Research CEE

Passive Seismic Protective Systems (PSPS)

Research efforts on Passive Seismic Protective Systems (PSPS) at Howard University focus to advance knowledge about PSPS to secure critical infrastructure such as buildings—its contents and components—and bridges that are subject to extreme load conditions—earthquakes, tsunamis, and hurricanes. Current research involves theoretical and numerical analysis together with real-environment, full-scale experimental testing on the dynamic interaction of structural systems, nonstructural components and systems, and their protective measures under earthquake shaking.

Current research on PSPS has been supported by the National Science Foundation in the following projects:

  1. Passive Seismic Protective Systems for Nonstructural Systems and Components in Multistory Building
  2. Innovative Seismic Retrofits for Reinforced Concrete Buildings
  3. Full-Scale Structural and Nonstructural Building System Performance during Earthquakes

Research activities on PSPS include: 1) experimental and theoretical simulations, 2) modeling of dynamic response of structures, nonstructural components and systems, and protective measures to predict the responses by using analytical and computational mechanics tools, 3) validating through experimentation mathematical models that predict behavior of mechanical systems under extreme loading condition, and 4) finding simple procedures and methodologies to support design procedures and verification processes in engineering practice. For more information on the recent research projects please visit:,, All inquiries should be directed to Dr. Claudia Marin-Artieda, by phone at 202-806-6580 or by email at

The Howard University Transportation Research Center (HUTRC)

The Howard University Transportation Research Center (HUTRC) was established in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department to lead interdisciplinary urban transportation research in Washington, DC. The Center seeks the mutual interest of the University and its sponsors. Since 1998, HUTRC has embarked upon research, training and outreach in areas such as transportation policy, management, economics, law, as well as engineering.

Howard University works with a consortium of colleges and universities to supplement their engineering expertise, professional skills and research capabilities. The university also engages consultants with a history of transportation research specialties. HUTRC is cognizant of the need to collaborate with other universities and consultants to meet the center’s goal of:
1. Providing the highest quality of service to its partners and the community
2. Providing safe, economically efficient, and environmentally sustainable solutions to meet the transportation needs of the District.

The center welcomes opportunities to work with other universities, transportation centers and transportation agencies. All inquiries should be directed to the center’s Director, Dr. Stephen Arhin, by phone at 202-806-4798 or by email at

The Howard University Structural Simulation Laboratory

The Howard University Structural Simulation Laboratory (HUSSL) is an undergraduate research and educational facility dedicated to foster the understanding of structural engineering fundamentals, visualization and experimental demonstrations of concepts on general behavior of structural elements and systems, introduction to structural design using high-performance materials and systems, introduction to emerging technologies for multi-hazard protection of civil engineering structures. The HUSSL research projects emphasize experimental and theoretical simulations, modeling of responses of structures under different load conditions and protective measures. HUSSL also is the base of operations of the Ambassadors of Engineering program. This Ambassador program is managed by CEE students engaging Howard University undergraduate engineering students in outreach from K-12 grades and the general public, and promotion of careers in engineering. All inquiries should be directed to Dr. Claudia Marin-Artieda, by phone at 202-806-6580 or by email at

Environmental And Water Resources Engineering (EWRE)

The research efforts in the Environmental And Water Resources Engineering (EWRE) group foster education and research on water quality and treatment, wastewater treatment, storm water monitoring and quality, fate and transport of contaminants, and hazardous waste treatment. These centers fosters opportunities for collaboration in broad fields such as nanotechnology, biotechnology, and systems engineering in order to prepare graduates for exciting environmental careers in government, private sector and academia.

