Research Centers

Brook Byers Institute for Sustainable Systems logoBrook Byers Institute for Sustainable Systems

Director: John Crittenden

At its simplest, sustainability is defined as “living within the means of nature.” Namely, humans must demand no more resources than nature can provide and generate no more wastes than nature can assimilate. At Georgia Tech, sustainability is a core value that touches every person, action, and decision of the Institute.

The Brook Byers Institute for Sustainable Systems enhances Georgia Tech’s research, education, and service missions, and campus operations through leadership, communications, development, and decision-making inspired and defined by the principles of sustainability. Programs and projects initiated or supported by the BBISS lie at the intersections of these themes.


Georgia Transportation Institute logoGeorgia Transportation Institute

Director: Michael Hunter

GTI fosters communication and coordination between Georgia’s universities, transportation agencies, and transportation-related industry and promotes the development of ideas and people that will place Georgia at the forefront of transportation research.

The institute’s objectives include conducting research to improve the productivity and effectiveness of Georgia’s — and the nation’s — transportation system; disseminating research results and other products to the transportation community; promoting transportation education, professional development and recruitment of future transportation professionals; and establishing a clearinghouse for transportation investment resources.


Georgia Water Resources Institute logoGeorgia Water Resources Institute

Director: Aris Georgakakos

The GWRI is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the science and practice of water resources planning and management in ways that balance quality of life, environmental sustainability, and economic growth. GWRI pursues this mission through applied research, education, information dissemination, and technology/knowledge transfer programs at the state, national, and international levels.

The institute is one of the 54 National Institutes for Water Resources in each U.S. state and territory authorized by §104 of the Water Resources Research Act of 1984.  GWRI activities are sponsored by (i) federally appropriated funds through the Department of the Interior/U.S. Geological Survey as part of the state and national research programs, and (ii) other national and international funding agencies and organizations in water related areas. Through annual competitive programs, GWRI provides research awards to universities throughout Georgia.


SCAPE logotypeSoutheastern Center for Air Pollution & Epidemiology

Director: Armistead Russell

SCAPE is an EPA-funded joint research project between the schools of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology and the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University.

The center addresses critical issues relating to the public health impacts of ambient air pollution, with an overarching theme focusing on characterizing ambient air pollution mixtures and examining their role in human health risks associated with air pollution.


SCAPE logotypeThe Tailings and Industrial Waste Engineering Center (TAILENG)

Director: Jorge Macedo

The TAilings and IndustriaL waste ENGineering (TAILENG) Center is a research center dedicated to advancing the state of knowledge and practice in the design of tailings and industrial waste storage facilities. Recent catastrophic failures of tailings storage facilities highlight the need for an improved understanding of the engineering properties of tailings as well as the behavior of intermediate, or transitional, soil that include mine tailings, coal combustion by-products, and other industrial sludge to develop robust design, operation, and closure plans for waste storage facilities.

TAILENG is a consortium of faculty at four universities: Georgia Tech, Colorado State University, UC Berkeley, and the University of Illinois who work with mine owners and operators that include mining engineers, geotechnical engineers, environmental engineers, geologists, and water resources engineers from industry and academia. 


University Transportation Centers

The School of Civil and Environmental Engineering is a leading partner in five U.S. Department of Transportation University Transportation Centers.

  • CARTEEH logo - car and leafCenter for Advancing Research in Transportation Emissions, Energy and Health (CAR-TEEH)

    Georgia Tech Lead: Michael Rodgers

    CARTEEH focuses on the impact of transportation emissions on human health, bringing together experts from two disciplines that have not traditionally worked together — transportation and public health. Members of the CARTEEH consortium strongly advocate for advancing research on transportation emissions in a more comprehensive manner, mapping the holistic tailpipe-to-lungs spectrum, which includes the impact of transportation emissions on the environment and public health.

    Together, our consortium is well-equipped to establish a University Transportation Center of strategic importance, producing high-quality, impactful research, technology transfer, education, and workplace development.

  • INSPIRE Logo - bridge and signal graphicInspecting and Preserving Infrastructure through Robotic Exploration (INSPIRE)

    Georgia Tech Lead: Yang Wang

    In the next 30 years, our highway and railway system will face challenges ranging from aging infrastructure and increasing congestion to declining revenues due to reduced fuel tax and increasing service interruption. Cheaper, faster, and safer inspection and preservation tools are needed to maintain our nation’s ground transportation system in a state of good repair.

    Currently, bridges and tunnels are visually inspected and manually maintained under traffic control with the aid of heavy lifting equipment.

