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Why Environmental Engineering?

Environmental engineering combines the principles of engineering, biology, chemistry, hydrology and soil science to develop and implement solutions to environmental problems. These include both problems from anthropogenic effects on the environment and the environment’s effect on human populations.

Environmental engineers perform environmental investigations, design projects for environmental protection facilities such as water reclamation and deal with all the plans and permits for these projects. They also analyze environmental data, perform quality checks, inspect industrial facilities for compliance with environmental regulations and advise government or corporate agencies about environmental protection and waste remediation.

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Is Environmental Engineering for me?

Engineers with a master’s degree in environmental engineering will be prepared to pursue careers in a wide range of specialties, including:

  • Recycling and waste management
  • Public health and sanitation
  • Water and air pollution control
  • Energy generation and preservation
  • Animal agriculture
  • Sustainability of energy and natural resources
  • Environmental engineering law
  • Global environmental concerns, such as global warming and ozone depletion
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Possible Career paths

  • Air Quality Engineer

    Environmental engineers specializing in air quality perform air quality assessments, including numerical dispersion and airshed, modelling and data analysis, emissions analysis, and set up and calibration of meteorological instrumentation. They use this information to prepare proposals and project reports. This career can involve work in offices and laboratories as well as fieldwork and on-site investigations.

  • Environmental Engineering Consultant

    Consulting as an environmental engineer means working in any one of many environmental disciplines, including hazardous materials survey and removal, site remediation, air monitoring and occupational exposure, indoor and outdoor air quality assessments and agricultural and urban waste management. These engineers coordinate field responsibilities, create and maintain project documentation and advise on government or corporate environmental projects.

  • Geotechnical Engineer – Soil

    Environmental engineers working in soil and geotechnical positions are responsible for conducting field work and investigations of soil-related projects, including drilling, digging test pits, borehole logging and associated laboratory analysis of samples and data. They also maintain data analysis records, product technical reports and project proposals, lead on- and off-site teams and advise government or corporate representatives on investigative findings.

  • Senior Waste Management Engineer

    The waste management field employs many environmental engineers to review and evaluate engineering designs, reports and investigative studies. They also provide advice on waste management solutions to local or national governments and private industries as well as assessing applications for new or upgraded facilities. At the senior level, these engineering professionals also present technical papers to the public and academia, develop and implement training programs, manage teams and coordinate between departments.

  • Water Hydraulic Modeler

    These engineering professionals conduct water system hydraulic assessments for municipal wastewater infrastructure projects. This role can include responsibilities for project management, acting as liaison with clients and municipal representatives, master planning and functional design, leading modeling activities throughout the project. Tasks can involve developing extended period and steady-state water model simulations, investigating hydraulic system deficiencies and generating solutions.

  • Environmental Project Manager

    Project managers in environmental engineering lead and direct project teams, perform site inspections and other fieldwork tasks. They must have a strong understanding of environmental regulations at the state and national level.

  • Surface Water Engineering Specialist

    Engineers working as surface water specialists will engage in water quality modelling, hydrology and hydraulics analyses, flood and storm water management and other hydrotechnical tasks. They are responsible for evaluating water chemistry effects, designing solutions to hydrological problems, managing projects, coordinating field teams and producing technical reports.

  • Pavement Project Engineer

    Environmental engineers specializing in pavement and other geotechnical projects will manage or participate in fieldwork and field teams, designing infrastructure and analyzing data from pavement investigations. They also prepare proposals, technical work plans, cost estimates and project records.

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