Civil and Environmental Engineering

Community development that supports ways of living Acquiring the knowledge and skills to support safe, sustainable societies

Features of the program

In the development of the kinds of civil infrastructure and urban environments covered in this program emphasis is placed on harmony with nature and compatibility with the environment as a whole. Specialists in these areas are expected to possess not only knowledge in the field of engineering but also a broad education including elements such as ethical thinking and social interest.
More specifically, students learn specialist knowledge and skills related to the planning, surveying, design, construction, and operation and maintenance of the civil infrastructure facilities that help us to live in safety and comfort-such as roads and railways, bridges and tunnels, embankments and dams, weirs and flood control channels, ports and airports, water supply and drainage facilities, and parks-and the networks of those facilities, as well as the urban and community development of countries, regions, prefectures, cities, towns, and villages.

Program of education

Second year
Lectures are given in compulsory subjects related to the major fields of civil and environmental engineering: applied mechanics, civil engineering materials, hydraulics, and geotechnical engineering. These subjects allow students to acquire basic knowledge in specialist fields. Students also learn the basics of design, drafting, and surveying techniques. The Basics of Civil Engineering Design course, one of the subjects distinctive to the program, allows students to learn the basic processes of planning and designing urban development and structures, and to simulate such processes through group work.

Third year
The program also includes laboratory work devised to cover the key fields listed above. Through the laboratory work, students develop a deeper understanding of the academic fields they have studied up until that point, as well as learning measurement techniques, and cultivating the skills to analyze and provide observations on results. The Civil Infrastructure Project Management course, a practical seminar course in planning and design, is also provided to allow students to study the series of stages from the planning to the design, construction, and operation and maintenance of civil infrastructure facilities, and the content of those stages, through lecture and group work-based seminar classes. The program will also incorporate internships which allow students to deepen their understanding of the connections between academic study and practical application, and learn means of tackling more specific issues.

Fourth year
In the fourth year students are assigned to laboratories to engage in research activities. Through their graduation research projects, students are able to acquire the skills to understand and mentally organize specialist problems and devise solutions on the basis of surveys, analysis, and other such approaches. They also cultivate skills such as the ability to correctly express their own ideas to people and understand the opinions of others, and presentation techniques.
In addition to the activities students pursue in their laboratory groups, classes are also given in courses entitled Technical English I/II, and Engineering Ethics. Students acquire skills for communication in international environments, as well as developing into technical experts that consider engineering ethics and pursue key roles in society.

The Civil and Environmental Engineering Program is accredited by the Japan Accreditation Board for Engineering Education (JABEE) as a “JABEE accredited program in civil and environmental engineering.”

Introduction to classes

Basics of Civil Engineering Design, Civil Infrastructure Project Management

(1) Basics of Civil Engineering Design
Basics of Civil Engineering Design is a course held in the first semester of the second year, when students are starting to engage in fully-fledged study of specialist subjects. In groups of around five students, students look at transportation planning and bridge design for central Niigata City. In their respective groups, students engage in activities such as discussing the state of urban transportation and producing models of bridges by referring to various bridges around the world.

(2) Civil Infrastructure Project Management
Students take the Civil Infrastructure Project Management course in the second semester of the third year, by which point they have already studied various specialist subjects. Drawing on the specialist knowledge they have acquired in the course up until then, students thoroughly tackle a series of topics such as the planning of highways, and the design, construction, and operation and maintenance of bridges, with guidance from people with practical work experience in those fields.

Creating bridge models
Exchanging opinions to devise plans of roads
Sketch of a bridge design
Exchanging opinions to create bridge models

Advanced research pursued
by the program

Projections of coastal hazards and beach profile changes under a changing climate, and prediction of oceanic wave by using artificial intelligence.

Associate Professor
Ryota Nakamura

Coastal engineering mainly focuses on the properties of oceanic waves and physical process near coastal area. Coastal hazards have generated a lot in recent years, so it is of importance to elucidate the mechanism of physical process and to investigate the consequences (i.e., damage to local residents, structures and infrastructures). Recent examples include the tsunami hazards associated with the landslide occurred at Anak Krakatau in 2018 and storm surges inundation caused by typhoon Jebi (2018) in Osaka Bay. In addition, the advance studies have been carried out for projections of atmospheric extremes under a changing climate and for investigation on beach profile changes measured by UAV photogrammetry. Our coastal engineering group in Niigata University is mainly interested in four contents: (1) investigation into mechanism of tsunamis, storm surges and high waves and projections of those under a changing climate, (2) field survey and numerical simulation of beach profile changes, (3) Application of artificial intelligence to studies on coastal engineering, (4) hydrodynamic experiments specific for tsunami associated debris transport. These studies have the potential to contribute to the sustainability welfare of human inhabitants in coastal area. Also, these studies are carried out by using appropriate methods selected from field survey, numerical simulations and hydraulic experiments.

In our lab, collaborative researches with top-level foreign researches spread over the globe have been carried out with high-level intelligent students. For instance, the projections of future extreme rainfall in Ghana have been conducted as a part of Belmont forum projects with British, U.S.A and Italian teams. In addition, the future projections of sea ice and oceanic waves around Arctic sea have been carried out with Canadian and Estonian researchers. Also the studies of floating containers associated with tsunami inundation have the potential to contribute to 7th standard code of American Society of Civil Engineering. Furthermore, the methods to predict the oceanic waves by using artificial intelligence were developed. These studies have been mainly performed by bachelor and master students at Niigata University, some of them were appointed as speaking at special session of academic conferences. Finally, we always believe that their activity can contribute to their mentally growth and reaching high level intelligence, and thus these studies are conducted with highly motivated.

Figure 1 The snap shot of collapse of Anak Krakatau causing tsunami hazards at coastal area in Indonesia 2018 (left). Human instability rate of 5 year-old child calculated from street-scale numerical simulation of storm surge inundation at Nemuro 2014 (right).
Figure 2 Application of UAV photogrammetry and numerical simulations to morphological changes at local coastal estuary at Niigata.
Figure 3 High precision prediction of oceanic surface wave height by using recurrent neural network (a kind of artificial intelligence).

Civil and Environmental Engineering Program

Micro to Macro -Concrete viewed from “Nano”- We especially focus on the crystal and colloid structures of calcium silicate hydrates (C-S-H), which is a dominant hydration product of cementitious materials, and “control” the generations of hydrates. Also, we focus on a design of the recycled cement, development of new cement systems, a design of ultra-high durability concrete and elucidation of a mechanism of concrete degradations.

AI substituted C-S-H structure
Monosulfate and its crystal structure model

Licenses and qualifications that can be acquired

  • Licenses
    First class upper secondary school teacher's license (industry)
  • Qualifications
    Assistant surveyor (qualification)
    Associate professional engineer (JABEE accreditation), etc.