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Smart Infrastructure Finance MEng

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Contact Civil Engineering Admissions

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Anne Speigle

Senior Graduate Coordinator

Peter Adriaens
Peter Adriaens

Faculty Advisor

SMART Infrastructure Finance at Michigan Statistics

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No. 3

in Environmental Engineering
- US News & World Report

No. 7

in Civil Engineering
- US News & World Report

6:1

student-to-faculty ratio

~100%

of department graduates are employed directly out of school or pursue a higher education

$9M+

spent on research in 2019

39%

female (CEE average, 2015-2019)

Why Smart Infrastructure Finance from CEE at Michigan?

Our program uniquely integrates big data analytics, finance, and infrastructure systems to prepare graduates to build the next generation of digital infrastructure systems.

This blend of engineering, business, and policy provides a strong basis for future career paths.

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What can you do with an MEng in Smart Infrastructure Finance?

An MEng in Smart Infrastructure Finance will prepare you to bridge the engineering, financial and policy worlds to explore new methods for financing infrastructure projects in the digital economy. Career opportunities exist in a range of fields, including financial services, data science, insurance, nonprofits, and government agencies.

An MEng in Smart Infrastructure Finance enables students to:

  • Explore the innovation opportunity of smart infrastructure as an asset class
  • Develop performance benchmarks based on infrastructure characteristics
  • Understand how data facilitate risk management in infrastructure investment
  • Categorize data types, their value, and pricing in the marketplace
  • Develop and test financial models to capture the value from data
  • Inform infrastructure designs that target financial and resiliency objectives
  • Explore career opportunities in finance-oriented fields such as investment banks, public finance offices, management consultancies, financial technology, and construction firms
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Courses Offered

Individualized plans of study will be developed by students in consultation with an advisor. Refer to the Bulletin for detailed course descriptions.

Practice Your Purpose

There is a rich variety of experiential learning opportunities to help you find your niche, connect with people who share your passion, and gain hands-on experience that’ll set your resumé apart from the stack.

Student Groups

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Blockchain at Michigan

Blockchain at Michigan

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Michigan FinTech

Michigan FinTech

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Citizens' Climate Lobby

Citizens' Climate Lobby

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GrEENPEAS - Graduate Environmental Engineering Network of Professionals, Educators, and Students

GrEENPEAS - Graduate Environmental Engineering Network of Professionals, Educators, and Students

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Graduate Student Advisory Council

Graduate Student Advisory Council

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Professional Development

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American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)

American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)

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Network for Women in Civil and Environmental Engineering

Network for Women in Civil and Environmental Engineering

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Graduate Society of Women Engineers

Graduate Society of Women Engineers

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Sustainability, Civil, and Environmental Engineering Minorities - SCEEM

Sustainability, Civil, and Environmental Engineering Minorities - SCEEM

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Michigan Transportation Student Organization

Michigan Transportation Student Organization

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Examples of Current Research

Professor Peter Adrians
Peter Adriaens

Peter Adriaens

Center for Smart Infrastructure Finance

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Prof. Sanghyun lee
SangHyun Lee

SangHyun Lee

Data streams in construction supply chains

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Research Videos

Alumni Bios

Each of these alumni were once in your shoes, deciding on a master’s degree. Explore their educational path and how it set their life in motion. Since the MEng in Smart Infrastructure Finance is a new degree, we’re highlighting U-M alumni who worked with CEE Smart Infrastructure Finance faculty and have a range of comparable educational backgrounds.

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Allegra Wrocklage

MS Environmental Policy, 2016

The Conservation Finance Network

Program Manager

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Anthony Arnold

MEng Energy Systems Engineering, 2018

Equarius Risk Analytics

Market Analyst

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Samhita Shiledar

MSE Chemical Engineering, 2017; MS Natural Resources and Environment, 2017

Rocky Mountain Institute

Senior Associate

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Charles Chen

MBA, 2019

Google

Treasury Analyst

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Ryan Moya

MS Sustainable Systems, 2018

CBRE

Sr. Energy and Sustainability Program Manager

Ben Shale

Bachelor of Science in Engineering (BSE) in Civil Engineering, Class of 2020 Master of Engineering (MEng) in Smart Infrastructure Finance, Class of 2021

