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University Bulletin

Undergraduate Degree Programs

Environmental Systems Engineering

University Park, College of Earth and Mineral Sciences (ENVSE)

PROFESSOR M. THADDEUS ITYOKUMBUL, Undergraduate Program Officer

It is an interdisciplinary program with two options. One option is Environmental Systems Engineering and it is concerned with the impact of industrial activities on the environment and the choice of cost-effective remediation strategies. The other option is Environmental Health and Safety Engineering and it is concerned with safe and healthful design of industrial systems such that workers are protected from potentially high risk exposures associated with today's industries. The program is unique as it is designed to address critical environmental, safety and health problems of the basic industries such as those involved in the extraction, conversion, and utilization of energy and mineral resources. The courses are sequenced so that students acquire an appropriate blend of theory, applications, and design and are equipped with the fundamentals necessary to maintain lifelong professional growth. Graduates are prepared to enter both the private and public sectors as environmental systems engineers or health and safety engineers or to pursue further education at the graduate level.

During the first two years, the program shares many common features (e.g., mathematics, chemistry, physics, and engineering mechanics) with other more traditional engineering disciplines. Students then take a series of special courses that introduce engineering concepts in the extractive and process industries. Process engineering and a variety of solid-solid, solid-fluid, and fluid-fluid separations play a major and often dominant role in the prevention and/or remediation of environmental damage or the prevention of health and safety hazards resulting from industrial activity. Students then specialize in the particular problems associated with air, land, or water, environmental health and safety engineering or select a hybrid program. Specialization is accomplished through a combination of additional designated courses and selection from an extensive list of relevant elective courses, which may include a senior thesis. The curriculum is structured so as to integrate design concepts into the various subject areas covered in the program.

The human, societal, economic, ethical, and regulatory aspects of the industrial impact on the environment and on the workers themselves are addressed through a combination of specific courses and components of other more general courses. This aspect of the program is designed to provide students with a deeper understanding, both of the impact of environmental degradation on society and of the effects on industrial activity of society's demands for protection of workers and the environment. The program culminates with the capstone design course, which is an integrated, problem-based, multi-faceted project in which students, working in a team setting, utilize fundamental concepts to design an environmental remediation system or an environmental health and safety protection system (or incorporate these design requirements into other associated designs).

The integration of knowledge and skills acquired during the course of study in the Environmental Systems Engineering program provides graduates with the following student outcomes:

  • An ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering
  • An ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data
  • An ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs
  • An ability to function on multi-disciplinary teams
  • An ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems
  • An understanding of professional and ethical responsibility
  • An ability to communicate effectively
  • The broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global and societal context
  • A recognition of the need for and an ability to engage in life-long learning
  • A knowledge of contemporary issues
  • An ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice.
  • An ability to integrate knowledge and minimize environmental impacts in resource recovery and the process industries

Environmental Systems Engineering Program Educational Objectives:

Our graduates will

  • Enter the private or public sectors as environmental systems engineers to solve a broad range of environmental or health and safety problems associated with the resource recovery and general and process industries or pursue an advanced degree.
  • Address critical environmental or health and safety problems of the basic industries, especially those involved with the extraction, conversion, and utilization of energy and mineral resources; design effective and economic engineering systems to alleviate such problems, individually and in a team setting; and communicate the results effectively.
  • Determine the impact of environmental pollution control on the viability of industrial operations, including health and safety, social, and ethical aspects, and an awareness of environmental regulations; evaluate novel strategies for minimizing pollution control costs in the process industries.
  • Recognize the need to maintain professional competency and the value of life-long learning.

Entrance to Major Requirements:

In addition to the minimum grade point average (GPA) requirements described in the University Policies, the Environmental Systems Engineering entrance-to-major requirement must also be completed with a minimum grade of C: MATH 140 GQ(4). This course must be completed by the end of the semester during which the entrance-to-major process is carried out.

Integrated B.S. in Environmental Systems Engineering (ENVSE) and M.S. in Energy and Mineral Engineering (EME)

The integrated undergraduate-graduate (IUG) program between the environmental systems engineering undergraduate program and the energy and mineral engineering graduate program enables academically superior and research-focused ENVSE undergraduate students to also obtain an M.S. degree in Energy and Mineral Engineering in five years of study. Students should refer to the Energy and Mineral Engineering graduate program in the Graduate Program Bulletin for the IUG admission and degree requirements. (http://bulletins.psu.edu/bulletins/whitebook/graduate_degree_programs.cfm?letter=E&program=grad_eme.htm)

For the B.S. in Environmental Systems Engineering, a minimum of 131 credits is required. This baccalaureate program in Environmental Systems Engineering is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, Inc., www.abet.org."

