UB To Offer Environmental Engineering Degree

Release Date: July 10, 2000 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The New York State Department of Education has approved the University at Buffalo's new bachelor of science degree in environmental engineering, the first and only one of its kind at a public institution in the state.

Environmental engineers work to apply engineering principles to the protection of human health and ecosystems. Graduates with a bachelor's degree in environmental engineering find jobs with private consulting firms, industry and government agencies. They also have the skills and, in most cases, the academic background to pursue a variety of other careers or graduate degrees in engineering, law, medicine, management, computer science or other fields that have an environmental component.

"This new degree, offered by UB's Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering, provides students with an opportunity to gain a comprehensive education that will prepare them for socially conscious careers in a rapidly expanding, high-technology field," said Alan J. Rabideau, Ph.D., associate professor of civil, structural and environmental engineering and degree coordinator.

According to Rabideau, there always will be a stable demand for environmental engineers to manage society's infrastructure for water supply and waste management.

"For several years now," he added, "the local demand here in Western New York has exceeded the supply of qualified graduates and the national job market is strong as well. Furthermore, as federal and state environmental programs evolve in response to the global economy's impact on public health and the environment, new opportunities are continually emerging for environmental engineers."

The UB curriculum is designed to meet all requirements of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) and it prepares students academically for licensing as professional engineers.

"It was certainly time to establish an environmental engineering curriculum at UB," said Mark Karwan, Ph.D., dean of the UB School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. "This new degree program will enrich our undergraduate curriculum offerings and make UB more attractive to a subset of prospective students who previously would have had to go elsewhere."

"In addition to traditional water and wastewater management, environmental engineers address problems related to air-pollution control, industrial hygiene, radiation protection, hazardous-waste management, toxic-materials control, storm-water management, solid-waste disposal, public health and ecosystem management," said Rabideau. "To address such problems, they must acquire tools from business, information technology and the natural sciences, in addition to traditional engineering methods."

Rabideau noted that the UB program offers majors some important advantages over other programs, such as well-established graduate programs in the field, a dynamic faculty pursuing active research and interaction with UB's nationally prominent research centers, including the Great Lakes Program, the Center for Integrated Waste Management, the National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis, New York State Sea Grant, the Multidisciplinary Center for Earthquake Engineering Research and the Center for Computational Research.

At the same time, he continued, students will benefit from the university's Western New York location, with its proximity to the Great Lakes and to Buffalo, where they can learn first-hand about such urban environmental issues as brownfields.

Interested applicants should check out or contact Rabideau in the UB Department of Civil, Structural, and Environmental Engineering at (716) 645-2114, ext. 2327.

Applications from interested students are being accepted on an ongoing basis.

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