Plastics in Infrastructure and the Environment

CE 59700

Credit Hours:



Andrew Whelton

Learning Objectives:

  • Explain the properties of polymer materials.
  • Recognize the performance differences between polymeric materials.
  • Describe the advantages and disadvantages of polymers for engineering applications.


During this course, you will examine the fundamental concepts that are the foundation of polymer science and engineering and gain an appreciation of the field’s complexity and multidisciplinary nature. This course is designed for civil and environmental engineering disciplines, but content and lessons also will benefit students from other science and engineering specialties. Simplistically, designing, manufacturing, and utilizing materials that contain polymers combine the tools of chemistry, biology, physics, and calculus and is an ever-expanding field with its scope expanding daily.

Through this course, you will be provided an understanding of fundamental chemical, physical, and thermal characteristics of polymeric materials, basic understanding of material characterization methods, and degradation modes and mechanisms. Students are encouraged to include their undergraduate and graduate level research experiences as well as work experiences into this course.

Students who complete this course will have knowledge pertinent in the polymer science and engineering field as well as knowledge applicable to the disciplines of chemistry, biology, environmental science, toxicology, material science, and public health.


This course also requires a basic understanding of chemistry, biology, physics, and willingness to learn new concepts and work with others. Persons who are lacking part of the academic prerequisites can succeed in this course, but will need to put forth additional effort. Must have a basic understanding of chemistry.

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Syllabus, grades, lecture notes, homework assignments, solutions and quizzes


Official textbook information is now listed in the Schedule of Classes. NOTE: Textbook information is subject to be changed at any time at the discretion of the faculty member. If you have questions or concerns please contact the academic department.