The department was named Civil Engineering when first established in 1990 as one of the founding departments of the Kaohsiung Polytechnic Institute (KPI). It then offered a four-year curriculum leading to a bachelor's degree in Engineering. With the addition of other colleges, KPI was renamed to I-SHOU University (ISU), after the first name of KPI's founder, Mr. Lin, a major industrialist in southern Taiwan.
The graduate school was added in 2003, offering a two-year Master’s degree program in various specializations.

The department, renamed to Civil and Ecological Engineering in 2004 was prompted by the growing worldwide concern on the rapid degradation of the global living environment caused by global warming, population growth and depletion of natural resources, among other human factors. With the societal demand beyond the traditional economy and safety aspects of engineering projects, modern civil engineering education must address the concept of ‘ecology’ and ‘sustainability’. The faculty is convinced that students trained under such concepts will be better equipped to confront engineering problems in the new century.


Currently, the department has 18 full-time faculty members—17 with a doctoral degree from foreign or domestic universities. About half of the faculty members have well-qualified industrial experience which renders the teaching more practice-conscious. Instructors with uncommon specialties are also recruited from the industry on an as-needed basis. Research activities have also been firmly established, with steady financial supports from governmental agencies and industrial organizations.

The undergraduate and graduate programs have approximately 400 and 40 students, respectively. About a quarter of those completing the B.S. degree seek further training in domestic universities, and a few have ventured to study abroad.


A doctoral degree program is in the planning stage, but its realization will depend on several factors which are currently being analyzed by a committee. The immediate need is to strengthen the ‘ecological engineering’ aspect of teaching as well as research. To narrow down the gap between theory and practice, an experimental program to send selected students to the construction industry as apprentices during summer vacation is under planning. Instruction in English, an attempt having been promoted by the university for many years, is not fruitful. Hence, recruiting English-speaking students from abroad, though desirable, is not a short-term objective.