Research within the DEEE

Earth and Environmental Engineering

Current research activities in Earth and environmental engineering include the development of geostatistical methodology for the environmental assessment of brownfields; computer modeling of mining operations and control of mine drainage; the design of novel underground bioreactors for treatment of organic wastes; a constructed pilot wetland for storage and treatment of contaminated harbor sediments; computer modeling of coal-based clean energy production systems with no emissions to the atmosphere; the development of the New York Virtual Harbor model, which uses GIS technology to superimpose multiple sets of data on geography, bathygraphy, river and tidal flow, and sources and sinks of contaminants; and integrated waste management in coastal metropolitan regions; and a collaborative effort between the Earth Engineering Center and SIPA on technologies/policies to help NYC with recycling/disposal of municipal solid waste after the G+Fresh Kills landfill closes in 2002. The research work at the Center for Carbon Management is devoted to discovering the mechanisms for controlling the flows of carbon in the environment, hence protecting against the environmental and economic disruptions related to anthropogenic, atmospheric carbon dioxide.


Materials Science and Engineering

Current research in materials science includes microscopic study of interfaces, grain boundaries, and thin films; lattice defects and electrical properties of ceramics; laser processing and solidification of silicon; and optical and electrical properties of wideband semiconductors. The Department is a world center for research in the use of lasers to form thin layers of silicon for photovoltaic and other applications. The scanning electron microscope is equipped for energy dispersive analysis. Modern mechanical testing equipment is available at the Department and also at Civil Engineering's Carleton Lab. Materials are prepared by a variety of techniques, including mechanical working, induction melting, electron-beam evaporation, and sputtering. Measurements can be carried out in controlled environments and from near absolute zero to ultrahigh temperatures. More information can be found in the web page of the Materials Research Science and Engineering Center ( and the web page of the Materials Science and Engineering/Solid-State Science and Engineering (

Department of Earth and Environmental Engineering
918 Seeley Mudd Building, Columbia University
500 West 120th St, New York, NY 10027
Tel: (212) 854 2905, Fax: (212) 854 7081
Administration: Peter Rennee: