Environmental engineers develop effective technologies for the treatment of polluted water, air, soil, and sediments.
Building efficient treatment systems for drinking water and wastewater (industrial and municipal) is a core component of environmental engineering. Research in the department includes the treatment of specialized industrial waste streams and the employment of adsorbents and oxidation processes towards water/wastewater treatment. Students in the department learn about water/wastewater treatment systems through coursework, research, and visits to regional treatment facilities.
Aquatic sediments are the ultimate repositories of a large range of toxic pollutants that have been released into water bodies through past industrial discharges. These contaminants pose a potential risk to human health and the ecosystem. Ongoing research in the department is evaluating the fate and effects of sediment-bound contaminants. Novel remediation technologies are being developed in the laboratory and transitioned into the field through pilot-scale studies.