Environmental engineering is the application of science and engineering principles to improve the environment (air, water, and/or land resources), to provide healthy water, air, and land for human habitation and for other organisms, and to remediate polluted sites.
Environmental engineering involves water and air pollution control, recycling, waste disposal, and public health issues. It also includes studies on the environmental impact of proposed construction projects.
Environmental engineers conduct hazardous-waste management studies to evaluate the significance of the such hazards, advise on treatment and containment, and develop regulations to prevent mishaps. Environmental engineers also design municipal water supply and industrial wastewater treatment systems as well as being concerned with local and worldwide environmental issues such as the effects of acid rain, ozone depletion, water pollution and air pollution from automobile exhausts and industrial sources.
To become an environmental engineer, at least a Bachelor's degree in engineering (usually civil or chemical, and more frequently environmental engineering) is required, usually followed by specialized training at the Master's or Doctoral level. Most jurisdictions also impose licensing and registration requirements.
Pollutants may be chemical, biological, thermal, radioactive, or even mechanical. Environmental engineering emphasizes several areas: process engineering, environmental chemistry, water and sewage treatment (sanitary engineering), waste reduction/management, and pollution prevention/cleanup. Environmental engineering is a synthesis of various disciplines, incorporating elements from the following:
- Civil engineering
- Chemical engineering
- Public health
- Mechanical engineering
Environmental engineering is the application of science and engineering principles to the environment. Some consider environmental engineering to include the development of sustainable processes.