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Programs / Engineering / Environmental Engineering

Program Summary

Environmental engineers ensure that we have clean water to drink, clean air to breathe, clean soils to grow our crops, and clean energy to sustain our growth. The goal of environmental engineering is to offer sustainable and green solutions to many of the issues and challenges facing our society, and to provide a clean and healthy environment for us and our ecosystem. Environmental engineers use engineering and science principles to design innovative treatment technologies that help to minimize our environmental footprint, prevent pollution, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve air quality, ensure drinking water safety, and achieve environmental sustainability.

Carleton University’s Bachelor of Engineering (BEng) degree program in Environmental Engineering is one of only a few in Canada. Our program includes a modified common engineering core program, a group of courses specific to environmental engineering, and additional courses in biology and chemistry.

Carleton offers the following advantages:

  • a wide choice of complementary courses from other faculties, such as Arts and Social Sciences;
  • an emphasis on problem-solving and hands-on laboratory work;
  • a challenging final-year project; and
  • excellent scholarships for high-standing students.

Our laboratory and research facilities

As an Environmental Engineering student, you will benefit from modern, well-equipped laboratories and computer facilities on campus. Our proximity to, and close association with, Environment Canada and its laboratories are an asset.

Co-op opportunities

As a student in the Environmental Engineering program you will have the opportunity to apply to the Co-operative Education Program. Co-op integrates degree-related, paid work terms into your degree program. A minimum of four work terms are required to obtain the Co-op designation on your degree. Often, the four consecutive work terms following third year take place with the same employer. Our program is closely associated with government departments and agencies as well as private firms, giving students valuable work experience and contacts that will benefit them in the future.

Ottawa is a global technology leader. Sharing a city with some of the world’s best tech companies and government laboratories offers excellent opportunities for co-op and internship placements, as well as a high number of prospects for future employment. Nearly 79,000 people in the national capital are employed by more than 1,800 tech companies, including multinational giants who lead the way in telecommunications, software, computer systems, aerospace, sensor technologies, the environment, security and defence, construction, semiconductors, and wireless technologies.

The BEng program in Environmental Engineering is fully accredited by the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board. When you graduate from this program, you will meet the educational requirements for registration as a professional engineer.

A wide range of topics are covered in the program—from life cycle analysis and environmental impact assessment to the design of industrial wastewater treatment processes and waste containment systems for solid and hazardous waste management. At Carleton, we want our environmental engineering graduates to develop clean energy sources, reduce our environmental footprint, and protect our ecosystem, resources and public health. Carleton’s Environmental Engineering program mixes fundamental concepts and theory with analysis and design, so that our graduates can meet the challenges facing our environment.

The first year of the program is based largely on common core courses. In the second year, unique elements of the Environmental Engineering program are introduced, along with additional courses in biology and chemistry. You will take the first program-specific course (Process Analysis for Environmental Engineering) in your second year. Third year introduces environmental engineering courses that cover the unifying fundamental concepts and processes underlying the analysis and design courses offered in fourth year. Fourth year courses are applied and focus on the assessment and design of traditional and new innovative technologies for water and wastewater treatment, air quality control, waste management, and contaminated site remediation.

As an environmental engineer, you will find employment opportunities in industry, municipalities, consulting firms, federal and provincial regulatory agencies, and research establishments. Your many options include designing treatment technologies and facilities, developing clean energy alternatives, providing safe drinking water, helping improve air quality and assessing waste management strategies.