Careers in Environmental Engineering


Who are environmental engineers?

In their work to protect the environment and human health in a sustainable way, environmental engineers play many roles. The following is a glimpse of what environmental engineering students do at the University of Texas at Austin:

  • evaluate removal of pharmaceuticals and personal care products from water
  • design nanomaterials for treatment applications and assess their environmental impact
  • model the impact of extreme events such as floods and droughts
  • quantify human exposure to outdoor and indoor air pollutants
  • design efficient propulsors to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from ships
  • study energy use in the distribution and treatment of water (water-energy nexus)
  • design turbines to extract the energy of ocean currents
  • assess the impact of the flow of water and its contaminants in rivers and coastal systems
  • design stormwater control facilities to improve surface water quality
  • design treatment systems to improve the air we breathe indoors
  • holistically evaluate “green” technologies via life-cycle assessment
  • remediate soil and ground waters impacted by unintended pollutant releases

Where do environmental engineers work?

Environmental engineers work as private consultants who advise clients and design solutions for a myriad of environmental challenges; as industrial leaders who contribute to more sustainable corporations; as teachers and scholars at universities and national laboratories who are on the cutting-edge of environmental solutions; as problem-solvers in non-governmental organizations; as technical experts at legal firms; and as researchers and regulatory authorities at government agencies. Their work is multidisciplinary and often involves communicating with people of diverse backgrounds and interests.

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