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Environmental Engineering


Environmental Engineering is a multidisciplinary program involving the Faculties of Engineering, Science, and Environmental Studies. Within the Faculty of Engineering, the program involves the Departments of Chemical Engineering and Civil Engineering. The program is administered by the Environmental Engineering Board which consists of the Dean, the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies, faculty members from the above two departments, and representatives from the departments of Systems Design Engineering and Management Sciences, and from the Faculties of Science and Environmental Studies.

The two key foci of the Environmental Engineering Program are the following: the integration of environmental and ecological issues within the planning, design, operation and management of industrial and other technological processes; and the minimization, treatment, remediation and risk assessment aspects of the solid, liquid and gaseous wastes that are associated with living in a modern society. The Environmental Engineering Program has two divisions: a Chemical Engineering Branch and a Civil Engineering Branch. For the Chemical Engineering Branch, primary emphasis is on the first key focus, namely the planning, design, operation and management of industrial and other technological processes. For the Civil Engineering Branch, primary emphasis is on the second key focus, namely the minimization, treatment, remediation and risk assessment aspects of the solid, liquid and gaseous wastes. The 'branch approach' permits future extension to other branches of engineering as they apply to the environment, e.g. decision analysis, management, ergonomic issues, occupational health issues, and human factors issues; considerable expertise in these areas already exists in the departments of System Design Engineering and Management Sciences, both being departments within the Faculty of Engineering at Waterloo.

Students will apply to the two branches of the Environmental Engineering separately and, if accepted into one of the branches, will be directly registered in the appropriate program, either the Environmental Engineering Program (Chemical Engineering Branch) or the Environmental Engineering Program (Civil Engineering Branch). For the Environmental Engineering Program (Chemical Engineering Branch), the 'home' department will be the Chemical Engineering department; for the Environmental Engineering Program (Civil Engineering Branch), the 'home' department will be the Civil Engineering Department.

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Chemical Engineering Branch (Control and Process Engineering Theme)

This branch of the Environmental Engineering Program is characterized by the strong and extensive process engineering component in the curriculum. With its unique process engineering focus, the program is a modern Environmental Engineering program whose graduates will be identifiably and favourably different from graduates of other undergraduate Environmental Engineering programs in Canada, and probably in North America.

In the long term, the most effective way to reduce environmental degradation and pollution is to stop it from occurring. It is essential to control and operate existing plants and processes so that materials which would degrade the air, water and soil are eliminated or contained. Incorporation of environmental principles and constraints at the planning and design stage for new plants and processes will result in more effective operation and control to minimize pollution. With their process engineering background, graduates from the Environmental Engineering Program (Chemical Engineering Branch) will be ideally suited to address these needs.

Clearly, there is much in common (as well as significant differences) in the education of students in this program and in the Chemical Engineering Program. Therefore, although the education and job markets for graduates in Chemical Engineering and Environmental Engineering are somewhat different, there nonetheless exists a significant overlap in the job markets for the two disciplines. A substantial number of Chemical Engineering graduates and students on co-op work terms work in environmentally-related areas. Although a Chemical Engineering degree, perhaps with the Environmental Engineering Option, is adequate for many of these jobs, for many other jobs, an Environmental Engineering curriculum provides a better mix of skills and knowledge. The Faculty believes that it can best serve society and carry out its mandate by offering both Chemical Engineering and Environmental Engineering degree programs.

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Civil Engineering Branch (Waste Treatment and Management Theme, and Water and Soil Quality Theme)

This branch of the Environmental Engineering Program is characterized by two distinct areas, the first is in waste treatment and the second in pathways migration of chemicals in the environment. With the strong emphasis on the principles of pollutant transformation mechanisms within both waste treatment processes and the environment, the program provides depth, yet flexibility, to address a wide-ranging array of environmental engineering concerns.

All human activities result in some degree of impact on the environment; the environmental engineer must be sensitive to achieving a balance between economic development and environmental protection. For example, solid waste management is more than just waste disposal - it is waste generation, waste reduction, energy recovery, and disposal of the residual in an environmentally-acceptable manner. Improving water quality in rivers is more that just monitoring of pollutant levels; it must be translated into such features as watershed planning, reduction of pollutant discharges, and remediation of historical disposal practices. Historically, the client in many engineering tasks was the municipality or a governmental agency; now, in many respects, it is the public-at-large, the taxpayer. Environmental decision-making is becoming increasingly complex. With the depth and flexibility provided by the Waste Treatment and Management Theme, and the Water and Soil Quality Theme, the graduates from the Environmental Engineering Program (Civil Engineering Branch) will have the educational credentials to be important, contributing members to the resolution of theseJengineering problems.

The proposed program curriculum builds on many courses in the existing Civil Engineering curriculum particularly in the first two years. In the third and fourth years, the program includes a mix of environmentally-oriented courses from a number of departments within the university and new courses essential to the educational objectives associated with the Waste Treatment and Management Theme, and the Water and Soil Quality Theme.

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Academic Program

The academic programs for the two branches of the Environmental Engineering Program are presented in the following table. Both the Chemical Engineering Branch and the Civil Engineering Branch will be stream 4 programs.

