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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
              814.471.1147            
    jbandstra@francis.edu


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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. 

    • Curriculum
    • Real World Experiences
    • Communication Skills
    • Individualized Career Guidance
    • ABET Accreditation
    • Enrollment and Placement Stats
    Curriculum

    Env Eng CurriculumEnvironmental engineers design solutions to real-world problems. There is no better teacher than experience, so our curriculum is filled with project-based courses from freshman through senior year. These real-world projects sit atop a foundation of basic math, science, and liberal arts courses with applied engineering coursework serving as a bridge between the fundamentals and the applications. The curricular structure described above is presented visually in our color coded curriculum map.

    In addition to our ABET-accredited Environmental Engineering bachelor's degree, you can take a concentration in Renewable Energy or Ecological Engineering. Both concentrations prepare students to engage in up-and-coming growth areas within environmental engineering. 

    Course descriptions and program requirements can be found in our online catalog.

    Real World Experiences

    Real World ExperiencesBecoming an excellent environmental engineer involves more than just classroom learning. You also need to gain real-world experience. Engineering employers are always looking to hire students who have experiences beyond the classroom. Opportunities such as those listed here allow our students to develop a rich portfolio during their time at Saint Francis. 

    Service Learning: Environmental engineers have useful skills to offer to non-profit organizations, state and local governments, and community groups. At the same time, these types of partner institutions often have interesting problems for environmental engineers to work on. Through service-learning we connect the dots: our students provide the skills needed to solve important problems working directly with community partners. Learn more by reading about some of our recent projects or by visiting SFU’s Center for Watershed Research and Service

    Undergraduate Research: One of the best ways to learn is by creating new knowledge through research. At SFU, you can be involved in the research process as early as your freshman year. Our students engage in research for credit or through full-time research positions during the summer (paid for by grants and fellowships). SFU’s Office of Student Research provides funding and presentation opportunities. Undergraduate research is a rewarding way to gain a fuller understanding of the many different pathways that are available to environmental engineers.

    Internships: Do you want to know what work as an environmental engineer will entail? Try it out! Nearly all of our students do at least one summer internship, typically through an environmental engineering firm or government agency, and many of our students use those internships to get a head start on their job search. Finding an internship can be a daunting task, though, so SFU employs an internship coordinator. The environmental engineering department also provides assistance by helping students build a professional network.

    Study Abroad: Service-learning can be a great way to travel while also providing some useful service, and learning environmental engineering skills in a non-traditional way. Through our Engineering in Bolivia program, students gain an international perspective on environmental engineering. Through a partnership with the University of Dayton's ETHOS program, you can immerse yourself in a different country for ten weeks, volunteering for a non-profit and engaging your engineering skills abroad. SFU also offers a number of other study abroad experiences.  

    Communication Skills

    Communication SkillsThe most brilliant environmental engineering design will only come to fruition if the engineer can communicate the ideas behind the design. Employers consistently list communication as one of the top skills needed for engineering graduates and we place a special emphasis on helping our students develop the ability to communicate. Effective communication takes a wide variety of forms—written reports, formal presentations, team meetings, public forums and practice in all forms is the key to success. Students in our program practice both written and oral communication in every engineering class. Our small class sizes allow professors to offer extensive feedback to help students improve.

    The real-world experiences that our students engage in also provide excellent opportunities for honing communication skills. From research projects to international service-learning, our students are producing results that other engineers are interested in hearing about. We make sure that our students have opportunities to present at technical conferences and author peer-reviewed journal publications. Because we’re confident in the communication skills that our student’s develop, we’re also confident in having them to represent SFU before the professional community of environmental engineers.

    You can check out some of our student presentations (as well as professors and other friends of the department) through our Saint Francis Engineering YouTube channel.

     

    Individualized Career Guidance

    Career GuidanceEach SFU environmental engineer has a faculty advisor within the environmental engineering department. Your faculty advisor will help you select courses for the next term, and much more: we check up on our students to make sure that they are doing well in their courses and that they get any help needed. We also regularly discuss career options with our advisees to make sure that they are taking the steps as students that will help them fulfill their career goals after SFU.

    The personalized attention that students get at SFU helps environmental engineering majors get through the tough stuff, and is one reason our students graduate at a rate much higher than the national average. It’s also part of the reason that our graduates go on to excellent job placements. 

    Read more about two recent graduates: Amaris Rodriguez and Marie Schoenenberger

    ABET Accreditation

    ABET logoThe Environmental Engineering program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, www.abet.org

    ABET accreditation is external 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.

    Enrollment and Placement Stats

    Enrollment and PlacementSFU environmental engineering majors benefit from small class sizes, individualized attention, and high retention rates. At the same time, graduating with an environmental engineering degree is an ideal way to enter the workforce after graduation.

    Here are our recent program statistics:

    Total Program Enrollment (2016-2017): 36

    Number of Graduates (2017): 10

    2016 Graduates Employed within 6 months: 93%

    Average ENVE Class Size (2016-2017): 9

    Average Graduation Rate in Major: 76% 

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