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Environmental/ resource engineering aims to protect public health by preserving and enhancing the natural environment, on both a local and worldwide scale. One of the first examples of environmental engineering took place thousands of years ago when the ancient Romans constructed aqueducts to transport clean water to Rome. Today, the field of environmental engineering has come a long way from the days of aqueducts, and instead, seeks to minimize the effects of global warming, automobile emissions, ozone depletion, and acid rain, among other things.

There are 2 major types of environmental engineer:

  • Environmental civil engineer: engineers who concentrate on hydrology, water resource management, and water treatment plant design
  • Environmental chemical engineer: engineers who focus on environmental chemistry, separation processes, and advanced air and water treatment technologies

Environmental engineers research the environmental impact of proposed construction plans, perform quality-control checks, and analyze scientific data to develop solutions to environmental problems. They also conduct hazardous-waste management studies to determine the specific significance of a given hazard, advise on its treatment and containment, and develop regulations to prevent future problems.

Education Courses in Environmental/ Resource Engineering

Education courses in environmental/ resource engineering usually culminate in at least a Bachelors degree, whether in civil, mechanical, or environmental engineering. Students often have the option to continue their education for just one year toward earning a Masters degree in environmental engineering. Some environmental engineers go on to study law in order to practice environmental engineering law.

There are a variety of study options available worldwide within Environmental/ Resource Engineering:

Careers in Environmental/ Resource Engineering

Environmental/ resource engineers may work in a variety of capacities, whether as consultants, professors, designers, managers, researchers, planners, operators of pollution control facilities, or government regulatory agency officials. Specific duties of environmental engineers vary, and can include storm water management, air pollution control, hazardous waste management, public health, land management, or toxic materials control.