Seeking a position in the renewable energy industry, or in the electrification of the mobility sector

Jake Uchitelle-Cohen

Masters of Smart Infrastructure Finance from the College of Engineering class of 2021 and Bachelor of Business Administration from the Ross School of Business class of 2020

Altus Power

Analyst on the Origination, Finance and Deal Structuring Team

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Allegra Wrocklage

University of Michigan, BA Environment, 2013 

University of Michigan, MS Environmental Policy, 2016

The Conservation Finance Network

Program Manager

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Career Summary

After receiving my BA I worked for a land trust, learning land conservation strategies and the financial mechanisms used to protect land. My MS focused on policy and organizational decision-making regarding land and resource management, which also introduced me to environmental markets. At the World Wildlife Fund, I lobbied Congress for conservation titles in the Farm Bill (the largest single source of federal conservation funding), which gave me insight into financial incentives the government provides to farmers, ranchers, foresters, and other private landowners to practice conservation. These experiences led directly into my role at the Conservation Finance Network, where I train and convene NGO, public, and private sector practitioners seeking to increase their use of conservation finance. Having a strong understanding of the various flows of funding for conservation, how environmental markets develop, and how conservation projects happen on the ground allows me to engage with project developers seeking guidance on how to make their conservation finance projects work as well as funders and investors seeking to place capital in these projects or markets.

How does your Master’s degree differentiate you from others?

My Masters was with the School of Environment and Sustainability and gave me a unique perspective on how governments, NGOs, and the private sector collaborate, negotiate, and make decisions together (or don’t!). It also allowed me to take classes at other programs across campus, so I could take courses in green finance at the engineering school, sustainable business at Ross, and land use planning at Taubman. This gave me the opportunity to explore a range of perspectives, while also allowing me to create a unique courseload focused in on land conservation and conservation finance/markets. 

Reflection on Time Spent at U-M

Take classes you are interested in and that challenge your perspective, and connect with professors. The Graham Sustainability Scholars program for undergraduates was also a great experience and shaped the way that I understand the complexity of sustainability and how organizations put it into practice.

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Anthony Arnold

University of Michigan, BSE Environmental Studies, 2005

University of Michigan, MEng Energy Systems Engineering, 2018

Equarius Risk Analytics

Market Analyst

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Career Summary

My undergrad experience at SEAS provided me with a tremendous academic foundation that culminated in me being able to launch one of the most innovative tech-based non-profit start-ups in Madagascar. After a long break from academia I had a strong desire to return to get a master’s degree. Enrolling in the MENG Energy Systems Engineering (ESE) program in the Department of Integrated Systems and Design opened my eyes to the world of systems engineering. Landing in the Department of Integrated Systems and Design – was a perfect fit for me because it allowed me to develop my passion for the design and integration of engineered systems. In the ESE program, I was exposed to tons of new subject matter including utility-scale power generation, battery chemistry and entrepreneurship. A course in CEE called Environmental Finance really piqued my interests which I later pursued through an internship with the Environmental Finance professor, Dr. Peter Adriaens and we synergized on a project assessing the impact of water risk on the world’s largest electric utilities. After graduation, Prof. Adrianes asked me to help with a similar consulting project that assessed the impact of some of the largest industrial water consumers in the Great Lakes region, in collaboration with the UM Water Center and a local consulting firm ECT (Environmental Consulting and Technology). Excitingly this work continues to snowball into numerous real-world applications under the auspices of Equarius Risk Analytics (ERA), a fintech firm founded by Dr. Adrianes. Global interest has been growing for the niche ERA fills – and recently I have been hired as a consultant by ERA for a project with Kurita Water Industries, the largest provider or water technologies in Japan, as well as to help develop a predictive AI/ML model to inform sustainable investment and indexing in the responsible investor space. In addition to my consulting work with ERA – I also help lead an advanced technology initiative at the United States Geological Survey (USGS). My role involves the application of technology to study complex and dynamic natural systems that ultimately leads to informing decision-makers on how to strategically manage vital Great Lakes resources. The ESE masters program at UM COE has been pivotal in providing a technical foundation that’s allowed me to thrive in a broad range of roles and succeed at making a concise real-world impact across disciplines. 