    In the future, with successful development and implementation of robotic platforms such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), these structures will be evaluated and sometimes maintained underneath bridge decks with no access equipment and no traffic control, reducing labor hours, avoiding rental, transportation and mobilization costs of equipment, saving fuel and indirect costs associated with service interruption, alleviating traffic congestion, and promoting work zone safety.

  • National Center for Sustainable Transportation logoNational Center for Sustainable Transportation

    Georgia Tech Lead: Randall Guensler

    NCST provides national leadership in advancing environmentally sustainable transportation through cutting-edge research, direct policy engagement, and education of our future leaders.

    To preserve the environment, we must minimize the impact of the transportation system on our natural resources, including energy, climate, air, water and land. Although con­siderable progress has been made in the last five decades, the environmental impacts of transportation remain substantial and fall disproportionately on the most vulnerable members of our communities. The challenge for the nation is to reduce these impacts while meeting the mobility needs of society, fostering healthy communities, and support­ing economic growth. In response to this challenge, the NCST’s research, education, and engagement programs are organized around four  high-priority themes: environmentally responsible infrastructure and operations, multimodal travel and sustainable land use, zero-emission vehicle and fuel technologies, and institutional change

  • STRIDE logotypeSTRIDE: Southeastern Transportation Research, Innovation, Development and Education Center

    Georgia Tech Lead: Michael Hunter

    STRIDE focuses on developing novel strategies for reducing congestion. The Center has nine partners, representing seven states in the southeastern United States. The STRIDE Center maximizes contributions to solving current and future transportation problems as well as strengthening expertise and developing new technologies. Faculty researchers within the STRIDE consortium of universities are well respected and highly sought after by government and other organizations for their knowledge and experience.

  • TOMNET logotypeTeaching Old Models New Tricks (TOMNET)

    Georgia Tech Lead: Patricia Mokhtarian

    Driven by a wide variety of technologies, major societal shifts in demographics and values, and evolving policy instruments and planning practices, unprecedented changes are underway in transportation. It has never been more vital to understand and predict the behavioral impacts of these changes. However, our ability to do so is severely hampered by the absence from our models of a major class of variables that has been repeatedly demonstrated to be vital to nearly every decision individuals make — specifically, attitudes (including opinions, feelings, preferences, perceptions, and personality). Several factors have historically prevented the incorporation of attitudes into large-scale travel-demand forecasting models, including the challenges associated with measuring them in traditional travel behavior surveys, and a current inability to forecast them in the way that socioeconomic variables are forecast. The TOMNET research team is engaged in creating and testing a variety of innovative and practical approaches to overcoming these barriers. These approaches have in common that they use attitudinal data collected from one sample to inform models built on a different sample. The center conducts extensive, coordinated and systematic exploration of various machine learning and statistical data fusion approaches, involving applications to a diverse array of important topics (such as equity, vehicle ownership, the adoption of autonomous vehicles and ride-hailing apps, safety, resilience, active transportation, and land use impacts on travel) in multiple geographic regions (e.g., Phoenix, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Tampa, and Atlanta). Through its work, the center will identify the most promising approaches for integrating attitudinal variables and latent constructs in regional travel demand forecasting models, and quantifying the effects of these traditionally unobserved traits on behavioral choices and transport outcomes.


  • TOMNET logotypeCenter for Connected and Automated Transportation (CCAT)

    Georgia Tech Lead: Srinivas Peeta

    CCAT aims to advance research in the field of transportation safety, mobility, and sustainability via connected vehicles, connected infrastructure, and autonomous vehicles. Located at the focal point of the U.S. auto industry, CCAT will play a unique regional role in promoting connected and automated transportation research, education, workforce development, and technology transfer activities, which are of critical importance to the future of the region’s economy. The CCAT team’s extensive and substantive collaborations with stakeholders such as the region’s state DOTs, local governments, and the CAV industry will ensure that its research translates to practical outcomes through prototypes, field tests, technology transfer, implementation, and policies.


  • TOMNET logotypeTransit-Serving Communities Optimally, Responsively, and Efficiently Center (T-SCORE)

    Georgia Tech Lead: Kari Watkins

    The goal of the T-Score Center is to define strategic visions to guide transit into the future and equip planners with tools to translate visions into reality. The T-SCORE Center research is based on an understanding that not all transit agencies are the same and the transit needs of regions vary widely based on the land use, socio-demographic, roadway network, economic climate, and many other factors. However, the strategic vision for the future of public transit must start from the two fundamental motivations: providing a travel option especially for those without other means of travel, and providing a resource-efficient means of moving volumes of people.