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.
Dr. Joel Bandstra
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Our students prepare to be leaders in the environmental engineering profession by focusing on five transferable skill sets:
We seek to develop these skills through extra-curricular activities, summer research/internships, service-learning, and, of course, classes.
Environmental 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
The 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.
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
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
4. A Franciscan
perspective as they shape culture in their workplace, their community, and
civil society writ large.
objectives 1-4 with a commitment to life-long learning and continuous
Each student will have demonstrated the proficiency in the
following outcomes upon graduation with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental
a) An ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science,
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
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
f) An understanding of professional and ethical
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
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.
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
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%
Other Engineering Specialties School of Sciences at SFU Open Houses & Individual Visits
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