A leader in the field of water resources and urban sustainability, Culligan has worked extensively with The Earth Institute's Urban Design Lab at Columbia University to explore novel, interdisciplinary solutions to the modern day challenges of urbanization, with a particular emphasis on the City of New York. Culligan is the director of a joint interdisciplinary Ph.D. program between Columbia Engineering and the Graduate School of Architecture Planning and Preservation that focuses on designs for future cities, including digital city scenarios. Her research group is active in investigating the opportunities for green infrastructure, social networks and advanced measurement and sensing technologies to improve urban water, energy, and environmental management. Culligan received her M.Phil. and Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge, and was on the faculty at M.I.T before joining Columbia in 2003. She has received numerous awards for her contributions in engineering research and education, including the National Science Foundation's CAREER Award, the Egerton Career Development Chair, M.I.T's Arthur C. Smith Award for contributions to undergraduate life, Columbia Engineering School Alumni Association's Distinguished Faculty Award, and Columbia's Presidential Teaching Award.Culligan serves on the National Academies Nuclear and Radiation Studies Board and the Board of Earth Sciences and Resources Committee on Geological and Geotechnical Engineering. In 2011, she was elected to the Board of Governors of the American Society of Civil Engineer's Geo-Institute. She is the author or co-author of six books, two book chapters, and over 70 referred scientific publications and 110 technical articles.