Scheduling Recommendation by Semester Standing given like (Sem: 1-2)

GENERAL EDUCATION: 45 credits
(27 of these 45 credits are included in the REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MAJOR)
(See description of General Education in front of Bulletin.)

FIRST-YEAR SEMINAR:
(Included in REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MAJOR)

UNITED STATES CULTURES AND INTERNATIONAL CULTURES:
(Included in GENERAL EDUCATION course selection)

WRITING ACROSS THE CURRICULUM:
(Included in REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MAJOR)

REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MAJOR: 113-114 credits
(This includes 27 credits of General Education courses: 9 credits of GWS courses; 6 credits of GQ courses; 9 credits of GN courses; 3 credits of GS courses.)

COMMON REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MAJOR (ALL OPTIONS): 94-95 credits

PRESCRIBED COURSES (77 credits)
EM SC 100S GWS(3)[71] (Sem: 1-2)
CHEM 110 GN(3), CHEM 111 GN(1), CHEM 112 GN(3), CHEM 202(3), E MCH 211(3), E MCH 212(3), MATH 140 GQ(4)[1], MATH 141 GQ(4)[1], MATH 251(4), PHYS 211 GN(4), PHYS 212 GN(4) (Sem: 1-4)
C E 370(3)[1], EME 301(3)[1], EME 303(3)[1] (Sem: 3-6)
ENGL 202C GWS(3)[1], GEOSC 452(3), MN PR 301(3)[1] (Sem: 5-6)
EME 460(3), ENVSE 404W(3), ENVSE 406(3), ENVSE 427(3)[1], ENVSE 450(3), ENVSE 480(3), MNG 401(1), P N G 411(1) (Sem: 5-8)

ADDITIONAL COURSES (11-12 credits)
ENGL 015 GWS(3) or ENGL 030 GWS(3) (Sem: 1-2)
CMPSC 201 GQ(3) or CMPSC 202 GQ(3), or CMPSC 203 GQ(4) (Sem: 3-4)
MATH 220 GQ(2) or MATH 231(2) (Sem: 3-4)
GEOSC 001(3)[1] or GEOSC 071(3)[1] (Sem: 3-6)

SUPPORTING COURSES AND RELATED AREAS (6 credits)
Select 6 credits in consultation with adviser (Sem: 7-8) [2]

REQUIREMENTS FOR THE OPTION: 19 credits

ENVIRONMENTAL SYSTEMS ENGINEERING OPTION: (19 credits)

PRESCRIBED COURSES (10 credits)
GEOG 030 GS;IL(3), MICRB 106 GN(3) (Sem: 1-4)
EGEE 470(3), ENVSE 412(1) (Sem: 5-6)

ADDITIONAL COURSES (9 credits)
GEOSC 413W(3), SOILS 401(3), or METEO 455(3) (Sem: 7-8)
METEO 454(3), MN PR 425(3), or MN PR 426(3) (Sem: 7-8)
ENVSE 408(3), M E 433(3), or MN PR 401(3) (Sem: 7-8)

ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH AND SAFETY ENGINEERING OPTION: (19 credits)

PRESCRIBED COURSES (19 credits)
BIOL 141 GN(3), PSYCH 100 GS(3) (Sem: 1-4)
M E 405(3) (Sem: 5-6)
ENVSE 400(3), ENVSE 457(4), ENVSE 470(3) (Sem: 7-8)

Integrated B.S. in Environmental Systems Engineering (ENVSE) and M.S. in Energy and Mineral Engineering (EME) Course Substitutions

As many as twelve of the credits required for the master's degree may be applied to both the B.S. and M.S. degrees. A minimum of six credits counted for both the B.S. and M.S. degrees must be at the 500-level. Thesis and culminating/capstone experience credits may not be double counted. The undergraduate degree program officer will determine the specific undergraduate required courses for which the 500-level courses may be used to substitute to meet institutional and accreditation requirements.

[1] A student enrolled in this major must receive a grade of C or better, as specified in Senate Policy 82-44.
[2] Students who complete Basic ROTC may substitute 6 credits of ROTC for 3 credits of GHA courses and 3 credits of Supporting Courses and Related Areas.
[71] The following substitutions are allowed for students attending campuses where the indicated course is not offered: CAS 100 GWS or ENGL 202C GWS can be substituted for EM SC 100S GWS.

Last Revised by the Department: Fall Semester 2013

Blue Sheet Item #: 42-03-021

Review Date: 11/19/2013

UCA Revision #1: 8/4/06
UCA Revision #2: 7/27/07

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