What is an Environmental Engineer?

Environmental engineers use the principles of engineering, soil science, biology, and chemistry to develop solutions to environmental problems. They are involved in efforts to improve recycling, waste disposal, public health, and control of water and air pollution. Environmental engineers work in a variety of settings because of the nature of the tasks they do. When they are working with other engineers and urban and regional planners, environmental engineers are likely to be in offices. When they are carrying out solutions through construction projects, they are likely to be at construction sites.

Also known as: Board Certified Environmental Engineer, Civil and Environmental Engineer, Environmental Engineer and Scientist

An Environmental Engineer is a specialized type of Engineer.

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What does an Environmental Engineer do?

Environmental engineers conduct hazardous-waste management studies in which they evaluate the significance of the hazard and advise on treating and containing it. They also design municipal water supply and industrial wastewater treatment systems and research the environmental impact of proposed construction projects. Environmental engineers in government develop regulations to prevent mishaps. Some environmental engineers study ways to minimize the effects of acid rain, global warming, automobile emissions, and ozone depletion. They also collaborate with environmental scientists, planners, hazardous waste technicians, engineers, and other specialists, such as experts in law and business, to address environmental problems and sustainability. Environmental engineers typically do the following:

  • Prepare, review, and update environmental investigation reports
  • Design projects leading to environmental protection, such as water reclamation facilities, air pollution control systems, and operations that convert waste to energy
  • Obtain, update, and maintain plans, permits, and standard operating procedures
  • Provide technical support for environmental remediation projects and legal actions
  • Analyze scientific data and do quality-control checks
  • Monitor progress of environmental improvement programs
  • Inspect industrial and municipal facilities and programs to ensure compliance with environmental regulations
  • Advise corporations and government agencies about procedures for cleaning up contaminated sites

What is the workplace of an Environmental Engineer like?

They work in a variety of settings because of the nature of the tasks they do:

  • When they are working with other engineers and urban and regional planners, environmental engineers are likely to be in offices

  • When they are working with business people and lawyers, they are likely to be at seminars where they present information and answer questions

  • And when they work with hazardous waste technicians and environmental scientists, they work at specific sites outdoors

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