The Master of Science in Sustainable Critical Infrastructure is conducive to developing highly skilled researchers and workforce and attracting substantial government and industry interest. The academic program is designed to develop core capabilities, through the integration of coursework and research that is critical to the region.

Urban development will continue globally while the requirements for reducing its ecological footprint and carbon emissions in particular will be increasingly more aggressive. The Sustainable Critical Infrastructure (SCIN) Program aims at advancing research and education in integrated sustainable infrastructure development. The program is addressed to architects, urban planners and civil engineers, as well as engineers and building scientists interested in city planning, design, and development.   

The need for urban critical city development and maintenance will remain acute; as urbanization will be a continuing process, well into the middle of the century to accommodate the growing global population and migration waves. Infrastructures can be defined as “network[s] of independent man-made systems and processes that function collaboratively and synergistically to produce and distribute a continuous flow of essential goods and services.” 

Research domains in the Sustainable Critical Infrastructure include:

  • Transportation planning and networks
  • Buildings and urban components
  • Land use and urban form
  • Landscape infrastructure and natural settings
  • Urban design and land development
  • Housing
  • Environmental planning and sustainable urban infrastructures
  • Future forms and design of sustainable cities


Career Opportunities

The MSc in Sustainable Critical Infrastructure will meet its overarching goal to educate its graduates professionally and ethically to be valuable professionals in the UAE and internationally with disciplinary preparation to guide and lead the design of integrated urban infrastructure systems for new or existing developments with careful examination of environmental, social and financial requirements.

The career prospects for students from the SCIN program include but not limited to urban planners, urban designers, transportation planners, city managers, community development, sustainability consultant in public, private, and non-profit sectors. 


Program Educational Objectives

The Master of Science in Sustainable Critical Infrastructure educates its graduates professionally and ethically to be valuable professionals in the UAE and internationally with disciplinary preparation that imparts the following:


  • Ability to design integrated urban infrastructure systems for new or existing developments with careful examination of environmental, social and financial requirements.
  • Ability to apply planning and design tools using multi-disciplinary inputs in order effectively generate and implement solutions to urban infrastructure problems.
  • Understanding of the complex interactions between infrastructure systems solutions and their implications on larger scale (regional, national, global) technological, economic, societal and environmental systems with a view on long-term sustainability.
  • Understanding of the value of technical and scientific scholarship, service to society, leadership and life-long learning required to further their career aspirations in support of the needs of the community.


Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the program, graduates are expected to attain the following outcomes:

  • Successfully apply advanced concepts of planning and engineering to identify, formulate and solve complex infrastructure planning problems, particularly as they pertain to sustainable urban infrastructure planning.
  • Successfully apply advanced concepts of infrastructure planning to the analysis, design and development of infrastructure projects, urban design, and transportation systems to meet societal needs.
  • Use advanced techniques, skills, and modern scientific and engineering software tools for planning professional practice.
  • Successfully develop integrated infrastructure plans that account for long term resource availability on one hand and the financial and social constraints on the other with a long-term sustainability objective.
  • Use an advanced approach to design and conduct surveys, and to analyze and interpret data.
  • Communicate effectively in written and oral form, both, individually and as a member of a multidisciplinary team, and thus to put forward the scientific findings at national and international levels successfully.
Course Descriptions

MSc in Sustainable Critical Infrastructure


SCIN 601 Transportation Systems Analysis: Demand and Economics

This course offers an overview of the fundamental principles of transportation systems analysis and modeling, emphasizing the theory and applications of the demand and economics of these systems.  This course will focus not only on one specific transportation mode but will use the various modes to apply the theoretical and analytical concepts presented in the lectures and readings.


SCIN 602 Urban Design for Sustainability: Theory and Practice

This is a graduate theory and practice course focused on the body of knowledge and history that informs historical and modern theories in urban design. The course materials will address the major urban design debates, positions, theories, paradigmatic shifts, and unanswered questions. One important agenda will be stressing a series of major debates and models of urban form, its significance and impacts, and proposals to establish healthy and sustainable new communities. The course is ultimately structured to assess and synthesize the classical and contemporary urban design theories related to the intersection of urban form and sustainability.


SCIN 603 Management of Infrastructure Systems

Infrastructure systems have become a crucial component of modern society. This course will apply techniques of risk assessment and decision making under uncertainty in all phases of the infrastructure life cycle to better manage these systems. Emphasis is placed on the planning and design phases since these are most relevant to the region with particular attention to the Abu Dhabi 2030 Economic Vision.


SCIN 604 Infrastructure Finance  

This course focuses on the application of financial theory and risk analysis to the financing of infrastructure projects. It covers various sources of financing for infrastructure development and evaluates cost and risk, both from an investor and a project perspective. A number of issues such as public and private financing, limited and full recourse financing, valuation of projects, refinancing, and asset-based securitization are discussed.


