What Is Environmental Engineering

What is Environmental Engineering?

Environmental engineering is a branch of applied science that deals with the application of natural sciences, physical sciences and mathematics to help improve the environment.    Environmental engineers are held in high esteem because they are the people responsible for designing plumbing, sanitary facilities and garbage disposal systems. They monitor water quality, air pollution levels and much more. Environmental engineers also monitor waste management processes and make sure that hazardous substances are disposed safely.    Similar to other professional fields, there is a huge difference in salaries between entry level and experienced professionals. Occupational Outlook Handbook (2012-13 Edition) states that Environmental Engineering professionals make an average annual salary of nearly $80,000; this amount increases as one raises in his position or acquire more experience.

Environmental engineers are employed in a variety of arenas, including local, state and federal governments as well as in private industry. Environmental engineers use their advanced engineering knowledge to help discover methods by which air and water pollution can be controlled and the ecosystem maintained once again in a healthy state.

What Is Environmental Engineering?

Environmental engineering is a professional engineering discipline that encompasses broad scientific topics like chemistrybiologyecologygeologyhydraulicshydrologymicrobiology, and mathematics to create solutions that will protect and also improve the health of living organisms and improve the quality of the environment. Environmental engineering is a sub-discipline of civil engineering and chemical engineering.

Environmental engineering is the application of scientific and engineering principles to improve and maintain the environment to:

  • protect human health,
  • protect nature’s beneficial ecosystems,
  • and improve environmental-related enhancement of the quality of human life.

Environmental engineers devise solutions for wastewater managementwater and air pollution control, recyclingwaste disposal, and public health. They design municipal water supply and industrial wastewater treatment systems, and design plans to prevent waterborne diseases and improve sanitation in urban, rural and recreational areas. They evaluate hazardous-waste management systems to evaluate the severity of such hazards, advise on treatment and containment, and develop regulations to prevent mishaps. They implement environmental engineering law, as in assessing the environmental impact of proposed construction projects.

Environmental engineers study the effect of technological advances on the environment, addressing local and worldwide environmental issues such as acid rainglobal warmingozone depletionwater pollution and air pollution from automobile exhausts and industrial sources.

Environmental engineering is a professional engineering discipline that takes from broad scientific topics like chemistry, biology, ecology, geology, hydraulics, hydrology, microbiology, and mathematics to create solutions that will protect and also improve the health of living organisms and improve the quality of the environment. Environmental engineering is a sub-discipline of civil engineering, chemical engineering and mechanical engineering.

Environmental engineering is the application of scientific and engineering principles to improve and maintain the environment to:

  • protect human health,
  • protect nature’s beneficial ecosystems,
  • and improve environmental-related enhancement of the quality of human life.

Environmental engineers devise solutions for wastewater management, water and air pollution control, recycling, waste disposal, and public health. They design municipal water supply and industrial wastewater treatment systems, and design plans to prevent waterborne diseases and improve sanitation in urban, rural and recreational areas. They evaluate hazardous-waste management systems to evaluate the severity of such hazards, advise on treatment and containment, and develop regulations to prevent mishaps. They implement environmental engineering law, as in assessing the environmental impact of proposed construction projects.

Environmental engineers study the effect of technological advances on the environment, addressing local and worldwide environmental issues such as acid rain, global warming, ozone depletion, water pollution and air pollution from automobile exhausts and industrial sources.

Most jurisdictions impose licensing and registration requirements for qualified environmental engineers.

what do environmental engineering do?

Environmental engineers use the principles of engineering, soil science, biology and chemistry to develop solutions to environmental problems, according to the BLS. Some projects involving environmental engineers include:

  • Roman Stocker of MIT studied the interactions between tiny marine organisms, their environment and their food sources, which led to a better understanding of how algae blooms occur. (Stocker also was the scientist behind recent research — and popular high-speed video — into how cats lap milk.)
  • Michael Nassry, who, as a Ph.D. student in biological systems engineering at Virginia Tech, studied how nutrients flow through glaciers in Alaska. 
  • Glenn Morrison, an associate professor of environmental engineering at Missouri University of Science and Technology, is studying how methamphetamine accumulates in building materials, furniture and common household items during production.

One of the most important responsibilities of environmental engineering is to prevent the release of harmful chemical and biological contaminants into the air, water and soil, the BLS says. This requires extensive knowledge of the chemistry and biology of the potential contaminants as well as the industrial or agricultural processes that might lead to their release. With this knowledge, new processes can be designed, or existing processes can be modified, to reduce or eliminate the release of pollutants.

Education for Environmental Engineers

Entry-level environmental engineering jobs require a bachelor’s degree. Programs include classroom, laboratory, and field studies. Some colleges and universities offer cooperative programs in which students gain practical experience while completing their education.

At some colleges and universities, a student can enroll in a 5-year program that leads to both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree. A graduate degree allows an engineer to work as an instructor at some colleges and universities or to do research and development, and employers may prefer candidates to have a master’s degree.

