The Civil Engineering discipline encompasses various areas such as mechanics of materials, analysis and design of various components of infrastructure, management of natural resources. This discipline has impact on various sectors such as infrastructure, mining, and agriculture. The Department of Civil Engineering at IISc has been in the forefront in the areas such as theoretical and applied mechanics, reliability engineering, large-scale testing and computation, sustainability, infrastructure, optimization, earthquake engineering, water engineering. For operational purposes the department functions as a combination of four groups: Structural, Geotechnical, Water Resources, and Transportation Systems Engineering.
Research in the area of mechanics has spanned fracture mechanics, experimental mechanics and constitutive modeling of materials over several length scales. Fundamental studies on the behavior of materials such as sand, concrete, nanocomposites, rocks, geo-composites have been carried out in our department. This research has been augmented by the excellent experimental and computational facilities in our department, and across the Institute. Some of the facilities available are SEM/TEM/ X ray tomography to component level using large scale multiaxial testing machines, essentially aiming at capturing the multiscale behavior of materials. Understanding the behavior of civil engineering materials under extreme conditions of temperature is also underway.
We also have a strong large-scale application-oriented research program that spans structures, foundation and earth structures. Experimental facilities for conducting large-scale tests such as shake tables, reaction wall, strong floor are routinely used.
Extensive research in the areas of geophysical testing, solid waste management, fatigue and fracture, ground improvement, geosynthetics are all underway. Earthquake engineering has been at the forefront of research activity in our department for over three decades. Dynamic behavior of materials and structures, seismic microzonation are being currently pursued. Risk and reliability estimation in infrastructure applications has been one of the core strengths of our department.
Our research in the broad area of water engineering encompasses flood prediction, climate change impacts on hydrology/water resources prediction, statistical downscaling of GCM outputs, ecohydrology, water quality, water chemistry, water distribution in pipe network. These activities involve field and laboratory experiments, remote sensing, and a significant amount of statistical modeling.
Transportation engineering is the youngest area in our department, and is rapidly expanding. Currently a significant thrust is on transportation systems level modeling and analysis.