SCIN 605 Urban Planning Theory, Practice, and Ethics

Planning is an ill-defined field. Feinstein and Campbell give four reasons for the difficulty in defining the field, and thus, planning theory: the apparent overlap between the concerns of planning and those of many other social science disciplines; the fuzzy boundaries between planning and other related professions; disagreement as to whether the field should be defined by its object or by its method; and, finally, the fact that planning borrows methodologies from other fields. Given these characteristics of the field, this course is structured to discuss planning theory and its evolution and influence on practice. This course provides you in-depth understanding of the intellectual history, paradigmatic structure, and contemporary debates in the field of planning theory.


SCIN 606 Geographic Information Systems

This course introduces the basic elements of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and its application in general management activities including resource management. The application of GIS as a tool to collect, store, manage, and analyze spatial data for strategic decision making has been explored in all fields of study. GIS can be used to for informed decision making to deal with demands of and both current and emerging issues at local, regional and global scale.


SCIN 607 Infrastructure & Development

What is the relationship between infrastructure and economic growth and development? How does energy security affect geopolitical relations among nations as well as socioeconomic relations within nations? This seminar will cover some of these timely and complex questions linking infrastructure, energy, and their technologies.


SCIN 608 Urban Planning and Design Studio

This is a challenging urban design and planning studio expecting an advanced level of work, and full participation in all activities of the studio: seminars, discussions, field visits, research, group projects, and individual work. Full participation and strong urban visual communication skills are expected in developing a supportive and attractive urban environment. This lab is an advanced level studio envisioned as a synthesis of knowledge gained in the supportive courses. Each semester the studio proposes a challenging urban design project. Projects usually include one of the following: designing a new neighborhood; revitalizing a section of inner urban, somewhat blighted and fractured, fabric; mapping, exploring, and retrofitting public realm; or analyzing connectivity or accessibility of selected neighborhoods using urban analytics tools.


SCIN 609 Comparative Land Use and Transportation Planning

This course discusses the interaction between Land Use and Transportation Planning. Using examples and case studies from different parts of the world, relevant planning theories, approaches and analytical techniques and their relation to land use and transportation planning will be examined at a metropolitan scale.


SCIN 610 Public Transportation Systems

This course introduces the evolution and role of urban public transportation modes, systems, and services, focusing on bus and rail. Current practice and new methods for data collection and analysis, performance monitoring, route design, frequency determination, and vehicle and crew scheduling. Select transit management topics including labor relations, fare policy/technology, marketing and operations management.


SCIN 611 Thermal energy in buildings

This course covers the fundamental heat, moisture and mass transfer phenomena occurring in buildings and the building systems in charge of maintaining indoor comfort conditions. Methods and techniques used at different stages of a building’s life-cycle—design, operation, retrofit— are studied to strike an optimal balance between indoor thermal comfort and energy efficiency.


SCIN 612 Sustainable Building Science: Fundamentals, Tools, and Applications

This course explores the multidisciplinary challenges and opportunities to make the built environment more sustainable. Covered topics include green building design principles, methods to assess building energy performance, life-cycle analysis, the relationship and interaction of buildings with their inhabitants, and the study of buildings in respect to their urban environment and infrastructure.


SCIN 694 Selected Topics in Sustainable Critical Infrastructure

This course covers selected contemporary topics in Sustainable Critical Infrastructure.  The topics will vary from semester to semester depending on faculty availability, and faculty and student interests. Proposed course descriptions are considered by the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering on an ad hoc basis and the course will be offered according to demand. The proposed course content will need to be approved by the Graduate Studies Committee. The Course may be repeated once with change of contents to earn a maximum of 6 credit hours.


ESMA 603  ENGR 605 Systems Optimization

This course provides an introduction to systems optimization focusing on understanding system tradeoffs. It introduces modeling methodology (linear, integer, and nonlinear programming), with applications in production planning, scheduling and workforce planning, time-phased planning, inventory planning, and supply contracts, logistics network design, facility sizing, and capacity expansion, capital budgeting models, assignment and matching, and transportation models. In this class, students will learn powerful modeling and solution techniques for decision-making problems that are used today by thousands of successful companies to help them make millions of dollars.


ESMA 610 Business Analytics, Statistics for Engineering Systems

This course deals primarily with the descriptive and predictive functions of business analytics which uses data and statistical methods to analyze past performance and build predictive models to support business planning decisions. The course focuses on the basic topics of data collection, analysis and statistics, data visualization and summarization, Hypothesis testing, descriptive statistical measures, probability distributions, data modeling, sampling and estimation, statistical inference, linear regression analysis, forecasting and data mining techniques.


Study Plan