How does your Master’s degree differentiate you from others?

As the department that I graduated from is aptly named – Integrated Systems and Design – I believe in large part an integrated – whole systems – skill set is what really sets me apart. My ability to look at varying subjects through a number of different lenses and then be able to propose and carry out solutions has made me an integral part of two very exciting projects. The subject matter of ERA was very new to me at first but as a result of my academic coursework, I have been able to thrive at innovating in a new space. For example, I was able to independently identify the most important variable out of more than 20 financial parameters in ERA’s emerging AI/ML water risk prediction algorithm tool. Likewise, in my work with USGS, I have been integral at adapting and engineering projects across systems, resulting in a total streamlining of operations and data collection methodologies for our team. Had I not enrolled in the ESE masters program I likely would not have been prepared to step into these roles and deliver analytical and operational results to the extent that I have.

Reflection on Time Spent at U-M

I really benefited from the environment and all the in-person interactions of both my peers and professors at UM – these relationships provided me a lot of valuable feedback and informed me as to where I really can thrive professionally. In addition, I benefited greatly from interactions with the UM Energy Club, Fintech Club, Ross Impact Club, and Emerging Markets Club. I love the UMS and Natural History Museum on campus, and UMBS in Northern Michigan. If I had any advice for students it would simply be – don’t be afraid to challenge yourself and to try something new – UM has so much to offer – interests change and you never know what you may find is a good fit for you with taking some risks and stepping out of your comfort zone. 

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Samhita Shiledar

VNIT, Nagpur, India, B.Tech Chemical Engineering, 2013 

University of Michigan, MSE Chemical Engineering, 2017

University of Michigan, MS Natural Resources and Environment, 2017

Rocky Mountain Institute

Senior Associate

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Career Summary

I finished my bachelor’s in chemical engineering from VNIT, India in 2013 and immediately started working with Pidilite Industries, the biggest adhesive manufacturer in India. I worked as the lead of manufacturing operations and handled 22 factories countrywide. Apart from ensuring that the demand for the products is being met efficiently and working on the plant designs, I was also in charge of ensuring that the factories are meeting all the environmental laws. During the process of this quality control, I developed an interest in environmental sustainability. In 2015, I decided to pursue dual master’s in chemical engineering and natural resources and environment, with a specialization in energy systems, at UMich. During my masters, I worked on a variety of projects on topics varying from microgrids in Africa to reactor design for water splitting reactions. However, my main interest was always in technological and business improvements to promote environmental sustainability. I took various classes like green finance, corporate strategy to expand my portfolio and also took specialized classes on energy systems to develop expertise. After my master’s, I joined the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI). RMI is a think tank working in the space of energy efficiency of different end-use sectors. My current role focuses on developing strategies and research on efficient transportation systems in India. I work on a wide variety of projects, including writing policy briefs with the government, to perform research on new and innovative batteries, to host pilot projects to deploy electric vehicles in cities. I am also a co-founder of Cheruvu, a startup that I developed with my classmates from UMich in 2016. Cheruvu aims to build resilient and sustainable villages by employing data science to enhance small farmer decisions in developing countries. Masters at UMich has helped me get better at my work, especially because of a wide variety of classes that were offered and a whole systems perspective that is emphasized during the coursework. 

How does your Master’s degree differentiate you from others?

UMich gave me an opportunity to pursue two master’s degrees at the same time. I feel that it has made my perspective on systems thinking and knowledge much broader. I also had a chance to opt for a wide variety of electives to complement the prescribed compulsory coursework. For example, when I am working on a project deploying EVs in India, my research on innovative battery technologies gives me a broader perspective about the on-ground challenges with battery performance as well as expands my solution portfolio to include different battery types. The finance and maths courses that I had taken in UMich give me an unparalleled advantage to work on techno-economic models for environmental development. Overall, I think the University of Michigan’s detailed yet flexible course structure has helped me differentiate myself from others.

