Ph.D. Program in Infrastructure and Environmental Systems (INES)


Infrastructure refers to the physical and organizational structures needed for the operation of a society or the services and facilities required for an economy to function. Only highly skilled and trained professionals are capable of providing the design, construction, operation and maintenance of our critical infrastructure for energy production, water and flood management, communications, transportation, waste containment systems, and earth monitoring and measurement networks, among others. The profession also involves the delivery of specialized services to assist in policy and decision making, financing, and systems analysis to enhance our governance, economic, ecological and social values. While infrastructure development may cause unintended damage to the natural environment; it may contribute positively to environmental and energy sustainability, and help our society meet the challenges of economic competiveness, climate change, energy use and the built environment.

The Infrastructure and Environmental Systems (INES) Doctoral Program at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte was established to educate our students to undertake the complex challenges facing urbanized regions, specifically those issues related to the interplay between the environment and infrastructure needed to support economic and social development. Solutions to these challenges require an interdisciplinary approach that incorporates the engineering, science, and management aspects of the problem. INES engages faculty expertise from existing academic programs of civil and environmental engineering, geography and earth sciences, engineering management, engineering technology and architecture; as well as the related disciplines in economics and finance, ecology, biology and chemistry. Several international universities have collaborated with us for faculty and student exchange, and joint supervision of doctoral students.

As a potential student, we expect you to have completed your master’s degree that is relevant to the interdisciplinary nature of infrastructural and environmental systems, or a baccalaureate degree with outstanding academic accomplishments. You may visit our website and the University Catalog for admission requirements and application procedures. There are currently more than 45 doctoral students in the program, with a mix of domestic and international students. All of the full-time doctoral students are receiving financial support including tuition waivers, health benefits, and TA and/or RA opportunities. Class sizes are comfortably enjoyed by all students for close interaction with the instructor and the program faculty.

Students enrolled in the program engage in a broad range of research topics or projects funded by federal and state agencies, local governments, and private industry. Many of them participate in research activities sponsored by the university’s interdisciplinary institutes such as the Energy Production and Infrastructure Center (EPIC), the Infrastructure Design Environment and Sustainability Center (IDEAS), the Center for Transportation Policy Studies, the Center for Applied Geographic Information Science (CAGIS), and the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute. Students have access to extensive field and state-of-the-art analytical equipment and facilities that are housed in EPIC, Cameron, and McEniry laboratories.

Dr. John Diemer and I are happy to answer questions that you may have. You may also contact Ms. Brandi "Nikki" Vargas, Graduate Student Services Specialist, at Her office location is in Room 3240 of the EPIC Building.

Welcome and look forward to hearing from you!

Jy S. Wu, Ph.D., P.E., P.H.                                  John Diemer, Ph.D.
Director of INES                                                    Associate Director of INES