The Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in Earth and Environmental Engineering prepares students for careers in the public and private sector concerned with primary materials (minerals, fuels, water) and the environment. Graduates are also prepared to continue with further studies in Earth/Environmental sciences and engineering, business, public policy, international studies, law, and medicine. The EEE program is accredited as an environmental engineering program by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, http://www.abet.org.
What Is Earth and Environmental Engineering?
It is now recognized by the U.S. and other nations that continuing economic development must be accompanied by intelligent use of Earth’s resources and that engineers can contribute much to the global efforts for sustainable development. The technologies that have been developed for identifying, extracting, and processing primary materials are also being applied to
the twenty-first-century problems of resource recovery from used materials, pollution prevention, and environmental remediation. The EEE undergraduate program encompasses these technologies.
Undergraduate Program Objectives
- Graduates equipped with the necessary tools (mathematics, chemistry, physics, Earth sciences, and engineering science) will understand and implement the underlying principles used in the engineering of processes and systems.
- Graduates will be able to pursue careers in industry, government agencies, and other organizations concerned with the environment and the provision of primary and secondary materials and energy, as well as continue their education
as graduate students in related disciplines.
- Graduates will possess the basic skills needed for the practice of Earth and Environmental Engineering, including
measurement and control of material flows through the environment; assessment of environmental impact of past, present, and future industrial activities; and analysis and design of processes for remediation, recycling, and disposal of used materials.
- Graduates will practice their profession with excellent written and communication skills and with professional ethics and responsibilities.
Undergraduate Student Outcomes
- An ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering
- An ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data
- An ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health, and safety, manufacturability, and sustainability
- An ability to function on multidisciplinary teams
- An ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems
- An understanding of professional and ethical responsibility
- An ability to communicate effectively
- The broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental, and societal context
- A recognition of the need for and an ability to engage in life-long learning
- A knowledge of contemporary issues
- An ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice
The first two years of the EEE program are similar to those of other engineering programs. Students are provided with a strong foundation in basic sciences and mathematics, as well as the liberal arts core. Specific to the EEE program is an early and sustained introduction to Earth science and environmental engineering, and options for a number of science courses to meet the specific interests of each student. The junior and senior years of the program consist of a group of required courses in engineering science and a broad selection of technical electives organized into three distinct concentrations, representing major areas of focus within the department.
Several Columbia departments, such as Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Earth and Environmental Sciences (Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory), as well as the Mailman School of Public Health, contribute courses to the EEE program. EEE students are strongly encouraged to work as summer interns in industry or agencies on projects related to Earth and Environmental Engineering. The department helps students get summer internships.