Reflection on Time Spent at U-M

Grad school is one of the most productive and enriching experiences of one’s life. The sky’s the limit as to how much you can learn at grad school and time, often, is the only bottleneck. I would like to encourage students to go above and beyond to make most of this opportunity. I am very grateful for the eminent professors, a well-thought-of curriculum, state-of-the-art facilities, and a distinguished student body that UMich has to offer. Apart from this, I think UMich is one of the best schools for extracurricular. The fact that I could convert my class project into a startup says a lot about the opportunities the school has to offer. I was part of various startup accelerator programs, like Optimize and TechArb, and participated in numerous competitions and fellowships, like Dow Sustainability Fellowship, for funding the startup. Our startup team was and still is, supported by professors like Peter Adrien, who always guided us through the unknowns of entrepreneurship. I was also part of other student organizations and communities like music groups, nature journaling workshops, basketball teams, and Women in Math. Whatever your interests and passions are, UMich has got you covered! I am excited about the upcoming class and wish the students all the very best for their journey. Go Blue! 

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Charles Chen

University of Michigan, MBA, 2019

Google

Treasury Analyst

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Career Summary

I joined the corporate development program in the financial service industry in the technology department before enrolling in an MBA program at Michigan Ross, where I learned about corporate finance and ventured into topics of environmental/sustainable finance/ESG by taking courses and doing research projects in CEE.

How does your Master’s degree differentiate you from others?

The multi-disciplinary approach at the University of Michigan allowed me to branch out from business school and experimented on different studies like environmental finance and law. The business school also provides a great deal of action-based learning to help me apply the theories in class to solving real-world problems.

Reflection on Time Spent at U-M

I like the opportunities at the University of Michigan where I can take different classes at different schools, and think of ways to marry different disciplines in building a network of knowledge and solving problems. My advice would be to budget a few credits and venture out to other areas that may be of interest, even if a Master’s degree tends to have more focus.

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Ryan Moya

University of Michigan, MS Sustainable Systems, 2018

CBRE

Sr. Energy and Sustainability Program Manager

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Career Summary

I am currently the Senior Energy and Sustainability Program Manager within CBRE’s Global Workplace Solutions line of business, focusing on CBRE’s Microsoft account. My responsibilities in this role include developing and operationalizing sustainability programs across Microsoft’s global real estate portfolio of 900 offices and data centers. I have ten years of professional experience implementing green building and sustainability best practices in the real estate industry. At Michigan, I worked closely with Professor Peter Adriaens on multiple projects which expanded my knowledge of data-driven business models deployed by CleanTech companies, Smart Infrastructure Finance, and ESG assessment. In my current position, I have utilized this knowledge to improve Microsoft’s capabilities for Smart Buildings and real-time data management, annual corporate sustainability reporting requirements through CDP, as well as the asset management program. 

How does your Master’s degree differentiate you from others?

My master’s program at the University of Michigan exposed me to a network of passionate alums who are willing to help. The University of Michigan also provided the intellectual freedom to expand my subject matter expertise beyond real estate and better understand the continually evolving transportation sector, emerging trends reshaping the built environment, as well as how these trends or projects are financed. Given the distressed state of infrastructure around the world, these skills are increasingly important within both the public and private sectors. 

Reflection on Time Spent at U-M

Utilize your alumni network, and provide some incentive, the Alumni center provides free bagels every Weds! While specialized knowledge is important, be sure to acquire interdisciplinary skills as well. As this Smart Infrastructure Finance program shows, the world’s challenges and opportunities are increasingly multi-faceted. 

Ben Shale

Seeking a position in the renewable energy industry, or in the electrification of the mobility sector

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Career Summary

In my undergraduate studies I pursued internships in traditional civil engineering roles such as a Project Management Intern for JDC Demolition, as well as a Technical Engineering Intern for Simpson Gumpertz and Heger, a national building engineering company. After deciding to pursue the MEng, I interned for a cloud-based stormwater technology start-up, OptiRTC, working on market research, financial analysis, and identifying funding opportunities. My interests in the business development of infrastructure related technology start-ups, and the financial side of sustainable infrastructure investments will ultimately lead me to my next position.

