Systems Engineering

  • Capt. Eloi Pereira explaining the system's architecture to Professor Raja Sengupta at the mobile control station
  • Master Sgt. Teixeira and Master Sgt. Gomes preparing the UAV "Alfa-Extended" for the oil spill monitoring mission
  • Portuguese Air Force Academy UAV "Alfa" with gimbaled optic camera payload
  • Master Sgt. Teixeira and Master Sgt. Mendes disconnecting the payload systems of the UAV "Alfa-Extended" after another successful mission
  • Software developers Capt. Eloi Pereira, Capt. Pedro Silva, and Lt. Francisco Machado at the Portimão airfield preparing the oil spill monitoring scenario.
  • Pr. Sengupta and Capt. Pereira at the Portimão Airfield, Portugal. The UAV Alfa-Extended is developed at the Portuguese Air Force Academy, equipped with an optic camera and with a AIS receiver to search for environmental hazards
  • Pr. Sengupta and Capt. Pereira (Systems Eng. PhD candidate) at a mobile ground control station following an environmental monitoring mission. The Alfa-Extended Unmanned Aerial Vehicle was surveying an area over the sea with a suspected oil
  • Kristen Parrish, Ph.D. CEE Systems, at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
  • Aicraft manned through tactile table
  • PhD student Kevin Weekly demonstrates and presents the “energy eyes” system to UC Berkeley Chancellor Dirks, during his visit to Singapore.
  • With over 1000 sensors in the American River Hydrological Observatory, careful records must be taken of the location of the wireless sensor stations.
  • Drifter group in the Georgiana Slough in the Sacramento Delta, ready to launch the 10 generation 1 passive drifters with underwater sails
  • The Glaser lab is home to a suite of physical experiments from geothermal simulators to wireless sensor networks to coffee roasting.
  • PhD student Branko Kerkez setting up the base station for the wireless sensor network at the Southern Sierra Critical Zone Observatory near Shaver Lake, CA.
  • Glaser led the geophysics team at the Deep Underground Science and Engineering lab. Here the team is examining a map in the 4850 foot level of the Homestake Mine in Lead, SD.
  • Glaser Lab freshman intern Katie Zheng hauling wireless sensor stations at Schneider’s in the high Sierras
  • Floating Sensor Network team operating in the Sacramento Delta, crew picking up a sensor from the water
  • PhD student Kevin Weekly holding the radio gun used to locate the floating sensors in case of smartphone failure
  • Winter maintenance of a wireless hydrological sensor node at the Southern Sierra Critical Zone Observatory near Shaver Lake, CA. Kerkez is now a professor at the University of Michigan.
  • Experiment to test the resistance of the floating sensors for deployment from high speed boats or helicopters
    Throwing sensor 2
  • Traffic Management Team checking the development of new macro models for simulations of traffic at super large scale
  • PhD student Andrew Tinka deploying some of the Android floating sensors at the Georgiana Slough in the Sacramento Delta
    Throwing sensor
  • The Glaser lab is home of a novel laboratory earthquake apparatus that allows study of earthquake rupture initiation mechanisms under carefully controlled conditions.
    Glaser and McLaskey
  • MS student Jon Beard collecting a floating sensor from the water in the Sacramento Delta
    Picking Sensor
  • Preliminary deployment of a small fleet of floating sensors in the Georgiana Slough
    Sensors on water
  • Operation boats during the May 9, 2012 deployment of floating sensors, in a media operation jointly run with CITRIS, and the boat support of SFSU
  • Fleet of 100 floating sensors prior to the deployment at the Georgiana Slough, May 9, 2012, during the so called “Floating Century” operation

The focus of the Systems Program is understanding complex large-scale systems and developing tools for their design and operation. Such systems encompass built elements in the broad sense (infrastructures transportation, structures, etc.), societal systems (social networks, populations enterprises), and natural systems (land water, air, etc.). These systems are at the core of Civil and Environmental Engineering of the 21st Century.

The understanding of how such systems work requires knowledge about the constitutive laws that govern them, such as traffic flow, fluid mechanics, structural mechanics, and smart networks. It also requires an understanding of the theoretical paradigms that are used to model, control and optimize such systems. These include the theories of computation, control theory, optimization, behavioral economics, sensor networks, statistics, and signal processing.

In response to these challenges, the Systems Engineering program provides courses that cover both field knowledge and technical/theoretical tools. This is reflected in the curriculum. We offer masters and doctoral degree programs providing the key skills, e.g. technological, mathematical, or social scientific, as well as the knowledge for a broad range of engineering domains.  Our graduates lead the next generation of research, start-ups, industrial corporations, and public-sector organizations.

Degrees and Curricula

The program in Systems Engineering is flexible, and students can tailor their programs in consultation with a graduate advisor in any of a variety of areas of interest. Students have to get their curriculum approved by the Graduate Advisor of the Systems Program in the CEE Department. Below are a few examples of the types of areas of interest that can be pursued.

  • Computational Intelligence in Natural Systems 
  • Control Theory
  • Energy Systems
  • Intelligent Infrastructure
  • Systems Reliability, Risk Assessment and Decision
  • Intelligent Transportation Systems
  • Mobile sensing
  • Nano-seismology
  • Smart Cities 
  • People in Complex Systems
  • Water Informatics

Upon arriving on campus a student will need to define an area of interest and in consultation with a graduate advisor design the necessary curriculum.  While the examples shown in the list above provides a number of possibilities, we strongly encourage students to build their own curriculum based on their personal goals.  

This structure and its inherent flexibility   enables our program to accommodate the needs of a fairly diverse population of students. Our students come from a wide variety of backgrounds: civil, mechanical and electrical engineering; physics, mathematics, computer sciences, architecture, economics, aerospace, and more. Our graduates have gone on to leading positions in green consulting firms, various start-ups, NASA, companies such as Apple, Facebook, IBM, and Google, and major universities such as MIT, University of Michigan, University of Illinois, Georgia Tech, Purdue, Texas A&M.