasters; designs and evaluates barrier systems for protection of human health and the environment; and examines flow and transport through unsaturated soils.

Affiliated Faculty: Dr. Jonathan Hubler, Dr. Kristin Sample-Lord, Dr. Andrea Welker

Through the College’s full-scale Richard K. Faris ’69 CE, ’70 MSCE Structural Engineering Teaching and Research Laboratory, faculty are engaged in the development and testing of concrete structures, wood frame panel systems, castellated and cellular beams, joists, structural steel and wood trusses.

Affiliated Faculty: Dr. David Dinehart, Dr. Shawn Gross, Dr. Eric Musselman, Dr. Joseph Yost

Studies center on traffic operation and control, transportation system design, traffic safety, pavement design and construction and intelligent and sustainable transportation systems.

Affiliated Faculty: Dr. Seri Park

Research focuses on stormwater control measures, urban stormwater management, green infrastructure, river dynamics and environmental fluid systems.

Affiliated Faculty: Dr. Virginia Smith, Dr. Robert Traver, Dr. Bridget Wadzuk






Villanova’s Center for Resilient Water Systems is creating engineered solutions for global water challenges, including climate change, population growth, aging infrastructure and more. It is home to the nationally-recognized Villanova Urban Stormwater Partnership.





Civil and Environmental Engineering research funding comes from:

Delaware Watershed Research Fund

Department of Defense

Environmental Protection Agency

National Science Foundation

Renmatix, Inc.

Transportation Research Board

William Penn Foundation


Cutting-Edge Study Reveals Engineering Properties of Enhanced Bentonites

Cutting-Edge Study Reveals Engineering Properties of Enhanced Bentonites

Canadian Geotechnical Journal has published a new paper by PhD candidate Shan Tong and Assistant Professor Dr. Kristin Sample-Lord on the engineering properties of enhanced bentonites. Most protective barriers for landfills, mining waste, and radioactive waste disposal include a layer of bentonite (a low-permeable clay) to limit potential contamination of the surrounding soil and groundwater. Novel bentonites that have been enhanced with polymers to improve waste containment have quickly gained popularity, but very little is understood about their long-term resilience and fundamental engineering behavior. The paper presents the results of Shan’s cutting-edge multi-year experimental study to better understand how polymer addition impacts the rate at which contaminants can move through bentonite barriers and into the environment over time.


Michael Burns

Graduate Students Recognized in Engineers’ Week Poster Competition

As a part of Engineers' Week in February, more than 20 graduate students presented their work virtually for the 4th Annual Graduate Student Poster Competition. Engineering faculty evaluated the posters in two categories—technical excellence and presentation excellence—and prizes were awarded. Water Resources and Environmental Engineering graduate student Michael Burns took third place in presentation excellence.

Dr. Wenqing Xu

Professor Awarded NIH Grant for Improved Bioremediation Research

Dr. Wenqing Xu, associate professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, has been awarded $657,137 as part of a $1.467 million National Institutes of Health grant (R01) for a five-year collaborative project between Villanova University and the University of Iowa. The work centers on the bioremediation of legacy pollutants and emerging contaminants through the use of pyrogenic carbonaceous matter to enhance the performance of organohalide-respiring bacteria