Learn to monitor groundwater quality, measure sediment levels and treat waste. Develop ways to use microbes to break down hazardous waste such as fuel or TNT.
Learn from a faculty member currently researching many topics in environmental engineering, such as:
- Computer models that predict the effects of climate change on water availability in Idaho.
- The use of microbes to treat polluted soil and aquifers.
- Bioreactors that make natural gas from animal waste.
- Tracing lead poisoning through the digestive tracts of native snow geese.
Courses in math, chemistry and microbiology prepare you for more advanced topics, including bioremediation, thermodynamics and fluid mechanics. Much of your education takes place in labs, where you will:
- Experiment with how microbes break down hazardous waste in the bioremediation lab.
- Explore water quality and use in the water resources lab.
- Use state-of-the-art groundwater flow programs in the computing lab.
- Design a remotely powered water sampler in the instrumentation lab.
In your senior year, you will draw on everything you’ve learned to solve a real-world problem for an industry sponsor. You and your classmates might use microbes to break down contaminants from hazardous waste sites, or construct a rain chamber to test utility meters for Itron. Present your findings at the University of Idaho Engineering Expo where future employers judge senior projects.
Students are encouraged to complete an internship the summer between their junior and senior year. Many conduct research with professors in biological and agricultural engineering.