Jun 17, 2024  
2012-2014 Graduate Academic Catalog 
2012-2014 Graduate Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Environmental Engineering (MSEV), M.S.

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Environmental engineering may be defined as the creative application of scientific and engineering principles to design systems that will maintain and improve the quality of our world’s air, water, and land resources. For example, environmental engineers design systems for water- and air-pollution control, solid- and hazardouswaste management, and the remediation of contaminated sites. The design of these systems requires that environmental engineers have academic preparation in environmental engineering systems design principles, environmental laws and regulations, and business management skills. Only then will they be able to develop integrated solutions that meet all regulatory requirements while being environmentally sustainable, technically sound, and cost effective.

Recent data fromthe U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predict that environmental engineers will experience the greatest employment growth of all engineering disciplines over the coming decade. This growth will be fueled by demand from both the public and private sectors. For example, in the public sector,municipal and county governments hire environmental engineers to design, operate, andmanage water distribution and wastewater conveyance systems, water and wastewater treatment plants, solid waste collection, transport, disposal, and recycling facilities, and brownfield site redevelopments. State and federal administrative agencies also hire environmental engineers to implement and oversee regulatory programs related to environmental remediation and compliance.

In the private sector, environmental issues significantly impact business planning and decision-making processes. Larger companies hire environmental engineers to develop andmanage the company’s health and safety programs, as well as ensure that all applicable regulatory requirements are being addressed. In addition, environmental engineers are hired by architectural and engineering (A/E) consulting firms to provide a broad range of environmental engineering services to bothmunicipal and industrial clients.

The MSEV program was developed and tailored to the student who already has a bachelor of science degree in one of the traditional engineering disciplines such as architectural, chemical, civil, and mechanical engineering, but who has had limited training in environmental engineering. The MSEV program provides students with instruction in both environmental systems design and environmental management principles. Our students graduate with the skills necessary to launch successful careers as engineers and managers in either the public or private sectors.

Note to prospective students: The MSEV program will be ending in Spring 2015.

Program Director:

Francis (Frank) Mahuta, Jr., P.E., Ph.D., J.D.
(414) 277-7599, mahuta@msoe.edu


Stephan Arant, P.E., James F. Drought, P.H., Donald Gallo, J.D., Dr. William Gonwa, P.E., Dr. Deborah Jackman, P.E., Dr. Jay Karls, P.E., Kenneth E. Kaszubowski, P.E., Tara Kowalski, Jeffrey MacDonald, P.G., Dr. Francis Mahuta, Jr., P.E., Kathi Ried, P.G., Michael Schuck, P.E., J.W. Spear, P.E.

Student Outcomes:

The following student outcomes describe what MSEV students are expected to know and be able to do by the time of graduation:

  1. Apply knowledge of chemistry, biology, and microbiology to solve environmental engineering problems
  2. Be proficient in the design of systems pertaining to one of the following environmental engineering specialization areas:
    • Water resources engineering
    • Water and wastewater engineering
    • Air quality engineering
    • Solid and hazardous waste engineering
    • Environmental science and management
  3. Be proficient in the following engineering management practices:
    • Statistical analysis of environmental systems
    • Program management and sustainability analysis of environmental systems, including life cycle cost assessments’
    • Identification of legal and public policy issues pertaining to the design and management of environmental systems
  4. Be proficient in experimental design techniques demonstrated by the ability to:
    • Specify an experiment to meet a need
    • Conduct the experiment
    • Analyze and explain the resulting data
  5. Design a comprehensive solution to an ill-defined, complex environmental problem to include the following elements:
    • Literature review that identifies the current state of knowledge concerning the problem
    • Development and analysis of primary and alternative solution strategies
    • Engineering design of selected solution
    • Sustainability analysis, including life cycle costs, of selected solution
    • Preparation of written and oral project reports

Program Education Objectives:

The following program objectives describe the career and professional accomplishments that the program is preparing MSEV graduates to achieve:

