Research Groups

Air Quality Monitoring Lab
The Air Quality Monitoring Lab, directed by Dr. Hanyang Li, adopts the combination of engineering and data mining approaches to address air pollution-related issues, with research interests in (1) development of aerosol instruments, (2) particulate matter monitoring, (3) application of data-driven methods to understand aerosol properties, and (4) environmental injustice along the US-Mexico border.
Biomass Engineering Lab

The focus of the research of the Biomass Engineering Laboratory at SDSU, led by Dr. Garoma, is on the development of novel treatment processes for water and wastewater, the production of biofuel, and the nexus of water-energy-food.

Video: Biomass Engineering Lab

Coastal Engineering Lab

The Coastal Engineering Lab at San Diego State University studies the most relevant natural hazards in the coastal environment and the engineering solutions to mitigate them. About 40% of the world's population lives within 100 kilometers of the coast. Past engineering solutions are becoming obsolete due to climate change and other changes due to anthropogenic activities. The world urgently needs a new generation of Coastal Engineers and Scientists. In the group we aim to fill this gap.

We currently address the research fields of Tsunami Science, Probabilistic Hazard Assessments and Remote Sensing. New fields and problems are also explored including Tsunamigenic earthquake modeling, Volcanic tsunamis, Wave/storm surge simulation, Tidal modeling and Community Science.

Video: Coastal Engineering Research at SDSU


DiCE research lab seeks to address the challenges faced by the architecture, engineering, construction, and facility management (AEC/FM) industry through innovative, technology-based, and data-driven solutions. Our efforts are focused on leveraging the potential of data analytics powered by recent technology trends such as automation, visualization, and robotics to improve the design, construction, and management of civil infrastructure systems. Our goal is to enhance the safety, efficiency, and productivity of construction project operations and the sustainability and resiliency of the built environment and the civil infrastructure.

Video: Data-informed Construction Engineering (DiCE) Lab

Disturbance Hydrology Lab

The Disturbance Hydrology Lab at SDSU focuses on understanding hydrologic change in coupled human-natural systems.

Environmental Biotechnology Lab

The Environmental Biotechnology Lab at San Diego State University develops cutting-edge biotechnology to improve environmental health and sustainability. One research focus of the lab is on the development of bioelectrochemical systems (BESs) for energy and nutrient recovery from wastewater treatment. Another research focus is on the development of BES-based biosensors that are capable of detecting subsurface parameters of concern. The Environmental Biotechnology Lab is also working to improve anaerobic digestion and biogas upgrading processes, and to reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions.

The Environmental Biotechnology Lab is led by Dr. Christy M. Dykstra, an Assistant Professor of Environmental Engineering at San Diego State University.

Video: Environmental Biotechnology Lab

Geo-Innovations Research Lab

The research of the Geo-Innovations Research Lab centers on identifying and understanding the mechanisms that govern the behavior of particulate materials. We use this knowledge to develop innovative techniques for the evaluation and control of particulate media systems.

Video: Geo-Innovations Research Lab


RISE Lab (Resilient and sustainable civil infrastructure)

The overarching research goal of the RISE lab is to increase the resilience, durability, and sustainability of the civil infrastructure. In particular, our research is currently focused on multi-technique experimental, imaging, and computational modeling of the onset and growth of localized deformation in pressure-sensitive natural geomaterials such as soils, rocks, lunar regolith, and engineered geomaterials such as bio-cemented soils, cementitious composites, or asphalt pavements.

Our additional research interests include multi-physical phenomena in civil, environmental, and earth systems; soil improvement, soil-structure interaction; modern earthen construction; development of novel, resilient, and sustainable infrastructure materials; rural community and infrastructure resilience; and development of virtual reality technology for engineering education purposes.

Video: Resilient Infrastructure Lab

Safe Water Lab

The Safe WaTER Lab at SDSU seeks to better understand, characterize, and control the occurrence, persistence, and resistance of pathogens in engineered and natural systems, to protect public health. We envision a world where everyone, regardless of socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity, or geographic location, has access to clean water and safely-managed sanitation and hygiene services.

Video: Safe WaTER Lab

Structural Engineering Lab

The Structural Engineering Laboratory is a facility dedicated to research at the material, component, and system levels. The laboratory features i) a unique structural testing assembly dedicated to the testing under simulated conditions, e.g., repeated cyclic and fatigue loading, of varied structural and nonstructural components and ii) a uniaxial shaking table developed to test structural and nonstructural components subjected to earthquake accelerations. The structural engineering laboratory, directed by Profs. Dowell and Faraone, represents a unique asset for the medium-to-large scale testing of structures.

Video: Structural Lab, Shaking Table Section

Smart Transportation Analytics Research Lab

The Smart Transportation Analytics Research (STAR) Lab at San Diego State University was founded in 2015 with the primary goal of improving transportation systems through a combination of research, education, and technology transfer activities. The STAR lab’s research focuses on Transportation Safety, Driver Behavior Modeling, Intelligent Transportation Systems, Connected & Automated Vehicles, Artificial Intelligence Applications, and Evacuation Modeling.

Urban Water Lab

Urban Water Lab, directed by Dr. Hassan Davani, focuses on water resources challenges in urban areas and climate change forecasting. The research of this lab is focused on application of advanced computational techniques to explore emerging climatic stressors and flooding challenges on the civil infrastructure, e.g. stormwater and wastewater infrastructure, which are expected to strain under climate change and sea-level rise stressors.

Video: Urban Water Lab


The VISUALAB is a teaching and research computing laboratory facility at the Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering at San Diego State University, California. The lab specializes in hydraulic and hydrologic engineering applications, and develops world-class online software using standard protocols such as HTML, CSS, and PHP. The lab features a collection of three-hundred and eighty-five (385) scripts for a variety of applications, including steady and unsteady flow, gradually varied and rapidly varied flow, evapotranspiration, flood routing, sediment transport, channel design, water quality, and other applications.

Water Innovation Reuse Lab

Water Innovation and Reuse Lab (WIRLab) trains and mentors undergraduate and graduate students from diverse groups to take on environmental challenges in water scarce environments by conducting research on sustainable water and sanitation technologies and biogeochemical processes in natural and engineered systems. Current projects investigate the transformation and persistence of emerging chemicals in anaerobic and aerobic decentralized water reuse systems, sources of anthropogenic contaminants in urban rivers,  water quality response to stream restoration, the fate of microplastics in the environment, and rapid fluorescence-based tracking of organic contaminants in source waters, streams, and groundwater. WIRLab is led by Dr. Natalie Mladenov, Professor and William E. Leonhard Jr. Chair in the Department of Civil, Construction, & Environmental Engineering at SDSU.

Video: Water Innovation and Reuse Lab