Environmental Systems Engineering (ESE) focuses on protecting the health of our water, land and urban systems. Over the past 30 years, the ESE group at the University of British Columbia has been a global leader in the field. In the 1970s and 80s, ESE at UBC was at the forefront of the development of biological phosphorus removal technologies. In the 1990s, ESE at UBC was instrumental in maintaining Canada’s lead in the development of green technologies both in the natural resource sector (e.g. forest industry) and in urban/agricultural water and waste management sectors. Since the start of the millennia, we have continued to be a world leader through the development and commercialization of technologies essential to address emerging environmental challenges, both locally and globally.
- Recovery of nutrients and energy from wastes (e.g. anaerobic digestion bioreactors, membrane enhanced biological nutrient recovery, phosphorous crystallization, low-energy nitrogen removal)
- Advanced treatment processes for removal of trace contaminants and pathogens
- Production of high-quality water (e.g. integrated biological systems, water recovery/cascading/reuse, stormwater treatment, membrane and disinfection technologies)
- Water and wastewater treatment in low-resource contexts
- Rain gardens could save salmon from toxic tire chemicals
- Dr. Jongho Lee and Dr. Ryan Ziels promoted to associate professor with tenure
- UBC Civil In The Media – Wastewater off flights from China to Vancouver will soon be tested for COVID-19
- Turning skyscrapers into trees
|Core courses (credits)||13||13||13|
|Elective courses (min. credits)||17||5||17|
|Seminar course||CIVL 597-003||CIVL 597-003||CIVL 597-003|
|Thesis course||N/A||CIVL 599||CIVL 699|
Core course requirements
The following courses CIVL 562 and 597-003 as listed below, plus three (3) of CIVL 541, 565 (Not offered 2023W), 566, 569 (Not offered 2023W), 598Q (Not offered 2023W), 598W, 598X (Not offered 2023W), or CHBE 575.
Electives may be taken from the list of Approved Electives below, or other electives may be taken with the approval of the Specialty Advisor / Supervisor. Note that no more than 2 electives that are outside the general subject area of Environmental Systems Engineering can be considered for degree requirements.
Undergraduate students who are interested in Environmental Systems Engineering are directed to the following courses:
- CIVL 406
- CHBE 364
- CHBE 485
|Core Courses – Graduate||Name||Credits||Term|
|CIVL 562||Environmental Data Collection and Analysis||3||1|
|CIVL 597-003||Graduate Seminar (Environmental)||1||1 & 2|
|Plus three of CIVL 541, 1,2565, 566, 1,2569, 1,2598Q, 598W, 1,2598X, or CHBE 575 (see below)||Various||3||1&2|
|Total core-course credits:||13|
|Approved Graduate Elective Courses||Name||Credits||Term|
|CIVL 519||Risk and Decision Analysis for Infrastructure Management||3||1|
|CIVL 523||Project Management for Engineers||3||2|
|CIVL 524||Legal Aspects of Project and Construction Mgmt||3||1|
|2,3CIVL 541||Environmental Fluid Mechanics||3||2|
|CIVL 561||Risk and Remediation in Geo-environment||3||2|
|1CIVL 564||Engineering Management of Solid Waste||3||N/A1|
|1,2CIVL 565||Physical-Chemical Treatment Processes||3||N/A|
|2CIVL 566||Fate of Contaminants in Aquatic Systems||3||2|
|1,2CIVL 569||Environmental Biotechnology||3||N/A|
|1,2CIVL 598Q||Environmental Microbiology for Engineers||3||N/A|
|2CIVL 598W||Water and Sanitation in Low Resource Contexts||3||1|
|2CIVL 598X||Low Pressure Membrane Systems||3||N/A1|
|CHBE 551||Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics||3||2|
|2CHBE 575||Air Pollution Control||3||1|
|CHBE 577||Electrochemical Science, Engineering, and Technology||3||2|
|CHBE 583||Energy Engineering||3||1|
|IWME 504||Water and Wastewater Management Strategies||3||1|
|MICB 505||Molecular Microbiology||3||1|
|Approved Undergraduate Electives||Name||Credits||Term|
|CIVL 416||Environmental Hydraulics||3||1|
|CHEM 406||Polymer Chemistry||3||1|
|MICB 401||Environmental Microbiology Laboratory||3||1|
|MICB 425||Microbial Ecological Genomics||3||2|
1N/A – Not Offered in 2023/24.
2Three of these courses must be taken as part of the core course requirement.
3It is expected that students have a strong fluid mechanics background. It is recommended that students have taken CIVL 416 or equivalent.
To learn more about Environmental Systems Engineering at UBC, please contact Dr. Pierre Bérubé.
Our Environmental Research Laboratories include modern analytical instrumentation, including atomic absorption and gas chromatography, and are currently being upgraded with advanced mass spectrometry instrumentation (e.g., ICP-MS, LC-MS/MS). For wastewater and sludge management, we have two fully instrumented 16-meter trailers. UBC is also a partner with the Annacis Island Wastewater Centre. Learn more.