Environmental Engineering (ENEN)

Department of Environmental Engineering

UPAL GHOSH, Graduate Program Director

REED, BRIAN E., Ph.D., State University of New York at Buffalo; Willard and Lillian Hackerman Chair of Engineering, Sorption of organics/inorganics, separation processes
WELTY, CLAIRE, Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Director of the Center for Urban Environmental Research and Education; Chemical and microbial transport in groundwater, urban hydrology, water resource systems management and analysis

Assistant Professors
GHOSH, UPAL, Ph.D., State University of New York at Buffalo; Fate and transport of toxic organic compounds in the environment, remediation of contaminated sediments

Adjunct Professors
CHANG, CHEIN-CHI P.E., Ph.D., University of Missouri-Rolla; Operations research, stormwater management, remote sensing, geographic information systems and reliability analysis
GWO, JACK , Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University; High-performance models of hydro-bio-geochemistry, fate and transport of mixed wastes in fractured rocks, mechanistic-based watershed modeling
MENZIE, CHARLES A. Ph.D., City Univerisity of New York; Principal, Menzie Cura and Associates; Environmental fate and effects of physical, biological, and chemical stressors on terrestrial, aquatic systems
POUYAT, RICHARD, Ph.D., Rutgers University; Forest ecology and restoration, nutrient dynamics, and influences of urbanization on ecosystem structure and function
SANTARPIA, JOSHUA L., Ph.D., Advanced Physics Laboratory, Johns Hopkins University; Air pollution, Atmospheric processing of biological aerosols
LAKIND, JUDY S. Ph.D. President, LaKind Associates, LLC; Associate Professor, University of Maryland School of Medicine; Adjunct Associate Professor, Milton S. Hershey Medical Center

Degrees Offered

M.S. (thesis and non-thesis), Ph.D

Program Description

The Environmental Engineering (ENEN) Program emphasizes research in water resources and environmental engineering. Environmental engineers identify and design solutions for environmental problems, such as providing safe drinking water, treating and safely disposing of wastes, controlling water pollution, maintaining air quality and remediating contaminated sites. Water resources engineering is a profession that deals with the use, management and conservation of natural water resources above and below ground surface to assure availability and affordability of safe and clean sources of water for society. An individual plan of graduate study in environmental engineering compatible with a student’s interests and background is offered.

Program Specialties

The admission requirements and procedures correspond to the requirements set forth by the University of Maryland, Baltimore. Opportunities are available for undergraduate students to enroll in ENCE M.S. program as part of their home department's B.S./M.S. program.

Degree Requirements

The M.S. program is intended to provide an intensive education in both fundamental and applied aspects of environmental engineering. The student may choose a thesis or non-thesis option. The M.S. thesis option requires a minimum of 24 credit hours of coursework, plus six credit hours of research culminating in an acceptable and defensible thesis. The M.S. non-thesis requires a minimum of 30 credit hours of graduate course work plus three credit hours of research, resulting in an acceptable written scholarly report.

Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering

The Ph.D. degree has a greater emphasis on research compared with the M.S. degree and is geared toward successfully mastering a body of skills and knowledge in preparation for a career as an independent scholar. This degree is recommended for those who expect to engage in a professional career in research, teaching or technical work of an advanced nature. The basic requirements for the Ph.D. degree are the completion of a minimum of 30 credit hours of graduate courses beyond the bachelor’s degree (excluding graduate seminar and doctoral dissertation research credits), a minimum of 12 credit hours of ENCE 899 (doctoral dissertation research), passing a qualifying exam, successful preparation and defense of a dissertation proposal, and public defense of the doctoral dissertation. Course credit hours from the M.S. degree may be applied to the requirement of 30 course credit hours with approval from the student’s committee. Specific course work is determined by the candidate's Ph.D. committee based on the student's academic background and research topic.

All Ph.D. candidates are required to pass a written qualifying examination. The examination is given annually, and the student has two opportunities to pass. Additional requirements are imposed by the Graduate School.

Facilities and Special Resources

The program's research facilities include state-of-the-art laboratories at the Technology Research Center. Major analytical instrumental includes an Inductively coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometer, an Ion Chromatograph Mass Spectrometer, an Agilent 6890 gas chromatograph with a 5973 Network Mass Selective Detector capable of both electron impact and chemical ionization; two additional Agilent 6890 Gas Chromatographs, a Perkin-Elmer atomic absorption spectrophotometer with a graphite furnace; a DIONEX ion chromatograph; and a Total Organic Carbon analyzer. Additional equipment includes a centrifuge, analytical balances, meters (pH, specifc ion probes, DO, conductivity, turbidity, COD), shaking tables, centrifuge, refrigerators, vacuum pumps, drying ovens, a UV-VIS spectrophotometer, microscopes, muffe furnaces and a computer- controlled titrator. A reverse osmosis water source and autoclave are also available. ENCE facilities also house extensive treatability equipment. Computer labs are equipped with PCs and a dedicated server for data acquisition, analysis, modeling and simulation.

