Environmental Engineers apply fundamental concepts from science and mathematics to solve environmental problems impacting ecosystems, society, and the world.
They are involved in efforts related to clean water, waste disposal, water and air pollution control, reducing generation and release of contaminants, remediation of contaminated sites, clean energy, stormwater management, and green infrastructure, to name a few. One significant distinguishing feature of Environmental Engineering (as opposed to Environmental Studies or Environmental Science) is the very applied nature and emphasis on design – of new technology to reduce generation and release of contaminants or novel ways to quantify system sustainability in our complex world. Engineers are often called upon to apply their scientific and design expertise to evaluate and then reduce the risk of pollutant exposure to chemical and biological contaminants, the effects of drought or excessive rainfall on human-natural systems or quantify the environmental effects of industrial processes. Environmental engineers may work in the private sector at consulting firms or in the public sector for local, state, or federal government in jobs that involve being outside, field monitoring, data analysis, and computer-aided analysis and design. An environmental engineering degree also provides a great foundation to build other careers such as management, public administration, teaching, law, and medicine.
An engaging and well-rounded curriculum
Environmental Engineering students at UVM begin their education by acquiring a common base of knowledge in mathematics, sciences, and engineering, and then progressively learn to analyze and design sustainable environmental engineering systems. The degree culminates in a two-semester capstone design experience in the senior year, which is typically a service-learning project in collaboration with a community partner. The degree intentionally requires a relatively small number of required courses allowing students to pursue technical electives to their liking in the senior year in environmental and water resources engineering, geoenvironmental engineering, and energy. The environmental engineering degree as a whole has UVM’s Sustainability Designation. Students can take courses in arts, languages, community development, business and other areas as part of the general education component. The degree program includes ten courses with hands-on laboratories and most technical electives are project-based. The curriculum allows opportunities for picking up a minor, co-op and/or study abroad experiences, or an accelerated Master’s degree.
Program Educational Objectives
The educational objectives of UVM’s Environmental Engineering program are to provide our graduates with disciplinary breadth and depth to fulfill complex professional and societal expectations by:
- pursuing careers as practicing engineers or using their program knowledge in a wide range of other professional, educational and service activities.
- assuming leadership roles and seeking continuous professional development.
- contributing to their profession and society while appreciating the importance of ethical and sustainable practices, diversity, and inclusion.
The Student Outcomes of the B.S. in Environmental Engineering degree program directly relate to the ABET (1)-(7) Criterion 3 Student Outcomes and are as follows:
- an ability to identify, formulate, and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science, and mathematics
- an ability to apply engineering design to produce solutions that meet specified needs with consideration of public health, safety, and welfare, as well as global, cultural, social, environmental, and economic factors
- an ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences
- an ability to recognize ethical and professional responsibilities in engineering situations and make informed judgments, which must consider the impact of engineering solutions in global, economic, environmental, and societal contexts
- an ability to function effectively on a team whose members together provide leadership, create a collaborative and inclusive environment, establish goals, plan tasks, and meet objectives
- an ability to develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data, and use engineering judgment to draw conclusions
- an ability to acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies.
The Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC) of ABET.