This course provides a scientific and engineering basis for understanding environmental issues and problems. It introduces material and energy balances for tracking substances in the atmosphere, surface and ground waters, and soil systems. Pertinent environmental laws are described, simple quantitative engineering models are developed, and qualitative descriptions of environmental engineering control technologies are presented.
Primary Audience: Juniors in Civil and Environmental Engineering.
Secondary Audience: Undergraduates Chemical Engineering and Chemistry
Required Textbook: Mihelcic, J.R. Fundamentals of Environmental Engineering, John Wiley and Sons, New York, 2009.
- Students will develop an appreciation for the importance of environmental engineering as a major factor in preserving and protecting human health and the environment
- Students will organize their learning about environmental engineering along lines of chemical, physical and biological processes. They will link these concepts with their prior knowledge from core courses in physics, chemistry and/or biology. Students will apply previously learned material in mathematics to engineering problems.
- Students will learn and practice the application of flow and material balance concepts. These concepts are applied to tracking substances in the environment and in engineered systems. Students will gain confidence in drawing simple, yet rational, representations of flow-through systems. Students will use concepts developed in freshman-year introductory engineering and science courses to develop the differential form of mass balance expressions including simple reaction rate expressions.
- Problem solving skills will be developed through the development of simple quantitative engineering models that describe the fate and transport of chemicals in reactors. The practice of environmental engineering is demonstrated by presenting qualitative descriptions of environmental control systems. By working through examples of water and air quality models, students learn how to set up simple mathematical representations of environmental systems and the value of such models for engineering decision making.
- Students will learn about environmental chemistry as an underlying fundamental concept important to all aspects of environmental engineering. Students are asked to think about and describe principal chemicals of concern, the units of measurement, and possible reactions and transformations. These concepts are applied to descriptions of water and wastewater treatment systems, and air quality models. Contemporary environmental chemistry issues in the news are presented for discussion.
- Students will learn about environmental biology as an underlying fundamental concept important to many aspects of environmental engineering. Students will learn about global population dynamics, bacterial growth and nutrient cycling, and biological processes for waste treatment. Contemporary issues in biology are presented for discussion.
- Students will present engineering solutions in report form.
- Students will research and develop a position on current environmental issues that are the subject of significant debate. They will think critically about information provided from multiple sources including journal articles, textbooks and the web. Students will generate position pieces (op-ed letters) on these issues.
- Students will work in lab teams to apply knowledge of 1) physical principals to conduct tests to evaluate coagulant dose for settling, 2) chemical processes in the environment to evaluate the chemical water quality of a local pond, 3) biological processes in the environment to evaluate the biological water quality of a local pond.
- Students will understand the need for standards and controls in designing and conducting experiments.
- Students will apply statistical tests to the data from all lab groups to evaluate the distribution of data and the accuracy and precision of the tests.
- Students will keep a laboratory notebook, and learn to record information in ways that is suitable for intellectual property disputes. Students will produce laboratory reports in engineering format, providing proper tables and figures of data and proper citation of references.