Environmental Systems Engineering

Environmental systems engineering student getting instructions from a professor

Option in Environmental Systems Engineering

The option in Environmental Systems Engineering (ENVSE) is one of the two options available in the Environmental Systems Engineering degree program. The ENVSE option provides education in the prevention of pollution, and in the monitoring, control, and remediation of pollution sources on the Earth. These include aspects of land reclamation, of groundwater protection and remediation, and of the control of atmospheric pollutants. Students in this option will have the flexibility to take additional courses in the areas of land, water, and air.

The standard of living we currently experience, and the quality of life we enjoy, owe much to our skillful attention to environmental protection. While different industries have their own particular priorities and educational requirements, there is a clear consensus regarding the need for environmentally trained engineers. Furthermore, there is a general recognition that the kinds of skills needed are not adequately covered in any one of the traditional engineering disciplines.

Industrial systems are generally designed and operated by engineers whose education and training (materials, chemical, etc.) reflect the specific objectives of that particular industry. In general, these individuals have a limited background in issues of the environment: atmospheric sciences, geological sciences, hydrology, etc. Atmospheric scientists and geologists, on the other hand, typically have only limited knowledge of the needs of industry, and often have minimal exposure to the engineering sciences and design.

The ENVSE option is focused to address these broad pedagogic needs: educating engineers with a clear appreciation of industrial needs, with solid grounding in the physical and chemical sciences, and with an appreciation of key uncertainties and natural variability of processes operating in the natural world. Recognition of the strong influence of a wide variety of physical, chemical, and indeed biological, processes that control geo-environmental processes underscores the importance of interdisciplinary education in this area.

Requirements for the Option

The complete listing of course requirements for a bachelor's degree in Environmental Systems Engineering (ENVSE) can be found on the degree requirements page. Within the 131 credits needed to achieve a B.S. degree in ENVSE, a total of 19 credits are required for completion of the ENVSE option. They are as follows:

Prescribed Courses: 10 credits

  • GEOG 030 GS(3), MICRB 106 GN(3) (Sem: 1-4)
  • EGEE 470(3), ENVSE 412(1) (Sem: 5-6)

Additional Courses: 9 credits

  • GEOSC 413W(3), SOILS 401(3), or METEO 455(3) (Sem: 7-8)
  • METEO 454(3), MN PR 401(3), or MN PR 426(3) (Sem: 7-8)
  • ENVSE 408(3), M E 433(3), or MN PR 425(3) (Sem: 7-8)