Member Login Menu

Policy Statement 187 - Policy on Research in Civil Engineering


Approved by the Infrastructure and Research Policy Committee March 15, 2018
Approved by the Public Policy Committee on May 6, 2018
Adopted by the Board of Direction on July 13, 2018


The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) supports basic and applied research and development (R&D) along with demonstration and commercialization programs in civil engineering. Research programs should be structured to meet needs for:

  • Revitalizing the nation's public works infrastructure to protect citizens by improving function and reducing life-cycle costs;
  • Enhancing environmental quality and fostering sustainable development;
  • Increasing the application of identifying, proving, and fielding emerging technologies, materials and processes to improve security, durability, disaster resilience, sustainability, and performance of engineered systems;
  • Advancing the competitiveness and business performance of the practice of civil engineering and the industries supported by civil engineering services to improve the nation's competitiveness; and
  • Enhancing the security, safety and resilience of critical infrastructure to protect the safety and economic vitality of the nation against natural and man-made hazards.


Research provides an important avenue to meet the fundamental objective of ASCE, which is the advancement of the science and profession of civil engineering to enhance the public health, safety, and welfare. Research in civil engineering, properly conceived, conducted and implemented, should assure significant advances in the quality of life of individuals by providing essential service and contributing to a more sustainable society. This will be accomplished by applying the principles of sustainable development and disaster resilience. Research should also provide new developments in civil engineering practice that will keep the profession responsive to the needs of those we serve.


ASCE must play an active role in meeting its objective to enhance public health, welfare, security and economic vitality. This requires research, development, and the dissemination of new applications and methodologies.  ASCE must provide leadership in identifying research needs and in working to increase the amount of funding for civil engineering research provided by local, state, federal, and private agencies and organizations. The U.S. infrastructure, as assessed in the ASCE Infrastructure Report Card as being in poor condition, is in need of dramatic improvement to support the economy and the country as a whole. Significant investment in research and development will facilitate a durable, secure, sustainable, and resilient infrastructure that will meet the needs of the 21st century. 

ASCE Policy Statement 187
First Approved in 1976