About Environmental Engineering
Every activity of the human race has an impact on the environment, either directly or indirectly. The goal of the environmental engineer is to minimize that impact. Environmental engineers deal with such questions as:
- How can we control the sulfur dioxide emissions that pour out of power plants which burn fossil fuels?
- What must we do to ensure a clean, safe drinking water supply?
- To what degree must wastewater be treated before it is returned to the environment?
- How can we best protect the land, the final receptor of all pollution?
Environmental engineers seek the answers to these questions in the field, in the research lab, and through the use of computer models. Ultimately, the challenge facing environmental engineer is to see that adequate technology satisfies the needs of the population for energy and materials without creating future problems for the environment.
The undergraduate program offers courses in all major areas of environmental engineering. All of our environmental engineering courses teach students the fundamentals of engineering design, relevant laws and regulations, and presents actual case studies. We also teach students how to use state-of-the-art computer models to expedite the design process. Students are also taught how to balance engineering designs with economic constraints.
NMT's Environmental Engineering faculty work with New Mexico industries and local and state environmental agencies on environmental problems, and perform sponsored research with Sandia and Los Alamos National Laboratories. Opportunities exist for students to conduct research at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.
Our students have won a total of 11 first, second, or third place awards in the annual WERC Environmental Design Contest, and our students have also been honored with best paper and best poster awards from national environmental organizations.
Seniors work with a professor on a thesis project, normally chosen by the student in an area of interest. For large projects, such as those required for the annual Waste-Management and Education Research Consortium (WERC) or Water Environment Federation (WEF) design contests, students can work in groups. Senior theses often require lab work, detailed engineering designs, and computer modeling.
New Mexico Tech offers a master’s degree in Environmental Engineering and a five-year combined B.S./M.S. degree. All M.S. students are required to complete 30 credit hours and a thesis or independent study. Graduate students have many opportunities within allied departments for research and teaching assistantships. Students are often eligible for funding through cooperative research with Sandia and Los Alamos National Laboratories.