Minor in Environmental Engineering

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If you are interested in sustainability, solving pollution problems and maintaining and improving air, water and soil quality, then our minor in Environmental Process Engineering could be for you.  Our programme enables you to study for a top-quality degree in Chemical and Process Engineering while specialising in subjects with an environmental engineering emphasis. You gain a fully accredited engineering degree with an environmental theme! 

What is Environmental Engineering?

How is industrial and domestic wastewater made clean enough to release back into the environment? How does an industry make sure its gaseous emissions don’t damage the local environment or create annoying odours? How is contaminated soil from an old industrial site remediated so that the site is safe to use for new activities?  The Environmental Process Engineering minor covers the processes that chemical engineers use to make modern process industry sustainable and improve the social license to operate.  So it not only covers the technical side of solving these problems but also working within the regulatory framework that sets requirements and understanding how the community is an important stakeholder for these activities. By completing this minor you will be well prepared to apply your core chemical engineering skills in making modern industry more environmentally sustainable.

Students study this minor alongside the Chemical and Process Engineering specialisation and must also meet the requirements for that specialisation.

In order to obtain the minor in Environment, the elective papers and major projects within the chemical engineering degree should be focused on environmental engineering. This means the following courses must be taken:

Second professional year:  ENCH390 ENGR407 or ENCN375

Third professional year:  ENGR405 ENCH494 ENCH495

 ENCH494 or ENCH495 must be taken with an environmental process engineering focus approved by the Director of Studies.

Students must also meet the requirements for the Chemical and Process Engineering Discipline.

Students completing our Minor in Environmental Engineering complete major design and research projects with an environmental theme. These projects are guided by the research interests of our postgraduates and staff, who are working at the cutting edge of the environmental sector. Here are some examples of recent research topics our students have explored as part of the Minor in Environmental Engineering.

Current areas of research include:

  • Reducing emerging pollutants in freshwater and seawater
  • Capture of carbon monoxide and greenhouse gases
  • Elimination of fossil fuels from industry
  • Detecting microplastics in the environment
  • Converting food wastes to plastics and fuel
  • Biodegradable and compostable plastics
  • Development of low carbon cement
  • Recyclable resins and polymers
  • Biofiltration of polluted air
  • Denitrification of contaminated water
  • Stable isotope probing of bioremediation communities

See our  webpage for more information about research in Chemical and Process Engineering.

Career opportunities

If you’re worried about the state of our planet — the impact of human activities and technology on the environment, or the strain on our natural resources — then this minor will prepare you to use engineering processes to develop innovative and sustainable solutions for complex environmental problems, and manage and minimise impact.

Students interested in this area understand their responsibility towards improving conservation, sustainability, and management of natural and man-made environments.

Environmental Process Engineering is multi-disciplinary and involves stakeholder communication. Roles can primarily be found in consulting firms in Aotearoa New Zealand and overseas, as well as in local councils, infrastructure service providers as well as large firms involved in food production or energy processing.

Find out more about what you can do with a degree in Chemical and Process Engineering.

Associate Professor Matthew Watson

Associate Professor
Link Rm 402
Internal Phone: 93803

Find out more about what you can do with a degree in Chemical and Process Engineering.