How does your master’s degree differentiate you from others?


This one-of-a-kind program covered the essential courses to becoming well versed and familiar with high-level technical engineering, finance, business, and policy in the infrastructure space, creating a well-rounded toolkit that will be fundamental to engaging in the next generation of digital infrastructure. Upon completion of my bachelor’s in civil engineering, I knew very little of the process of financing an infrastructure project, or what factors contribute to an investment decision. Traditional engineering students are taught how to methodically solve complex problems in the context of their individual fields. The learning process in this program has built upon that methodology, however, with an emphasis on how to holistically solve problems across domains. Understanding how financial and business models inform engineering design specifications and the vice versa is invaluable to me as begin my career working to advance sustainability in the built environment. Supplementing my civil engineering background with this program has equipped me with a diverse skillset that opens doors to a wider array of industries and job functions unattainable without this degree.

Reflection on time spent at U-M

My five years at UM was an incredible growing experience. I learned through brute force “how to study”, over time getting better at time management and adopting proper learning habits, opening up more time to get engaged with my peers. I was able to join numerous clubs across campus, meeting people from different backgrounds, picking up unusual – yet worthwhile – experiences like working with a student founded banana bread company. The close sense of community, whichever one I found myself in, made all the experiences meaningful and enjoyable, particularly within the CEE department. Through many discussions with faculty on their research and personal lives, I was able to receive guidance as I navigated my future and am thankful for the support along the way.

Jake Uchitelle-Cohen

Altus Power

Analyst on the Origination, Finance and Deal Structuring Team

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Career Summary

Pursued a very traditional finance role throughout undergrad, holding positions at Credit Suisse and Houlihan Lokey. However, realizing that I did not feel as though finance was enough of a passion of mine on its own to pursue as a career, I turned down the return offers to figure out what it was that I really hoped to pursue in my career. Through my experiences abroad, my work at Houlihan Lokey, and my courses senior year, I realized that I hoped to pursue a career financing sustainable infrastructure, which is what led me to the Masters program.

How does your Master’s degree differentiate you from others? 
As a result of the degree, I feel much better equipped to analyze built infrastructure investments, and come up with alternative financing strategies that use data streams as a part of the capital stack. This thinking and methodology is far from mainstream in the finance industry and I would not be able to bring this new perspective to the table without this degree.
Reflection on Time Spent at UM 
My time spent at UM allowed me to explore all of my interests and truly determine the route I want to pursue after school. During the early parts of undergrad, I feel as though I was not as adept at pursuing my interests, but as I got older I felt more confident trying different avenues and became better equipped at thinking critically about the opportunities I had. My time in grad school was the period in which I was most exploratory and truly found my passion – sustainable infrastructure – and am very excited to pursue a career that merges my finance background from undergrad with my master degree.
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Industries & Occupations

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  • Asset Management
  • Construction Engineering
  • Construction Management
  • Energy Systems
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Federal Government
  • Geotechnical Engineering
  • Infrastructure
  • Offshore Structures
  • Renewable Energy Technology
  • Scientific Research
  • Smart City Technologies
  • Strategy Consulting
  • Structural and Architectural Design
  • Sustainability
  • Transportation Engineering
  • Urban Networks and Design
  • Water Quality
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Companies

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  • AECOM Technology Corporation
  • Arcadis
  • Army Corps of Engineers
  • Arup
  • Atkins
  • Balfour Beatty
  • Bechtel
  • Consumers Energy
  • HDR, Inc.
  • Jacobs Engineering Group
  • Laing O’Rourke
  • Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT)
  • Mott McDonald
  • Nike
  • Skanska
  • Stantec
  • Vinci
Wires of a Server
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Salaries

Discover the value of a master’s degree! 

On average, U-M graduates with a master’s degree in an engineering field can earn 15-25% more than those with a bachelor’s degree in engineering.  Use the links below to research average salaries based on a U-M engineering master’s degree, experience level, and desired work location.