  1. Specialized technical practices:
    • Evaluate the design of a complex system, component, or process against customary standards of practice, the needs of the project stakeholders, public policy considerations, and other relevant constraints
    • Analyze the loading and capacity, and the effects of their respective uncertainties, for a well-defined design and estimate the underlying probability of failure (or nonperformance) for a specified failure mode
    • Analyze systems of engineered works for sustainable performance, including life cycle cost/environmental assessments
  2. Environmental engineering management practices:
    • Administer all phases of an engineering project, including project initiation, planning, execution (to include progress monitoring and project control), and closeout
    • Apply business and public administration principles to civil and environmental engineering projects, that may include activities such as setting personnel requirements and time allocations, funding requirements, balance sheet and billing/payment requirements, government/business interactions, and contractual requirements
    • Organize and direct the efforts of a group, and function effectively as a member of a multidisciplinary team
  3. General civil/environmental engineering practices:
    • Analyze the impact of historical and contemporary issues on the identification, formulation, and solution of engineering problems and analyze the impact of engineering solutions on the economy, environment, political landscape, and society, both nationally and globally
    • Plan, compose, and integrate the verbal, written, virtual, and graphical communications prepared on a project to technical and nontechnical audiences
    • Demonstrate a commitment to their profession and the ethics of their profession by seeking and obtaining professional licensing (for those who wish to do so) and actively participating in activities such as professional societies, mentoring, and community affairs, and supporting the professional practice of civil and environmental engineering
    • Pursue opportunities to advance their professional skills through lifelong learning (e.g., graduate studies, conferences, seminars, short courses and specialty certifications)

Curriculum Format

The MSEV program is specifically tailored to meet the needs of working professionals. As such, the classroom sessions for each course typically meet one evening per week for 11 weeks during each academic quarter. Class sizes are small, ranging from six to 12 students per class.

Curriculum Content

The MSEV program requires completion of a total of 45 graduate credits. Thirty of these credits represent required courses in the environmental sciences, engineering management, and capstone project curricular areas. All required courses are offered once per year. The remaining 15 elective credits may be selected from any of five technical specialization areas of interest to the student. Elective courses are offered once every other year.

The MSEV program culminates in a nine-credit, year-long capstone design project that is required of all students. The first quarter of the capstone project (EV 800 ) consists of a research and writing course in which the student identifies a capstone project research question and begins to review the literature in that subject area. At the end of EV 800 , the student prepares a capstone project proposal for review and approval by the student’s chosen faculty advisor and the MSEV program director. During the second and third quarters of the capstone project (EV 890 /EV 892 ), the student finalizes the literature review, collects the data required to answer the research question, and develops a comprehensive solution to the research question that includes conceptual engineering design documents along with a life-cycle assessment of costs and environmental impacts. The student then prepares a written capstone project report that must be defended before a faculty review committee. The student is strongly encouraged to select an actual environmental problem based on the student’s current or previous work experience as the subject matter of the capstone project report.

A listing of the required and elective courses is shown below. In addition to the courses listed, students having a strong interest in environmental management may opt to select a limited number of elective credits from the MSEM (engineering management) program with consent of the MSEV Program Director.

Elective Courses (15 credits)

Selected from the following

Air Quality Engineering

Environmental Science and Management


Elective courses are offered once every other year: O-Odd Year, E-Even Year with respect to start of academic year

Model Part-time, Three-year Track (V3.0)

Year One

Total: 6 lecture hours - 0 lab hours - 6 credits


Total: 6 lecture hours - 0 lab hours - 6 credits


  • Elective (Specialization Track) 3 credits 1
  • Elective (Specialization Track) 3 credits 1
Total: 6 lecture hours - 0 lab hours - 6 credits

Year Two

Total: 6 lecture hours - 0 lab hours - 6 credits


Total: 6 lecture hours - 0 lab hours - 6 credits


Total: 6 lecture hours - 0 lab hours - 6 credits

Year Three

Total: 3 lecture hours - 0 lab hours - 3 credits

Total: 1 lecture hours - 0 lab hours - 3 credits

Total: 1 lecture hours - 0 lab hours - 3 credits


1 A total of 15 credits of environmental engineering electives must be taken. Given the possibility of students taking a variety of electives, depending on interest, and taking required courses in a variety of sequences, the above sample track is not unique, but  represents one of many possible tracks that the student, in consultation with the program director, may choose as his/her program of study. Electives must have enrollment of five students or more to be offered.

2 Capstone design project.

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