Environmental Engineering

The faculty in environmental engineering actively recruit undergraduate as well as graduate students into research projects. The areas of research are broadly the use of physical and biological systems to prevent harm to humans and the environment. Detailed topics include using trees to control polluted groundwater; biological removal of toxic metals from water; poverty alleviation using design thinking and social entrepreneurship; advanced/low energy wastewater treatment technologies; and air pollutant particle characterization. Getting involved is as easy as telling a faculty member you’re interested, and doing research is promoted in some of the early undergraduate environmental engineering courses.

Facilities and Labs

Research is largely done in 14 state-of-the-art environmental engineering laboratories amounting to 13,000 square feet of contiguous space on the second and third floors of Butler-Carlton Civil Engineering Hall. In addition, faculty collaborate with colleagues in mining engineering, geological engineering, chemistry, biological sciences and other departments such that our students may routinely be in labs in those programs, in the field sampling, or in the Baker Greenhouse on the roof of Butler-Carlton.

Meet the Experts

Joel Burken

Chair, Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

Mark Fitch

Assist. Chair and Assoc. Professor, Environmental Engineering

Daniel Oerther


Jianmin Wang


Affiliated Centers

The Center for Research in Energy and Environment (CREE) serves as the focal point of research, development, and deployment related to energy and environmental technologies.

The Center for Infrastructure Engineering Systems (CIES) focuses on the rehabilitation of bridges and buildings by applying new materials, such as self-consolidating, fiber-reinforced composite materials.


The Center for Science, Technology and Society (CSTS) provides opportunities for humanists, scientists (social, behavioral, and natural), and engineers to collaborate on innovative research that addresses how science and technology shape, and are shaped by, our society, culture, politics and the environment.

Visit the CSTS