ENCE is co-located with the Center for Urban Environmental Research and Education (CUERE), the field offices of the NSF-funded Baltimore Ecosystem Study (BES) and related USDA Forest Service personnel in the Technology Research Center. CUERE’s mission is to advance the understanding of the environmental, social and economic consequences of changes to the urban and suburban landscape. CUERE and the BES jointly house a Spatial Analysis Laboratory and multiple wet laboratories for water quality, soil and sediment analysis. The Spatial Analysis Laboratory equipment includes high-end servers, storage devices, GIS workstations, one large-format plotter and one large-format scanner all linked with a high speed network. The lab holds licenses to the full suite of ESRI spatial analysis software, as well as specialized software for image analysis and LIDAR point classification and analysis.

UMBC is conveniently located with respect to a variety of terrestrial, fresh water and marine/estuarine habitats and is near a large number of private, state and national research institutions, including the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, USDA Agricultural Research Service laboratories, the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and the EPA Mid-Atlantic Assessment Program. The MD-DE-DC District Office of the U.S. Geological Survey Water Resources Division moved to the UMBC campus in 2007 under a federal cooperative agreement. The Center of Marine Biotechnology of the Maryland Biotechnology Institute is located eight miles from UMBC in downtown Baltimore. ENCE core faculty are appointed as faculty in the University System of Maryland Marine, Estuarine and Environmental Science (MEES) Program.

Financial Assistance

Graduate teaching and research assistantships are available to highly qualified candidates through the program.


ENCE 610
Environmental Chemistry [3]
This course presents chemical principles in the context of aquatic systems such as rivers, oceans, wetlands and the sub-surface environment. Equilibrium and kinetic concepts are reinforced through the use of chemical equilibrium and kinetic models. Surface and colloid chemistry are also discussed. At the end of the course, the student will be able to understand the basic chemical phenomena that control the fate of pollutants in the environment.

ENCE 612
Environmental Physico-chemical Processes [3]
This course focuses on physico-chemical processes that control the fate of contaminants in engineered and natural systems is discussed. Physico-chemical phenomenon is first introduced from a phenomenal standpoint, then its role in both engineered and natural systems discussed. At the end of the course, the student will be able to understand the basic physico-chemical phenomena that control the fate of pollutants in the environment.

ENCE 614
Environmental Biological Processes [3]
The purpose of this course is to provide students with the fundamental and design aspects of biological processes. The course focuses on engineered biological treatment for both municipal wastewater systems and contaminated soils and sediments. An understanding of biological treatment operations requires knowledge in the fundamental areas of biochemistry, mass transport, microbiology, reaction kinetics and reactor engineering.

ENCE 616
Environmental Engineering Laboratory [3]
This course introduces laboratory techniques needed to conduct environmental research. Topics to be discussed include laboratory safety; quality assurance/quality control; experimental design; contaminant analysis; physical, chemical, biological processes; and data analysis.

ENCE 620
Fundamentals of Fluid Mechanics [3]
This course emphasizes the fundamental principles of fluid mechanics. Subjects such as potential flow, viscous flow, compressible flow, convection and flow through porous media are included in the course materials.

ENCE 621
Groundwater Hydrology [3]
This course provides students with the fundamentals of sub-surface hydrology and the study of scientific and engineering problems related to groundwater quantity and quality. It introduces the fundamental groundwater fluid and solute mass balance equations. It also relates the parameters of the equations to physical and chemical properties of soils and geological formations. Elementary analytical and computational solution techniques and their applications to the movement of water and solutes in natural environments are discussed.

ENCE 623
Flow Through Porous Media [3]
The course presents the fundamental theories of fluid flow dynamics through porous media, which are applicable to many disciplines of science and engineering. Students will learn to identify key features of porous media and their physico-chemical properties, represent the features mechanistically, identify their associated fluid transport processes, derive conservation equations for the processes and solve the equations. Both analytical and numerical solution techniques for saturated and unsaturated flow equations and their applications to engineering problems are introduced.

ENCE 627
Environmental Modeling [3]
The course covers the fundamental theories and techniques of modeling environmental processes, which is applicable to many disciplines of science and engineering. Students learn to identify key features of the environments and their ecological, biological and physico-chemical properties, represent the features mechanistically, identify their associated processes, derive governing equations for the processes and solve the equations. Solution techniques based on those available in Microsoft EXCEL will be introduced, and the students will learn to use the software as a universal solution platform by writing formulae and Microsoft Visual Basic macros to solve their assignment problems.

ENCE 629
Physical Hydrology [3]
This course provides an introduction to quantifying the components of the hydrologic cycle—precipitation, evaporation, transpiration, infiltration, runoff, stream flow and groundwater flow. Emphasis is on quantifying flow and storage in watersheds, including temporal and spatial patterns. Appropriate field and laboratory tests used to measure hydrologic processes and mechanistic and statistical models for data evaluation and interpretation are presented.

ENCE 640
Hazardous Waste Site Remediation [3]
This course describes the regulatory atmosphere encountered in waste site remediations, hazards from hazardous waste sites and how risk is associated with cleanup. A principal focus is on technologies used to clean up sites and the process through which technologies are selected. The course is accentuated by practical exercises and case history discussions.

