UA environmental engineering is one of only a handful of environmental engineering undergraduate degree programs nationwide established in a department of chemical and environmental engineering.
Central to the curriculum is process engineering, in which students gain an understanding of the toxicity, transport, fate, and biotransformation of pollutants in the environment to predict consequences to the ecosystem and public health.
Students learn about advances in nanotechnology, manufacturing, sensing and imaging, water reuse, energy storage, solar power, microbial detection and bioremediation, biofuels and mining logistics.
Some of the most complex and challenging environmental challenges involve conserving water and keeping it safe; and extracting, refining and transporting minerals with minimal effect on the environment. Students would be hard pressed to find a better place than the UA to study these subjects.
Our desalinization and wastewater treatment research is ensuring a future for our water systems. We are using waste materials to recover nutrients, create new energy sources, and even manufacture new products. And we are working with mining and other industries to develop policies and practices that are more environmental sustainable, efficient and cost-effective.
The College of Engineering plays a key role in the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences UA Superfund Research Project and collaborates with many other interdisciplinary programs on campus. Students can expand their expertise, training and professional network in the BIO5 Institute, Institute of the Environment, Lowell Institute of Mineral Resources, SRC Engineering Research Center for Environmentally Benign Semiconductor Manufacturing, and Arizona Research Institute of Solar Energy.
Outside the Classroom
UA environmental engineering undergraduates at all levels are encouraged and supported to do research and internships. Our students aren’t just learning about hazardous waste remediation and water recycling from experts in class; thanks to partnerships with public utilities and private industry, they’re working directly on these problems at water treatment plants and Superfund sites.
Environmental engineering students also tap into clubs and organizations ranging from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and the Soil Water and Environmental Science Club to the Arizona Brew Club.
Environmental engineering is a promising career. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates starting median pay for environmental engineers at $51,700 and mid-career median salary is $88,600.
Environmental engineers are in increasing demand in private consulting companies, government agencies, research and development firms, and industry. They work on recycling and reusing water and wastewater; cleaning up hazardous waste; reducing pollution in manufacturing; and finding ways for cities and construction companies to build without damaging the environment.