You Will Learn
Environmental engineers solve environmental quality problems. Students learn how to make water safe to drink and safe to release back into the environment. Students also learn how humans and the environment are adversely affected by human activities and natural processes that generate pollution or other detrimental effects. Environmental engineering students are actively engaged in developing ways to convert waste materials into useful products, especially renewable energy. In addition to the traditional problems related to water and air pollution from cities and factories, environmental engineers are involved with renewable energy and enhancing the quality of rural and urban living. The environmental engineering program is for students who enjoy science, are mathematically inclined and have a passion to make Earth a cleaner, safer, better place.
You Will Experience
The environmental engineering program offers numerous opportunities for students to become involved in projects beginning their freshman year. The department provides service projects to the community and the Environmental Club allows students to organize their own activities. Students are encouraged to find a summer internship after their sophomore and junior years. Opportunities for internships are available at sites including:
- government agencies
- local and regional industries
- nonprofit organizations
- privately owned environmental companies
- research institutions
You Will Achieve
Environmental engineers are in high demand. The U.S. government forecasts strong growth in environmental engineering, more so than in most other engineering fields. Such opportunities include the following:
- Many of our graduates choose to work for a government agency, while others decide to continue their education in Gannon’s environmental health and engineering graduate program.
- Most of our graduates work for private companies. Many of these companies are consulting firms specializing in environmental areas, but some of our graduates work in-house for larger companies that need their own staff of environmental specialists.
You will Study
The environmental engineering curriculum begins with fundamental concepts and builds as students advance through the program. Students’ senior year brings together science and math previously learned and applies it as students work in teams to complete their senior design project, solving real environmental quality problems or addressing an engineering opportunity. Environmental engineering majors take various core and elective courses including:
ENV 336/337: Water Quality and Lab
This course covers the major types of water pollution of concern to the environmental professional. Topics covered include water quality impacted by organic and nutrient pollution in surface and groundwater, as well as the water quality consequences of heavy metal and toxic organic pollution.
ENV 400/401: Environmental Toxicology and Lab
This course focuses on the properties, effects, and detection of chemical substances in the environment and how that information is used to protect human health. Topics covered include dose-response relationships, biotransformation, risk assessment and the standard-setting process.
ENV 403: Air Pollution Control Engineering
This upper-level course applies the principles of science and engineering to pollution management. Specifically covered in the course are chemical kinetics, mass balance, mass transfer, water and wastewater treatment, air pollution control and solid and hazardous waste management.
Liberal Studies Core
The Liberal Studies Core Curriculum is one reflection of Gannon University's commitment to its Catholic identity. The Core's design offers students a defined, integrated, shared experience as the foundation for their undergraduate program.
You Will Earn
Salaries vary depending on the location and type of employer.
- Starting salary: $49,400
- Mid-career salary: $89,800
- Completion of 16 academic units at the high school level, four of which must be English; the remainder of units are to be comprised of four units of science including physics, four units in math including geometry, trigonometry and/or precalculus, and any combination of four units of social sciences and foreign language.
- Academic course selection, grades, rank in class, guidance counselor recommendation and SAT/ACT scores will be carefully reviewed for admission consideration.
- Demonstrate motivation and curiosity through interests and extracurricular activities.
- All environmental engineering students complete a design project during their senior year that is usually tied to an actual environmental problem or challenge in the area or around the world.
- Recently, senior environmental engineering students designed an innovative water filtration system that uses materials locally available in Bangladesh, enabling residents to produce their own water filters to reduce the amount of naturally occurring arsenic in the water.
- Other environmental engineering students designed an aquaponics system for a local nonprofit center. The system combines raising fish for human consumption with producing fruits and vegetables. The waste products from the fish become fertilizer for the plants, resulting in a low-cost, environmentally friendly way to grow food and protect water quality at the same time.
- Other senior projects have included renewable energy studies of wind energy and solar panels for the Gannon campus and studies of the hydrology and water quality of local streams.
Program taught in: