Environmental Engineering

Solving modern and evolving problems of clean air and water at global, regional and local levels



Bischel, Heather Ecological sanitation and resource reuse • Pathogens and micropollutants • Sustainable international development • Water quality and reuse
Cappa, Christopher Air Pollution and Climate Change • Physical, chemical & optical properties of atmospheric aerosols
Darby, Jeannie Physical/chemical/biological treatment processes • Removal of nitrates and arsenic from potable water • UV disinfection •Constructed wetlands and decentralized wastewater management
Kendall, Alissa Life cycle assessment applied to energy • Infrastructure and production systems
Kinyua, Maureen Wastewater treatment • Waste to energy • Developing world systems and global health
Kleeman, Michael Aerosol mechanics • Air quality modeling • Numerical solution of chemical reaction systems • Parallel computing
Loge, Frank Water and wastewater treatment • Water reuse • Small and decentralized waste treatment
Lund, Jay Systems analysis in water resources • Environment planning and management
Niemeier, Debbie Transportation-air quality modeling • Transportation planning and policy analysis
Oldroyd, Holly Atmospheric Turbulent Transport • Land-Water-Atmosphere Interactions • Evapo-Transpiration • Environmental Fluid Dynamics.
Schladow, Geoffrey Lake and reservoir modeling • Water quality in natural water bodies • Environmental fluid mechanics.
Wexler, Anthony Air pollution • Biomedical engineering • Single particle analysis
Wuertz, Stefan  Biofilms in environmental engineering • Detection of bacterial and viral pathogens by molecular biology techniques • Biological wastewater treatment
Young, Thomas Physical/chemical treatment processes • Environmental chemistry • Remediation of contaminated soil and groundwater


Research Engineers

Dillner, Ann  Particulate matter air pollution
Green, Peter Water quality, water resources, and air quality • Toxics •Natural tracers, • Laboratory techniques.
Jenkins, Mimi 
Household-level sanitation and water supply service options in developing countries, with an emphasis on consumer demand and behavior change evaluation and market-based development approaches
Kayhanian, Masoud Conversion of waste into energy • Characteristics, fate and transport, treatment of surface runoff pollutants


Affiliated Research Centers

Air Quality Research
Center for Watershed Sciences
John Muir Institute of the Environment
Tahoe Environmental Research Center

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Courses in Environmental Engineering

The core environmental engineering graduate courses listed below are supplemented by courses in atmospheric sciences, bacteriology, biochemistry, chemical engineering, chemistry, environmental studies, hydrologic sciences, mathematics, mechanical engineering, microbiology, and statistics. In addition, graduate students make use of the department’s upper division undergraduate classes and take courses in the department’s water resources program.

The academic program of study is designed on an individual basis with the aid of a faculty adviser to best meet the needs and interests of each student. Courses offered include:

  • ECI 240 – Water Quality
  • ECI241 – Environmental Reactive Chemical Transport Modeling
  • ECI 242 – Air Quality
  • ECI 242BL – Airborne Particles Lab
  • ECI 243A – Water & Waste Treatment
  • ECI 243B – Water & Waste Treatment
  • ECI 244 – Life Cycle Assessment for Sustainable Engineering
  • ECI 245A – Applied Environmental Chemistry: Inorganic
  • ECI 245B – Applied Environmental Chemistry: Organic
  • ECI 246 – Pilot Plant Laboratory
  • ECI 246N – Understanding Climate Change – Causes and Consequences
  • ECI 247 – Aerosols
  • ECI 247L – Aerosols Laboratory
  • ECI 249 – Probabilistic Design and Optimization
  • ECI 260 – Sediment Transport
  • ECI 269 – Transportation-Air Quality: Theory and Practice
  • ECI 289 – Environmental Health Engineering
  • ECI 289 – Sustainability in Developing Countries
  • ECI 289 – Advanced Methods in Industrial Ecology
  • ECI 289 – Exploring Data from Built Environment Using R
  • ECI 290 – Seminar

Students are encouraged to take courses from Hydrologic Science, Atmospheric Science, Geology, Computer Science, Mathematics and other related areas

(Click here for catalog description)


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Graduate Program in Environmental Engineering

The UC Davis environmental engineering graduate program provides an advanced education to help graduates solve challenging environmental quality problems at global, regional and local levels. Faculty expertise in water and wastewater, air, and soil offers students an integrated, holistic perspective on environmental problems. Graduate student research is contributing to fundamental advances in understanding: 1) sources and mechanisms of regional air quality degradation and global climate change, 2) methods of assessing and improving the environmental sustainability of our engineered infrastructure, 3) how to improve water and wastewater treatment to protect human health and aquatic ecosystems, 4) methods for optimizing water supplies, distribution and utilization, and 5) new ways to characterize, model and manage the biological processes that contribute to the bioremediation of contaminants in surface and ground waters. The dynamic and flexible nature of our graduate program emphasizes emerging environmental problems so the preceding list is not exhaustive. Students earn graduate degrees of Master of Science (thesis or non-thesis) or Doctor of Philosophy. Non-thesis MS degrees well planned with a faculty advisor can be completed in 9-12 months. Students commonly receive financial support through research projects, fellowships, teaching assistantships, Department funds, or industry internships.

Modern environmental problems are inherently interdisciplinary, involving such issues as alleviating the impacts of waste disposal on human and ecological receptors, treating non-point source emissions, developing new technologies to address water and air pollution, understanding the causes and impacts of climate change, and addressing the role of energy utilization in environmental degradation. Such problems are among the most challenging problems an engineer can face. Students in the environmental engineering graduate program fashion a program of study that draws on the strengths of our department as well as other internationally recognized experts from across the UC Davis campus, including ecology, microbiology, soil science, environmental toxicology, environmental chemistry, atmospheric science, environmental economics, public health, energy efficiency, and environmental policy. Students learn to recognize attainable alternatives and their consequences in terms of environmental quality through training in the underlying physical, chemical, and biological principles and affiliated environmental sciences, which in turn will lead to the design of innovative mitigation approaches and the optimal management of resources.
UC Davis graduates in environmental engineering hold jobs at all levels of academic, government, and private industry. These include faculty positions at major universities, including UC Berkeley, Duke U., U. of Texas – Austin, Texas A&M, U. of Miami, Iowa State University, Utah State U., University College London, and many other research and teaching universities in the US and overseas.

The environmental engineering graduate program is strongly research oriented. Evaluations of various physical, chemical, and biological processes are carried out in state-of-the art laboratories and at numerous field sites. Advanced monitoring studies for water and air quality are conducted in many locations throughout California, the United States, and the world. The Department has extensive analytical instrumentation available for teaching and research including ICP-MS , LC-MS/MS, GC-MS, GC/FID/ PID/MSD, single-particle mass spectrometers, UV-visible, infrared, and atomic absorption spectrophotometers, ion chromatograph, organic carbon analyzers, gradient elution HPLC with diode array and fluorescence detectors, particle size and number analyzers, surface area analyzers, and instruments to measure particle surface charge. Instruments for sample collection include cascade impactors, filter-based samplers, automated water samplers, and a flow through centrifuge. Campus instrumentation available to graduate students includes electron microscopy, NMR, high resolution GC-MS, Particle Induced X-ray Emissions (PIXE), X-ray Fluorescence (XRF), and many others.

Students in the Department have access to extensive computing facilities. Programming and parallel programming classes make use of a 400-node cluster of Linux workstations that can be operated as a single massive parallel computer. Computer labs dedicated to graduate student use contain Windows, Macintosh, and Linux workstations.


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