The application of engineering solutions to environmental problems has opened new and challenging engineering careers that require expertise from various civil engineering fields to deal with the pressing problems posed by the ever-increasing amounts of both municipal and industrial wastes threatening the well-being of today's society.
Our new Environmental Engineering Research Laboratory was officially opened on November 27, 2000 as the result of a CFI New Opportunities Infrastructure grant. Current main areas of research include:
Environmental Engineering is a branch of civil engineering. It is concerned with the environment (the surrounding water, land, and air), and with developing and constructing systems, facilities, and technologies that provide a healthy and clean environment for our population. It is concerned with cleaning up already contaminated water and soils, managing water resources, environmental auditing, modeling of environmental systems, and managing hazardous wastes. As our population increases, and as the effects of global warming continue, the technologies and techniques of environmental engineering are becoming more urgent. This is an exciting and important field of the future.
Environmental engineering study is available in the following programs or specializations:
At the undergraduate level, environmental engineering is offered as a Civil Engineering program option (Option B), where a minimum of 15 elective credits will be taken in this specialty.
For students who continue their studies in this field, the department now offers the Graduate Certificate in Environmental Engineering, in which students can specialize in one of the following areas: Industrial Waste Management, Environmental Auditing, and Modeling of Environmental Systems. The Department has recently established a new Environmental Engineering Laboratory. In addition, Civil Engineering programs leading to MASc and PhD degrees also provide specialized study and research in Environmental Engineering.
There is a broad range of employment opportunities in the field of environmental engineering. Employment could be in a field which directly contributes to the protection of the environment (prevention, reduction, management, and control of pollution), or contributes to the conservation of natural resources. Research in environmental technologies, education, training, and consultation are possible sectors of employment. Students might find jobs performing environmental audits and impact assessments. Opportunities exist in water and wastewater quality monitoring, modeling and water management and treatment, sewage management, design and construction of industrial chemical processing and hazardous waste treatment facilities, design and construction of landfills, and consulting for hazardous wastes.
The environmental engineer could work directly in the environmental industry or for environmental interest groups, for consulting companies in the industrial sector (e.g.., mining, energy, agriculture and chemical), in the public sector (provincial, federal and municipal governments, universities or research centers), or for other non-governmental associations.
At the undergraduate level, students interested in Environmental Engineering should choose the Option B of the BEng (Civil) program. Students follow the civil engineering course sequence for two years. In the third and forth years, courses are chosen from the environmental engineering option. The program consists of the Engineering Core courses, the Civil Engineering Core, and Elective Courses chosen from Option B, which is designed for students interested in environmental engineering.
In the first year, the basics of engineering such as technical drawing, mechanics of materials, thermodynamics are introduced. In the second year, the basics are continued while topics in civil engineering and environmental engineering such as Hydraulics, Geology and Environmental Engineering are introduced. In the third year, students gain a deeper understanding of civil and environmental engineering with courses such as Soil Mechanics, Hydrology. In the third and forth years, elective courses are chosen from Option B, which is designed for those students interested in environmental engineering. Students will have the opportunity to apply their knowledge to real-life application in the final year Capstone Civil Engineering Design Project. See the Course Schedule by semester for the sequence of courses to be taken.