BS in Environmental Engineering - Industrial Processes

Since Fall 1999, the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences is offering a B.S. degree in Environmental Engineering. In order to cover the major areas of Environmental Engineering, this B.S. program will have two options, each emphasizing an important aspect of environmental engineering. Students can choose either the Industrial Processes emphasis or the Municipal Processes emphasis. The ENE - IP emphasis is offered by the Department of Chemical Engineering. The ENE - MP emphasis is offered by the Department of Civil Engineering.

Environmental engineers (IP emphasis) identify and design solutions for environmental problems. Environmental engineers treat and properly dispose of wastes, maintain air quality, control water pollution, and remediate sites contaminated due to spills or improper disposal of hazardous substances.

Environmental engineers work in many places. Some of the common ones are:

  • engineering consulting firms that design and construct air and water pollution-control systems
  • companies that treat and dispose of hazardous chemicals
  • government agencies that monitor and regulate waste discharges
  • universities and colleges that teach and conduct research on environmental control
  • private and government laboratories that develop the new generations of pollution-control systems
  • international agencies that transfer knowledge and technology to developing countries
  • public-interest groups that advocate environmental protection

The industrial processes (IP) emphasis of environmental engineering is a process-based program that draws on the principles of chemistry, physics, mathematics, and engineering sciences. Due to the complex nature of many aspects of environmental pollution, a broad understanding of the fundamentals of engineering and sciences forms the most desirable preparation for a career in the environmental field. The program is designed to provide training not only for end-of-pipe pollution control technologies, but also for expertise in process engineering and process design, essential for achieving the objectives of pollution curtailment and prevention. Such training is especially valuable in resolving industrial pollution problems. Career opportunities for environmental engineers with this background are found in industry, research institutes, government agencies, teaching, and consulting practice. Students may also enter graduate study at the M.S. or Ph.D. levels.

Engineering design is a critical aspect of the IP curriculum. In order to meet the objective of producing creative, problem-solving engineers, design concepts are introduced early in the curriculum and design experience is integrated into every engineering course. Students learn to seek optimal solutions to open-ended problems and function in design-based team projects. Design ability is finally demonstrated at the end of the capstone course (ENE 608), when self-directed teams develop a comprehensive design report for a full-scale engineering process based on a national process design competition problem.

Since 1993, the program faculty has administered a pollution prevention internship program with industries in New Hampshire, Maine, and Massachusetts, initially funded by US EPA and NHDES. In the past twelve years, the program has served more than forty facilities. Each year about 12 students have enrolled in the pollution prevention internship program which provides hands-on industrial employment for ten weeks during the summer assisting industry with projects in process modification, material substitution, chemical re-use, risk assessment, safety and economic analysis. The program faculty also assisted NHDES in setting up instrumentation in the Seacoast region of New Hampshire to monitor the precursor of ozone formation.

The ENE-IP B.S. program requires a minimum of 130 credits for graduation and can be completed in four years. There are eight electives in the curriculum: five for the fulfillment of the University’s general education requirements and the remaining three for technical electives to be chosen from the specified elective course list. Due to the substantial overlap in course requirements for the environmental engineering IP and chemical engineering majors, students will be able to transfer between these two programs during the first three semesters without losing any course credits towards graduation.