ENCE 642
Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Design [3]
This course presents the methodology, analysis and design for water distribution systems, wastewater collection systems and water and wastewater treatment plants.

ENCE 646
Environmental Fate and Transport of Contaminants [3]
This course covers basic principles of chemical fate and transport in the environment. Course materials includes the fundamental concepts and practical, quantitative problem-solving techniques dealing with environmental contaminations. Mass balance; chemical equilibria and kinetics; environmental transport; and advanced topics, such as groundwater well dynamics and subsurface fate and transport, atmospheric transport of pollutants and Monod kinetics are among those included in the materials. Computer software is also used to solve complex but practical fate and transport problems in the environment.

ENCE 648
Environmental Risk Assessment and Remediation [3]
The objective of this course is to examine the fundamental principles governing toxic contaminant exposure and risk to humans and ecosystems. The course covers necessary aspects of probability and statistics, physical and chemical behavior of key priority pollutants, mass transfer and exposure pathways of the contaminants, human and environmental toxicology and methodologies for risk assessment. Concepts of green engineering focused on design, commercialization, and use of processes and products to reduce generation of pollution and risk to human health and the environment are studied. Case studies of remediation technology applications with a focus on understanding how human and environmental risk is managed in a real-life situation are presented.

ENCE 651
Water Resource Systems Analysis [3]
The focus of this course is the application of mathematical optimization techniques to the management of water resource systems. Case studies include water quality control, groundwater remediation design, reservoir operation and operation of water distribution systems.

ENCE 654
Water in the Urban Environment [3]
This course is designed for first-year graduate students who have been awarded Integrative Graduate Education Research and Training (IGERT) fellowships on the theme of "Water in the Urban Environment" and is intended to provide an overview of topics related to the broad themes of the program. The syllabus will focus on the environmental, engineering, economic, and policy aspects of water management in urban areas and will address the impacts of urban development on hydrology, geomorphology, water quality and aquatic ecology. The course is team-taught by faculty from Geography and Environmental Systems, Environmental Engineering, Economics, and Public Policy. There will be several field trips outside of regularly scheduled class time. Prerequisite: permission of instructor.

ENCE 656
Research Design for the Urban Environment [3]
This is a core course in the IGERT "Water in the Urban Environment" program. Topics include the following: What are the valid and feasible research questions for different kinds of projects? What are the assumptions, conceptual models and research approaches associated with different disciplinary perspectives? What are the key requirements for successful interdisciplinary research? What themes and trends will be important in the near future in interdisciplinary environmental research focusing on urban environment and water resources? Students will work individually and as members of interdisciplinary teams to present case studies, analyze journal articles and grant proposals, educate other students about their own disciplinary perspective, terminology, and methods, and develop research plans in response to an example RFP addressing an urban water-related problem. Each team will prepare written documents and will present and defend its work to the faculty and other IGERT students.

ENCE 658
Modeling and Spatial Statistics with Applications in the Urban Environment [3]
The goal of this course is to provide students with knowledge of mathematical models for the urban environment from various disciplinary perspectives, and how such models might be coupled to address urban water problems. Simple models from the fields of environmental contaminant transport, economics, and ecology will be used as examples. Material covered will include time series analysis and geostatistical analysis of spatially distributed data in the physical, biological, and social sciences. The course will highlight challenges of the interdisciplinary perspective, including (1) space and time scales of concern to different disciplines; (2) issues with uncertainty in data and models; and (3) examples of models that are available to the different disciplines. The course will include hands-on exercises and the challenge for students to combine models from different disciplines.

ENCE 660
Air Pollution [3]
The objective of this course will be to provide an introduction to the sources, chemistry and fate of airborne pollutants. In general, it will be broken into three parts: sources and dispersion processes, gas-phase chemistry and particulate-phase chemistry. The focus will be on the urban atmosphere, but as some pollutants have impacts well beyond their source region some discussion of global cycles will be appropriate. The course should provide a general introduction to atmospheric chemistry including both gas-phase and particulate-phase processes. Prerequisites: CHEM 101, CHEM 102 or equivalent, MATH 225.

ENCE 799
Master's Thesis Research [2-9]
Master's thesis research under the direction of a faculty member. Note: Six credit hours are required for the M.S.

ENCE 888
Graduate Environmental Engineering Seminar [1]
This purpose of this course is to expose students to a wide variety of topics in environmental engineering, science and policy. The course meets once per week with an invited speaker giving the lecture. Students write a summary and critical review of the lecture. The course is offered pass/fail only. The course is offered every semester and may be repeated for credit.

ENCE 898
Pre-Candidacy Doctoral Research [3-9]
Research on the doctoral dissertation conducted under the direction of a faculty advisor before candidacy.

ENCE 899
Doctoral Dissertation Research [9]
Research on the doctoral dissertation under direction of faculty advisor. Note: A minimum of 18 credit hours are required for the Ph.D. degree.