Our Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering faculty have developed five internationally renowned research centers housed within the department.
CADSWES is an interdisciplinary center for the research and development of decision support tools for management of water and environmental resources. Established in 1986, CADSWES is housed in the Department of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering at the University of Colorado Boulder.
The mission of CADSWES is to research, design, prototype and develop integrated decision support systems to help solve real-world water resources and environmental problems.
Its primary research sponsors are the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, the Tennessee Valley Authority and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The CADSWES R&D team includes water and environmental engineers and scientists, software engineers, management information scientists and researchers from other disciplines as well as graduate and undergraduate students from CEAE and other departments. The R&D team collaborate internally and with sponsoring agencies and academic faculty to carry out applied research in the areas of hydrologic and hydraulic modeling, policy evaluation, data analysis and decision science. The results of research are implemented in computer tools used by sponsoring agencies for system management.
CADSWES endeavors to contribute significantly to improved management of water resources and environmental systems by
- undertaking relevant research and serving as a university center for collaboration of relevant research among researchers, agencies, faculty and students;
- working closely with resource management agencies to understand and respond to decision support needs;
- applying powerful and appropriate information technologies to advance the results of research to useful decision support tools;
- maintaining, supporting and teaching the use of the decision support tools to facilitate improved resource management by government agencies and others;
- educating students in the development and use of decision support tools and in the issues and methods of resource management.
The Center for Environmental Mass Spectrometry (CEMS) is a laboratory that focuses on the detection of pharmaceuticals, hormones, and other organic contaminants in water and evaluating the effectiveness of methods for removing these compounds.
CEMS was established in 2008 at the University of Colorado Boulder by Imma Ferrer, Karl Linden, and E. Michael Thurman. Thurman is a 30-year veteran of the United States Geological Survey (USGS) who has focused his research in water testing. Ferrer is the chief analyst of CEMS and is responsible for the highest quality accuracy measurements and operation of the laboratory. Professor Linden directs research on the treatment of pharmaceuticals in water and plays a key role in laboratory development and design. Professor Fernando Rosario-Ortiz collaborates on the nature of wastewater organic matter.
CEMS also has a collaborative agreement with Larry Barber of the USGS for the sampling and analysis of pharmaceuticals in the environment.
The Design of Risk-reducing, Innovative-implementable Small-system Knowledge (DeRISK) Center understands that drinking water utilities are faced with making treatment decisions that impact their ability to meet current regulations, while the uncertainty of future regulations looms on the horizon. For small systems human and financial capacity issues exacerbate these decisions. Our research center embraces these issues by investing a large portion of the allocated resources into building this capacity by developing criteria that utilities and primacy agencies can use to assess and implement innovative technologies and provide new approaches to training engineers and operators to facilitate the long-term sustainable use in small systems.
The DeRISK Center was formed in the summer of 2014 when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, as part of its Science to Achieve Results (STAR) program, awarded two National Research Centers that aim to:
- identify, develop, demonstrate and facilitate widespread acceptance and applicability of novel and innovative technologies and approaches to measure or treat groups of microbiological or chemical contaminants, or their precursors;
- apply novel new information technology systems;
- and improve the sustainability of small drinking water systems.
The Mortenson Center in Global Engineering promotes integrated and participatory solutions to humanitarian development by educating globally responsible engineering students and professionals to address the problems faced by developing communities worldwide. Through our curriculum, we:
- Introduce students to the historical causes and present conditions of global inequality, and identify the opportunities and limitations of professional engineering engagement.
- Empower students and working professionals to engage in a historically contextualized, anti-imperial contribution to global engineering.
- Identify and promote the relevance and role of the engineering profession in supporting the reduction of poverty and increasing prosperity.