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Environmental Engineering

  • Environmental engineering is one of the fastest growing professions in the United States. Why? Because we help people and the environment stay healthy. Environmental engineers use the principles of science and math to manage ecosystems, restore polluted lands, and protect our soil, air, and water resources. These natural resources are just what people need to lead healthy and productive lives and, so, environmental engineers are in high demand.

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    Dr. Joel Bandstra
    Environmental Engineering

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    Our students prepare to be leaders in the environmental engineering profession by focusing on five transferable skill sets:

    • Lab-scale experimentation.
    • Field-scale design.
    • Theory and computer modeling.
    • Written and oral communication.
    • Ethical decision making.

    We seek to develop these skills through extra-curricular activities, summer research/internships, service-learning, and, of course, classes. 

  • Accreditation

    The Environmental Engineering program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET,

    ABET logoMore Information about why accreditation is important to students and their families can be found here. Briefly, ABET accreditation enhances our graduates' opportunities for employment by placing them on the path to becoming licensed Professional Engineers.


    ABET accreditation is proof that our environmental engineering program has met certain standards necessary to produce graduates who are ready to enter the environmental engineering profession. In order to maintain our status as an accredited program, we are focused on helping our students attain the Program Educational Objectives and Student Outcomes that are published below.


    Program Educational Objectives

    Graduates of the Saint Francis University Environmental Engineering program are expected within a few years of graduation to have:

    1.     Attained the certifications, registrations, and/or licenses needed to work effectively as environmental engineers.

    2.     Established themselves as practicing professionals whether in the field of environmental engineering directly, or in related fields that draw on the knowledge, skills, and values of the environmental engineering profession.

    3.     Advanced to positions of greater responsibility in their workplace, their profession, and their community.

    4.     A Franciscan perspective as they shape culture in their workplace, their community, and civil society writ large.

    5.     Accomplish objectives 1-4 with a commitment to life-long learning and continuous professional development.


    Student Outcomes

    Each student will have demonstrated the proficiency in the following outcomes upon graduation with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering:

    a) An ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering.

    b) An ability to design and conduct experiments in the Lab, as well as to analyze and interpret data (in more than one major environmental engineering focus areas, e.g., air, water, land, environmental health).

    b') An ability to design and conduct experiments in the Field, as well as to analyze and interpret data (in more than one major environmental engineering focus areas, e.g., air, water, land, environmental health).

    c) 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 (by means of design experiences integrated throughout the professional component of the curriculum).

    d) An ability to function on multidisciplinary teams.

    e) An ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems.

    f) An understanding of professional and ethical responsibility.

    g) An ability to communicate effectively.

    h) The broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global,economic, environmental, and societal context.

    i) A recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in life-long learning.

    j) A knowledge of contemporary environmental issues (especially those associated with air, land, and water systems and associated environmental health impacts).

    k) An ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice.

    l) Understand concepts of professional practice and the roles and responsibilities of public institutions and private organizations pertaining to environmental engineering professional development.

    Ecological Engineering Concentration

    Ecological Engineering Concentration (B.S. in Environmental Engineering) 

    Students in the Ecological Engineering concentration prepare to be leaders in this fast-growing field via:

    • Foundational coursework in ecology and microbiology
    • Advanced coursework in ecological engineering
    • An ecological engineering capstone sequence
    • Related internships and research opportunities
    • Real technical projects helping our environment and society

    Aside from the required coursework, students in the concentration are presented with the opportunity for internships or research positions related to Ecological Engineering as well as the option to focus their senior capstone sequence on an Ecological Engineering problem. Students who complete these requirements, and the requirements of the Environmental Engineering program, graduate with a B.S. in Environmental Engineering with a Concentration in Ecological Engineering.


    Our Center for Watershed Research and Service provides a unique opportunity for students to put their ecological engineering skills into practice working on internship, research, and class projects for our nonprofit partners at home and abroad.


    Renewable Energy Concentration

    Renewable Energy Concentration (B.S. in Environmental Engineering) 

    Energy needs continue to increase both nationally and globally. The predominant use of nonrenewable energy resources have generated significant environmental problems which have negatively impacted our planet. Renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, and hybrid technologies have the promise of making sustainable advances in meeting our future energy needs. 

    Renewable Energy concentration students take six credits of specialized course work in energy conversion, storage, and distribution. You will explore the details of energy conversion from traditional sources such as fossil fuels and nuclear energy, to sustainable sources such as solar, wind, fuel cells, and other developing innovative energy technologies.

    There are also opportunities for internships and other interactions with SFU’s Institute for Energy. 

    Student-design projects within the specialized course work provide hands-on learning in designing renewable energy systems. Students in the renewable energy concentration may also pursue renewable energy design projects in both the Senior Lab and courses within the major.


    Career Opportuntites

    According to the U.S. Department of Labor, we can expect the number of new job openings to increase faster for environmental engineers than for any other occupation. SFU engineering graduates have had excellent success in finding employment; nearly all find positions in their field within 12 months of graduation. Our society has a long-term need for environmental engineers as we face challenges in energy generation, drinking water supply and stewardship over natural resources. SFU environmental engineers will be well equipped not only to address the technical aspects of these challenges but also to assist others in understanding the complex ethical and societal context of each technical problem. As of the Spring of 2017, 97% of our 37 graduates are employed.


    Real World Projects

    Real World Projects


    Real world experience is the hallmark of environmental engineering at SFU. In our program you will learn to use math and science to solve some of the most important problems facing society today and we believe that you should start putting your skills to good use even before you graduate. Our students design projects for class, work through paid internships and summer research, and conduct engineering service both here in Pennsylvania and abroad. By combining classroom learning with authentic projects, our students develop the wide variety of skills needed to be successful in the rapidly growing field of environmental engineering.


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