Environmental Systems Engineering

Overview

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.

Key Areas

  • 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

Media Highlights

Specialization Requirements

MEng MASc PhD
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

Pre-/co-requisite requirement

CIVL 407 – Environmental Laboratory Analysis (or equivalent)

Core course requirements

All four courses CIVL 562, 565, 569, and 597-003 as listed below, plus one of CIVL 541, 598K, 598W, 598X, or CHBE 575.

Elective requirements

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.

Undergraduate students who are interested in Environmental Systems Engineering are directed to the following courses:

  • CIVL 406
  • CHBE 364
  • CHBE 485

Graduate Courses

Pre-/Co-requisite CoursesNameCreditsTerm
CIVL 407Environmental Laboratory Analysis (or equivalent)3N/A1
Core Courses – Graduate NameCredits  Term
CIVL 562Environmental Data Collection and Analysis3N/A1
CIVL 565Physical-Chemical Treatment Processes31
CIVL 569Biological Wastewater Treatment32
CIVL 597-003Graduate Seminar (Environmental)11 & 2
Plus one of CIVL 541, 598K, 598W, 598X, or CHBE 575 (see below)31
 Total core-course credits:13
Approved Graduate Elective CoursesNameCredits Term
CIVL 523Project Management for Engineers32
CIVL 524Legal Aspects of Project and Construction Mgmt31
3CIVL 541Environmental Fluid Mechanics3Summer
CIVL 561Risk and Remediation in Geo-environment32
CIVL 564Engineering Management of Solid Waste3N/A1
2CIVL 566Transport and Mixing of Pollutants in Aquatic Systems3N/A1
CIVL 598ERisk and Decision Analysis31
3CIVL 598KEnvironmental Stewardship3N/A1
3CIVL 598W Water and Sanitation in Low Resource Contexts31
3CIVL 598XLow Pressure Membrane Systems 3N/A1
CHBE 551Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics32
3CHBE 575Air Pollution Control31
CHBE 583Energy Engineering31
CHEM 517Electrochemistry31
IWME 504Water and Wastewater Management Strategies31
MICB 505Molecular Microbiology31
Approved Undergraduate ElectivesNameCreditsTerm
CIVL 416Environmental Hydraulics31
CHEM 406Polymer Chemistry31
MICB 401Environmental Microbiology Laboratory31
MICB 405Bioinformatics31
MICB 425Microbial Ecological Genomics32
 

1N/A – Not Offered in 2020/21.

2CIVL 566 requires CIVL 416 as a co-requisite, which in turn requires CIVL 215 & 316 as prerequisites.

3One of these four courses must be taken as part of the core course requirement.

Questions?


To learn more about Environmental Systems Engineering at UBC, please contact Dr. Pierre Bérubé.

People


Facilities


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.