Chemical Engineering Branch
Control and Process Theme


Term 1A (Fall)
CH E 102 Chemistry for Engineers
MATH 115 Linear Algebra for Engineering (formerly MATH 114)
MATH 117 Calculus 1
PHYS 115 Mechanics
ENV E 100 Environmental Engineering Concepts 1 (incl. *Graphics)

Term 1B (Spring)
GEN E 121 Digital Computation
GEN E 123 Electrical Engineering
MATH 118 Calculus 2
PHYS 125 Physics for Engineers
ENV E 101 Environmental Engineering Concepts 2
CSE 1 Approved Complementary Studies Elective

Term 2A (Winter)
*ENV E 222 Applied Math 1: Statistics
*MATH 217 Calculus 3 for Chemical Engineering (gradients to integral theorems (formerly MATH 210)
*CH E 021 Equilibrium Stage Operations
*CH E 023 Physical Chemistry 1: Thermodynamics and Phase Equilibria
*CHEM 026 Organic Chemistry 1

Term 2B (Fall)
ENV E 220 Environmental Chemistry and Ecotoxicology
ERS 241 (CSE 2) Introduction to Environmental and Social Impact Assessment
*ENV E 213 Fluid Mechanics
*MATH 216 Differential Equations
BIOL 250 Ecology

Term 3A (Spring)
*CH E 032 Introductory Biotechnology
*CH E 033 Process Engineering Thermodynamics
*ENV E 332 Inorganic Environmental Process Principles
BIOL 454 Environmental Toxicology 1
CSE 3 Approved Complementary Studies Elective

Term 3B (Winter)
*CH E 035 Mass Transfer
ENV E 331 Instrumentation and Analysis Methods
*ENV E 321 Applied Math 2: Advanced Math
*ENV E 333 Chemical Reaction Engineering
CSE 4 Approved Complementary Studies Elective

Term 4A (Fall)
*CH E 041 Introduction to Process Control
ENV E 410 Transport Processes: Environmental Engineering Applications
*ENV E 422 Economics for CH E/ENV E Students
ENV E 420 Modelling of the Environment
ENV E 480 Environmental Engineering Project (0.25 credit)
Technical elective+

Term 4B (Winter)
*ENV E 483/481 Environmental Engineering Project (1.0/0.75 credit)
ENV E 403 (CSE 5) Environment: Regulations and Legal Issues
*CH E 572 Air Pollution Control
or
*CH E 574 Treatment of Aqueous Inorganic Wastes
Technical elective+
Technical elective+

+ Two of the three technical electives must be 3rd or 4th year courses on environmental topics from Chemical Engineering, other engineering departments or other faculties.
* Chemical and Environmental Engineering students in the stream are taught jointly in a single class.

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Civil Engineering Branch
Waste Treatment and Management (WTM) Theme, and Water and Soil Quality (WSQ) Theme


Term 1A (Fall)
CH E 102 Chemistry for Engineers
MATH 115 Linear Algebra for Engineering (formerly MATH 114)
MATH 117 Calculus 1
PHYS 115 Mechanics
ENV E 161 Environmental Engineering Concepts 1
GEN E 170 Engineering Graphics

Term 1B (Spring)
GEN E 121 Digital Computation
GEN E 123 Electrical Engineering
MATH 118 Calculus 2
PHYS 125 Physics for Engineers
CIV E 127 Statics
ENV E 126 Environmental Engineering Concepts 2

Term 2A (Winter)
*CIV E 224 Probability and Statistics
*CIV E 221 Advanced Calculus
*CIV E 265 Materials
*CIV E 292 Engineering Economics
*CIV E 204 Mechanics of Solids 1
ENV S 200 Field Ecology (or BIOL 250)

Term 2B (Fall)
ENV E 220 Environmental Chemistry and Ecotoxicology
ERS 241 (CSE 2) Introduction to Environmental and Social Impact Assessment
*CIV E 280 Fluid and Thermal Sciences
*CIV E 222 Differential Equations
*CIV E 253 Geology for Engineers

Term 3A (Spring)
*CIV E 375 Water Quality Engineering
*CIV E 353 Soil Mechanics
ENV E 330 Lab Analysis and Field Sampling Techniques
ENV E 320 Environmental Resource Management
CSE 3 Approved Complementary Studies Elective

Term 3B (Winter)
+CH E 032 Introductory Biotechnology
+CHEM 026 Organic Chemistry 1
*CIV E 381 Hydraulics
ENV S 401 (CSE 4) Environmental Law
++CH E 036 (WTM) Chemical Reaction Engineering
or
*CIV E 442 (WSQ) Finite Element Analysis
or
EARTH 456 (WSQ) Numerical Methods in Geoscience

Term 4A (Fall)
BIOL 454 Environmental Toxicology 1
*CIV E 472 Wastewater Treatment
ENV E 430 Environmental Engineering Project 1
Technical elective (WTM)
or
*CIV E 486 (WSQ) Hydrology
Technical elective (WTM)
or
EARTH 458 (WSQ) Physical Hydrogeology

Term 4B (Winter)
ENV E 431 ENV E Project 2
CSE 5 Approved Complementary Studies Elective
ENV E 477 Solid Waste Management
Technical elective
CHE E 574 (WTM) Treatment of Aqueous Inorganic Wastes
or
ENV E 420 (WSQ) Modelling of the Environment
CH E 572 (WTM) Air Pollution Control
or
*CIV E 473 (WSQ) Contaminant Transport

+ It would be preferable to have taken CHEM 026 prior to taking CH E 032.
++ Problem: students do not have the prerequisite background for this course. The best solution, if resources permit, might be for Chemical Engineering to develop a service course (e.g. CH E 039 - Reactor Design for Environmental Applications).
* Civil and Environmental Engineering students in the stream are taught jointly in a single class.

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