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.
Educational Objectives ... Our graduates are expected to:
- Practice environmental engineering, use their program knowledge in other avenues, or enter graduate school;
- Apply engineering principles and an understanding of environmental issues to analysis, design, construction, management, or preservation of natural and engineered systems;
- Actively participate in professional and/or community-based service (local, national, or global) that benefit the profession and the public;
- Demonstrate leadership, effective communication, and teamwork;
- Demonstrate capacity to obtain professional licensure, and engage in further study and professional development; and
- Consider sustainability as part of the problem definition and engineering solution.
The BS Environmental Engineering Student Outcomes are pulled from to the ABET (a)-(k) Criterion 3 Student Outcomes:
- Ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science and engineering.
- Ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data.
- An ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health and safety, manufacturability, and sustainability.
- Ability to function on multi-disciplinary teams.
- Ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems.
- Understanding of professional and ethical responsibility.
- Ability to communicate effectively.
- Broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solution in a global and societal context.
- Recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in lifelong learning.
- Knowledge of contemporary issues.
- Ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice.
The Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC) of ABET.