Question & Answers: Environmental Engineering


Respected sir,
I am a grade 10 student studying in Dubai. I would like to study environmental engineering/architecture. I would be obliged if you could provide me with information on Universities that offer this course in the U.A.E, India and abroad. What job opportunities are available for environmental engineering graduates? Is it a good career option? Are there any other courses related to this field I can take up?


The 21st Century is expected to witness many changes, though none are expected to impact our lives more than global warming. The ‘need of the hour’ in many industries is people qualified to assess and minimise our impact on the environment. Environmental engineering, in essence, is the crossroads between engineering and the environment.

Environmental engineers develop methods, systems and products to prevent or control environmental damage. The program teaches innovative strategies and technologies for sustainable development and encompasses everything from energy reduction to waste management. With a projected growth of 30% in the next decade compared to the average rate of 11% for the other engineering sectors, environmental engineering seems to have a bright future.

In the UK, The University of Exeter and University of Nottingham are well known for research opportunities in environmental engineering and their departments are well respected. You might want to also consider The University of the West of England, Bristol which offers a B.E. in Architecture and Environmental Engineering, combining two very promising careers into one.

Australia offers courses such as the Bachelor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Monash University, University of Technology Sydney and Murdoch University. The US offers a variety of choices as well, with Stanford University, UC Berkeley and the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign considered being the top schools for this field.

Given the rapid economic development in the country and civil society’s efforts to kerb pollution, India is emerging as a leading Asian destination for environmental engineering. Apart from the renowned IITs, there are many colleges that offer this program e.g. School of Environmental Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University), Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad and Department of Environmental Sciences, Andhra University.

Even though there is a lot of awareness about the environment in the UAE the number of institutions offering this program is not too many. Khalifa University offers a 4-year BSc in Civil Infrastructure and Environmental Engineering. An alternative is to do a BSc in Environmental Science or a BSc in Environmental Health and Safety as offered by Abu Dhabi University.

Your grades would be one of the important deciding factors while choosing a university. A strong foundation in the Sciences, as well as Mathematics, is essential. As with any other course, a keen interest in the subject, a passion for the environment is required along with other personal characteristics such as the ability to work with others, creativity, curiosity, innovative thinking, problem-solving and attention to detail. Read about recent initiatives in sustainable development and familiarise yourself with the industry.

Companies and governments are making efforts in sustainable development the job opportunities are incredibly diverse. From governments to NGOs to oil and mining companies to consulting firms, nearly every industry is looking for an environmental engineer. Construction groups and steel firms, as well as large companies such as IBM, Google and Samsung, hire environmental engineers. Environmental engineering continues to play a vital role in ensuring a sustainable future for the planet and will do so for many more years to come.


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