Climate & Sustainability

Actionable, sustainable and renewable research and industry — for all.

The Grainger College of Engineering is proud to boast the first net-zero facility on campus; a solar farm; world-class experts in environmental solutions, minimizing waste, sustainable materials and production, and clean energy; institutional and industrial partners committed to tackling the problems of the present and future; and educational and training programs designed to train the activists and engineers who will carry on that legacy and bring our research to action.

Grainger Engineering is dedicated to supporting the campus mission to become carbon neutral by 2050.


Prepare for a career in sustainable infrastructure, environmental engineering, renewable energy, water resources, sustainable agriculture and more with our undergraduate, graduate and certificate programs. Learn the fundamental science and real-world skills that supports these fields; network with academic and industrial partners at the top of their fields; and contribute to creating resilient and efficient materials, systems, designs and manufacturing in industry. 


Earn a B.S. in Civil Engineering, or a M.S. or Ph.D. in Civil Engineering or Environmental Engineering, and address emerging approaches to infrastructure systems focusing on resiliency and sustainability of interconnected infrastructure.

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Earn a B.S., M.S., or Ph.D. in Civil Engineering, and prepare for a career in planning, design, operation, and management of surface and ground water systems, preservation and enhancement of the natural river and watershed environment, design and construction of water control facilities, and conservation of water resources.

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Earn a B.S. in Civil Engineering, or a M.S. or Ph.D. in Civil Engineering or Environmental Engineering, and learn in a cross-cutting program focused on providing and supporting sustainable solutions for the exploration, production, delivery and use of energy, and their intersection with water and the natural and built environment.

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Earn a B.S. in Civil Engineering, or a M.S. or Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering, and prepare for the increasingly critical role of addressing the world’s challenges of air, land and water pollution. 

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The Master of Engineering in Engineering with concentration in Energy Systems degree from The Grainger College of Engineering provides a broad interdisciplinary education in energy systems for a variety of professional career-track students.

This professional, non-thesis degree can be completed in 2-3 semesters and is also available online.

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Graduate students preparing to face future challenges in this area will obtain a thorough background in an engineering discipline, combined with an interdisciplinary understanding of the energy and sustainability challenges and a deeper understanding of a chosen subtopic. 

Five courses total at the graduate level (400 or 500 level courses with graduate credit) are required for completion of the certificate.

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Illinois Solar Decathlon

Illinois Solar Decathlon is an interdisciplinary registered student organization with over 100 undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Students design and build full-size solar-powered homes with support from professional sponsors. Since their  impetus in 2007, students have built a total of five homes, one of which achieved second place in the Solar Decathlon Build competition.

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The first net-zero building on campus

The Grainger College of Engineering is home to the first zero energy certified facility on campus: the Electrical and Computer Engineering Building. All of the operational energy associated with the building is offset through a combination of on-site solar production and solar renewable energy credits. Solar arrays on the building’s roof provide about 11 percent of its energy, with the rest supported by Solar Farm 2.0, an installation on south campus.

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Our Partners