Environmental engineers use the principles of engineering, mathematics, biology and chemistry to develop and implement engineering solutions to protect human health and the environment from the adverse impacts of environmental pollution. Their work includes water and wastewater treatment, air pollution control, soil and groundwater remediation, site characterization and risk assessment, life cycle assessment, and climate change mitigation.
The School of Engineering introduced the concentration in environmental engineering in 2013, in response to both the growing importance of the field and student interest. The curriculum consists of an interdisciplinary engineering core (13 courses) that includes courses in engineering, mathematics, biology and chemistry, followed by advanced courses in geology and biology and environmental engineering. As part of the environmental concentration, students select four upper-level environmental engineering electives based on their specific interests in concentration.
The program applied for accreditation from the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET (www.abet.org) during Brown's most review period in 2020-2021 when the rest of the School of Engineering's existing accredited programs were reviewed. The review outcome will be available by June 2021.
The environmental engineering concentration has the following general structure (21 total courses):
- An interdisiciplinary core, primarily taken during the first two years (13 courses)
- Advanced biology and geology courses (2 courses)
- Upper level environmental engineering, including capstone design (6 courses)
- In addition, students take four humanities and social sciences courses and seven elective courses