Texas Tech University

Doctor of Philosophy

Doctoral studies consist of selected courses and independent research culminating in a dissertation. Each student's degree plan is individually formulated through consultation with a faculty advisory committee. Recent dissertation research studies have included topics in the civil engineering specialty areas of structural engineering, engineering mechanics, geotechnical engineering, geoenvironmental engineering, water resources engineering, wind engineering, environmental engineering, and computational mechanics.

Typically, students with M.S. degrees in engineering programs enter the civil engineering doctoral program. Students with graduate degrees in non-engineering sciences initially may be accepted subject to completing specified leveling courses in civil engineering. Students with master's degrees in civil or environmental engineering who have not completed courses equivalent to the core courses required for the M.S.C.E. degree will be required to satisfactorily complete the missing core courses at the earliest opportunity. Degree and tool course requirements are detailed in the latest edition of the Texas Tech University Graduate Catalog. Doctoral degree plans are individually prepared in consultation with a faculty advisor and usually comprise courses listed with CE or ENVE prefixes, but the degree plan often includes courses outside the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Construction Engineering and the Whitacre College of Engineering.

Current Research

Some of the current and recently completed research studies in the Texas Tech University Department of Civil, Environmental, and Construction Engineering include:

  • Soil contamination remediation design
  • Biological degradation of hydrocarbon-soaked natural fibers
  • Finite element modeling of soil-venting for VOC removal from contaminated soils
  • Radon in groundwater in the Southern High Plains
  • Use of Spirulina as an integrated aquaculture waste treatment system
  • Characterization of surface and groundwater pollution at the Pantex nuclear weapon assembly plant
  • Examination of water quality in rural playa lakes
  • Biological treatment of hydrocarbon waste
  • Biological treatment of cattle waste
  • Qualitative aspects of urban playa lake water
  • Tornado missile impact analysis
  • Evolution of building code requirements for mitigation of damage from hurricane winds
  • Critical evaluation of metal building systems subjected to extreme wind loads
  • Moisture and particle size effects on threshold friction velocity
  • Modeling of soil erosion
  • Wind erosion prediction and control
  • Analysis of longitudinal cracking in flexible pavements on expansive soil embankments
  • Parameters for predicting shrink/swell beneath slab foundations on expansive soils
  • Evaluation of instruments to measure soil moisture condition
  • Crack propagation in unsaturated soils
  • Mitigation of damage to structures on expansive soils
  • Lateral swelling pressures from soil backfill
  • Interactive computer program for predicting shrink/swell and design of post-tensioned slabs on expansive soils
  • Single-vehicle accidents on rural divided highways
  • Traffic light synchronization
  • Analysis of pavements with flexible reinforcement
  • Performance testing of field measurement systems for full scale trafficked pavements
  • Analysis of frictional properties of aggregates
  • Soundness tests for pavement aggregates
  • Wind drag coefficients for octagonal shapes
  • Vibration mitigation of traffic signal structures
  • Building frequency response to fluctuating wind pressures
  • Mathematical modeling of structural glazing systems
  • Finite element modeling of plates on elastic foundations
  • Variational modeling of footing vibrations
  • Dynamic testing of laminated glass
  • Fatigue behavior of structural silicone sealant
  • Strength analysis of weathered window glass
  • Strength analysis of fully tempered glass
  • Wind pressures on full scale buildings
  • Assessment of wind gust factors
  • Wind-induced changes in building internal pressures
  • Wind pressure distribution on single-ply ballasted roof systems
  • Wind-induced peak pressures in roof corners
  • Building categorization for wind resistance


Admission requirements to Texas Tech University and the Whitacre College of Engineering are detailed in the latest Texas Tech University Graduate Catalog. Students who wish to be admitted to the Ph.D. program in civil engineering at Texas Tech University must meet requirements beyond the minimum Graduate Record Examination score and Grade Point Average established by the Graduate School. Admission is granted only to individuals who have demonstrated exceptional academic, research, and professional achievement potential, and who have demonstrated the maturity to formulate their own academic and research programs. Specific admission requirements to the doctoral program of the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Construction Engineering include acceptance by the Graduate Faculty. Students entering the doctoral program not possessing baccalaureate degrees from engineering programs may be required to take leveling engineering courses to prepare them for advanced course work. Additionally, applicants for the doctoral program must receive approval of a separate application to the Graduate Faculty of the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Construction Engineering before being fully admitted.

Graduate Courses

Click on the links below to view graduate course offerings in Civil, Environmental, and Construction Engineering.

Civil Engineering (CE)
Environmental Engineering (ENVE)

Further Information

Department of Civil, Environmental, & Construction Engineering