Environmental Engineering focuses on identifying and understanding environmental problems and designing solutions for them. Major areas include air pollution control, water and wastewater treatment, bioremediation, hazardous waste management, and pollution prevention. Environmental engineers have the technical and scientific knowledge to identify, monitor, design, build, and operate systems that protect the environment from damage and that correct existing problems. Environmental engineers typically work in consulting firms, industries, state and federal agencies, universities, or waste treatment companies.
Graduate environmental engineering education builds upon traditional engineering components, typically found in departments of Biological and Agricultural, Chemical, and Civil Engineering. The breadth and multidisciplinary nature of environmental problems require that environmental engineering possess skills beyond those normally associated with a single engineering field. Knowledge in geology, hydrology, soil science, computers, microbiology, water chemistry, atmospheric chemistry, and other disciplines provides breath to enhance technical skills. Good communication skills are also essential.
The University of Idaho College of Engineering offers Environmental Engineering M.S. (thesis) and M. Engr. (non-thesis) degrees at the Moscow and Idaho Falls campuses. The interdisciplinary program combines the resources of three departments to provide a solid design-based environmental engineering curriculum:
- Biological and Agricultural Engineering
- Chemical Engineering
- Civil Engineering
Environmental engineering research is actively supported both externally and by several interdisciplinary centers on campus including the Idaho Water Resources Research Institute, Center for Hazardous Waste Remediation Research, Environmental Biotechnology Institute and the National Center for Advanced Transportation Technology. The College of Engineering collaborates with environmental engineering faculty from Washington State University, located just eight miles west of Moscow, in research, cross-listed courses and seminars. The Idaho Falls program is being coordinated with Idaho State University's masters degree program in environmental engineering.
Financial assistance, in the form of research and teaching assistantships with out-of-state tuition waivers, is available depending on faculty research projects. All successful applicants are automatically considered for assistantships. The normal matriculation period is 18 to 21 months.