Training the Next Generation of Environmental Engineers


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This paper describes the successful development at Rutgers University (USA) of an holistic, science-based, interdisciplinary undergraduate Bioenvironmental Engineering (BEE) Program. Traditionally, Environmental Engineering (EE) Programs have evolved as specialty areas embedded within larger, traditional engineering departments (i.e., Civil Engineering, Chemical Engineering). Our approach was to formulate a unique, stand-alone program as an outgrowth of a more programmatically relevant and interdisciplinary Environmental Sciences (ES) Department. This approach has the distinct advantage of not being constrained by the requirements of the host department. This is of particular importance since it is becoming increasingly apparent that the world's environmental problems are indeed multi-faceted and interdisciplinary. Furthermore, most EE programs in the USA are, in fact, media (air, water and land) focused. Drawing upon the greater interdisciplinary breadth of the Rutgers University's ES Department has fostered the development of BEE into a more holistically and interdisciplinary curriculum. The BEE Program is accredited as an EE Program by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) and as such, has formulated an extensive assessment program. Relevant results will be presented to demonstrate the program's success and effectiveness.