About Environmental and Ecological Engineering
Environmental and Ecological engineers use the principles of systems engineering, biology, and chemistry to develop strategies to protect human and environmental health, and design sustainable systems and technologies. Our unique name, Environmental and Ecological Engineering, was chosen to highlight our approach to managing complex problems with an integrated perspective that considers both environmental issues and ecological interactions. In the undergraduate curriculum there is an early focus on systems thinking and systems understanding with the inclusion of significant course requirements in ecology, sustainability, and industrial ecology. The EEE program strives for resilient design thinking that takes into account complexity and connectivity between systems.
Employment opportunities for EEE graduates are excellent. Most businesses, industries, all levels of government and many international organizations hire environmental and ecological engineers. Graduates are prepared to enter a wide-range of employment sectors in environmental and engineering fields including the industrial and construction, government, consulting, municipal and public service, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and education sectors. Common career pathways center around:
Water and Watershed Stewardship: Ensuring that engineered systems and ecological systems interact sustainably.
Pollution Control, Monitoring, Abatement and Remediation: Wastewater, soil and air treatment/control, industrial waste control and recycling.
Industrial Sustainability: Optimize industrial resource use; analyze and control of complete life-cycles of materials; industrial system redesign; energy efficiency optimization.
Sustainability: Provide for current needs without sacrificing future ability to meet needs. Consider the whole system, including complex interactions of environmental, technological and societal systems.
The U.S. Dept. of Labor projects substantial growth in jobs for the foreseeable future. Starting salaries are comparable to other Engineering fields and opportunities for advancement to positions of responsibility are excellent. Among the 14 “Grand Challenges of Engineering” announced by the National Academy of Engineering six of the 14 are explicitly in the domain of Environmental and Ecological engineering. Environmental engineering has a clear impact on societies and quality of life. Students interested in engineering that can make a positive difference for people should consider Environmental and Ecological Engineering. Meet with an advisor or faculty member to craft an individualized plan of study to meet your career goals.
Research within Environmental and Ecological Engineering may be characterized as being multidisciplinary and focused on cutting edge issues. The EEE discovery mission is positioned to respond to society’s need to understand the world we live in, and to develop strategies for sustainably managing Earth’s limited resources and ecosystems so that they will be available for generations to come. Topics emphasized within the EEE research portfolio include: environmental fate of air, water, and soil contaminants; sustainable urban design; renewable energy and the water-energy nexus; water and wastewater treatment; sustainable industrial systems; water, air, and nutrient cycling; sustainability engineering education; bio-based materials and products; industrial ecology and industrial processes; air quality.
The Division of Environmental and Ecological Engineering (EEE) furthers the learning, discovery, and engagement missions of the Purdue College of Engineering with a focus on understanding the ways in which all engineering activities affect and are affected by the environment. EEE will help the College fulfill the responsibility of service to the state, the nation, and the world through innovative and comprehensive undergraduate and graduate education, collaborative and wide-reaching research and discovery, and the assumption of ever-greater levels of leadership in addressing global environmental and ecological problems.
Program Educational Objectives
Graduates of the EEE Undergraduate Program will:
- Be prepared to assume immediate employment in the field of environmental & ecological engineering or to continue education in an advanced degree program;
- Participate fully & ethically in the advancement of the profession within five years of graduation, as measured by one or more of the following:
- Achievement of, or significant progress toward, professional licensure
- Achievement of, or significant progress toward, an advanced degree
- Publication of research results and/or field reports
- Advancement to a leadership role within an engineering organization
- Advancement to a leadership role within organizations, agencies, or companies who offer solutions to major societal and environmental issues
Upon graduation, graduates of EEE will show:
- An ability to identify, formulate, and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science, and mathematics
- An ability to apply engineering design to produce solutions that meet specified needs with consideration of public health, safety, and welfare, as well as global, cultural, social, environmental, and economic factors.
- An ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences.
- An ability to recognize ethical and professional responsibilities in engineering situations and make informed judgments, which must consider the impact of engineering solutions in global, economic, environmental, and societal contexts.
- An ability to function effectively on a team whose members together provide leadership, create a collaborative and inclusive environment, establish goals, plan tasks, and meet objectives.
- An ability to develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data, and use engineering judgment to draw conclusions.
- An ability to acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies.
Division of Environmental and Ecological Engineering
Potter Engineering Center, Room 364
500 Central Drive
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2022
Phone: (765) 496-9697
CoursesEnvironmental and Ecological Engineering