The Center for Environmental Implications of NanoTechnology (CEINT)

The Center for Environmental Implications of NanoTechnology (CEINT) is dedicated to elucidating the relationship between a vast array of nanomaterials — from natural, to manufactured, to those produced incidentally by human activities — and their potential environmental exposure, biological effects, and ecological consequences. Headquartered at Duke University, CEINT is a collaboration between Duke, Carnegie Mellon University, Howard University, and Virginia Tech with investigators from the University of Kentucky and Stanford University. Created in 2008 with funding from the National Science Foundation and the US Environmental Protection Agency, with funding renewed through 2018, CEINT performs fundamental research on the behavior of nano-scale materials in ecosystems that will provide guidance in assessing existing and future concerns surrounding the environmental implications of nanomaterials. Contact at Howard University for this center is Dr. Kimberly Jones,

Consortium for Risk Evaluation with Stakeholder Participation (CRESP)

The multi-university Consortium for Risk Evaluation with Stakeholder Participation (CRESP) has served DOE and its stakeholders since 1995, currently through a cooperative agreement (2006 – 2017) awarded to Vanderbilt University. The objective of CRESP is to advance cost-effective, risk-based cleanup of the nation’s nuclear weapons production facility waste sites and cost-effective, risk-based management of potential future nuclear sites and wastes. This is accomplished by seeking to improve the scientific and technical basis for environmental management decisions by the Department of Energy (DOE) and by fostering public participation in that search. The CRESP Management Board is comprised of technical, engineering, scientific and policy experts from ten university consortium member institutions: Vanderbilt University, Howard University, New York University School of Law, Oregon State University, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Rutgers – The State University of New Jersey, University of Arizona, University of Pittsburgh, University of Wisconsin – Madison, and Georgia Institute of Technology. Howard University contact person: Dr. Kimberly Jones,

Department of Energy’s Minority Serving Institutions Partnership (MSIPP)

Three investigators at Howard University were recently awarded grants through the Department of Energy’s Minority Serving Institutions Partnership Program, which aims to build a sustainable pipeline between DOE sites and MSI’s in STEM areas. The first project aims to improve the treatment process at two DOE sites, Hanford and Savannah River by improving the membrane treatment process. Crossflow filtration is an integral part of the waste remediation and vitrification process at the Hanford and Savannah River Sites, as each site requires separation of solids from liquid prior to downstream processing. Although microfiltration has been identified as a suitable separation process, ongoing fouling problems hinder the process and threaten to negatively affect the timeline and cost estimates for the overall remediation plan. The overall goals of this project are to understand the mechanistic underpinnings of fouling behavior observed in Hanford and Savannah River crossflow filtration units, recommend appropriate modifications to the filtration process that would reduce fouling and increase overall process efficiency, and develop appropriate parameters for a predictive fouling model. The contact person for this project is Dr. Kimberly Jones:

Stout Infrastructure, Geotechnics and Materials Laboratory (SIGMa)

The multidisciplinary research at SIGMa is dedicated to fostering sustainability and resilience in civil and marine infrastructure through 1) developing high-performance and multifunctional materials, 2) addressing the geotechnical aspects of renewable energy sources, 3) incorporating reliability and optimization into the design of interacting geotechnical and structural systems and 4) improving the durability of civil and marine infrastructure. All inquiries should be directed to Dr. Hessam Yazdani, by phone at 202-806-6199 or by email at

The Howard University Environmental Biotechnology Laboratory

The goal of the Environmental Biotechnology Lab is to understand microbial ecology within the urban water cycle and consequently inform water treatment approaches and technology development. We are particularly interested in harnessing microbial communities to improve the urban water cycle. Our research harnesses microbial communities by understanding (1) how to use microbes to manage the nitrogen cycle in water and resource recovery facilities, (2) how to engineer biofilms to perform desirable engineering outcomes, (3) how to exploit signaling molecules microbes use. We pair the latest tools in molecular biology, bioinformatics, and process modeling with lab-, pilot-, and full-scale studies of biological treatment systems. To read more about current projects and opportunities please go to All inquiries should be directed to Dr. Jeseth Delgado Vela, by phone at 202-806-6630 or by email at