Students interested in becoming an environmental engineer should take high school courses in chemistry, biology, physics, and math, including algebra, trigonometry, and calculus.

Engineering programs are accredited by ABET, and employers may prefer to hire candidates who have graduated from an accredited program. A degree from an ABET-accredited program is usually necessary for a person to become a licensed professional engineer.

Environmental Engineering Jobs & Job Description

Recent Environmental Engineering Job Listings

As our world population grows, environmental engineers strive to ensure that we all have a good quality of live while also accessing healthy water, air, and land for humans and other organisms. While jobs do vary from place to place, the standard scope of responsibility for an environmental engineer job looks like:

  • Assess industrial, commercial and residential sites for their environmental impact
  • Calibrating equipment used for air, water, or soil sampling
  • Design systems for waste management, reclamation, transfer and disposal on land, sea, and air
  • Advocate best remediative procedures for site clean-up and contamination
  • Advise policymakers and companies on relevant issues
  • Evaluate the current system performance and incorporate innovations or develop new technologies to enhance environmental protection
  • Collecting field samples and observations for data and observations
  • Investigating environmentally related complaints, recording data and compiling a report based on these
  • Establish waste-treatment and pollution-control plans
  • Design sampling guidelines for manufacturing and industrial stakeholders
  • Ensure that stakeholders are in regulatory compliance for waste management and disposal
  • Collect, construct and evaluate environmental impact statements

A senior environmental engineer has a breadth of experience that assures competent in a team-lead position. Many of the additional tasks at the upper tier may be administrative or managerial in scope, such as:

  • Creating reports, data meta-analysis and thought leadership
  • Communicating with a variety of technical and non-technical stakeholders
  • Navigating environmental regulations and funding sources
  • Liaising with interdisciplinary teams for an holistic solution to environmental engineering problems

importance of environmental engineering

Environmental engineering allows us to interact with nature and people, hence setting up efficient and achievable projects for long-term results. Important issues and challenges are present in each project, which requires a good faculty of reflection to be able to associate economic and social realities with biodiversity, which requires a perfect mastery of the field while being in close collaboration with the actors local. Environmental engineering is also involved in creating new economic models while ensuring development through more adequate environmental management that adapts to the uses of the premises.

Three reasons to study Environmental Engineering:

  1. Help overcome natural disasters: awareness of the adverse effects of human behaviour on the environment has increased significantly over the last few years. As an environmental engineer, you will help consider the social, economic and environmental impact humanity has on natural systems and how to counter them with technological developments.
  2. Excellent universities: a lot of universities all over the world offer degrees in environmental engineering. This means you will find it easy to choose a programme suited to your interests and participate in a student exchange programme.
  3. It’s a versatile field: environmental engineering is closely related to civil engineering: both fields focus on analysing and monitoring safety regulations of construction projects. You may also combine both subjects and become an environmental civil engineer and ensure that buildings are being built safely and in a way that keeps their impact on the environment at a minimum.

environmental engineering salary

Most environmental engineering jobs require at least a bachelor’s degree in engineering, and many employers, particularly those that offer engineering consulting services, also require certification as a professional engineer (PE). A master’s degree is often required for promotion to management, and ongoing education and training are needed to keep up with advances in technology; extensive knowledge of current government regulations is essential. Additionally, many environmental engineers belong to the AAEES.Advertisement

According to Salary.com, as of July 2014, the salary range for a newly graduated environmental engineer with a bachelor’s degree was $44,722 to $69,808. The range for a midlevel engineer with a master’s degree and five to 10 years of experience was $65,890 to $106,126, and the range for a senior engineer with a master’s or doctorate and more than 15 years of experience was $82,193 to $133,930. Many experienced engineers with advanced degrees are promoted to management positions or start their own consulting businesses, where they can earn even more. Additionally, many engineers go on to law school and specialize in environmental law and litigation.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations for Environmental Engineers

Licensure is not required for entry-level positions as an environmental engineer. A Professional Engineering (PE) license, which allows for higher levels of leadership and independence, can be acquired later in one’s career. Licensed engineers are called professional engineers (PEs). A PE can oversee the work of other engineers, sign off on projects, and provide services directly to the public. State licensure generally requires

  • A degree from an ABET-accredited engineering program
  • A passing score on the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam
  • Relevant work experience, typically at least 4 years
  • A passing score on the Professional Engineering (PE) exam

The initial FE exam can be taken after one earns a bachelor’s degree. Engineers who pass this exam are commonly called engineers in training (EITs) or engineer interns (EIs). After meeting work experience requirements, EITs and EIs can take the second exam, called the Principles and Practice of Engineering (PE).

Each state issues its own licenses. Most states recognize licensure from other states, as long as the licensing state’s requirements meet or exceed their own licensure requirements. Several states require engineers to take continuing education to keep their licenses.

After licensing, environmental engineers can earn board certification from the American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists. This certification shows that an environmental engineer has expertise in one or more areas of specialization.

Leave a Comment Cancel reply

Exit mobile version