Environmental and Water Resources Engineering

The Environmental and Water Resources Engineering program at The University of Michigan is one of the most highly rated Environmental Engineering graduate programs in the U.S. The program offers a broad-based curriculum with opportunities for concentrated study in environmental chemistry, environmental fluid mechanics, hazardous substance treatment and control, subsurface fate and transport, pollution microbiology, resource development and management, water quality engineering, and atmospheric modeling. A perspective which stresses the integration of concepts from all of these areas of expertise provides graduates with excellent preparation for positions in professional practice, research, academics, or further educational pursuits. Nine major areas exist within the program:

Environmental Chemistry and Microbiology addresses the basic principles underlying natural chemical and microbial transformation phenomena. Emphasis is placed on theoretical and experimental approaches which strive to understand the behavior and fate of contaminants in the environment.

Hydraulics and Fluid Mechanics focuses on coastal engineering, steady and unsteady open channel flow, environmental fluid mechanics, and unsteady liquid and gas flows in pipelines.

Hazardous Substance Treatment and Control deals with the characterization, minimization, collection, treatment, recycling, utilization, and disposal of such materials and the laws relating thereto.

Management Policy and Economics activities include optimization techniques, economic evaluation, engineering design implications of resource management, policy issues, and risk-benefit analysis.

Surface and Groundwater Hydrology includes consideration of multi-dimensional unsteady flow, flow within porous media, and multiphase flow. Emphasis is placed on integrating studies in this area with contaminant fate and transport and site remediation.

Watershed Hydrology and Ecohydrology program studies watershed spatial hydrological and vegetation processes through a combination of numerical simulations, remote sensing, and field observations. The interdisciplinary approach links hydrology, micrometeorology, surface and ground water, ecology, and biogeochemistry, emphasizing the investigative power of quantitative mechanistic models.

Water Quality Engineering encompasses water supply, water pollution control, process engineering, and water quality modeling. Modeling and simulation are utilized for description and analysis of quality transformations and processes in natural waters and as a basis for performance prediction and design of water and waste treatment operations.

Atmospheric modeling in the department is focused on improving global and regional budgets of atmospheric greenhouse gases in order to better understand the current climate, predict future climates, and anticipate the impact of potential policy changes.

Geostatistical Modeling and Optimization aims to build stochastic models of contaminated sites and account for uncertainty in subsequent decision making, such as identification of contaminant sources, delineation of contaminated areas, design of remediation schemes, and prediction of the risk of breakthrough of contaminants.

Formal course offerings are supplemented by extensive research activities in each of the above areas, often involving combinations of numerical modeling, laboratory studies, and investigations at field sites. Many of the faculty are involved in the ongoing research programs of the Great Lakes and Mid-Atlantic Hazardous Substance Research Center, the NIEHS Superfund Research Center, and the National Center for Integrated Bioremediation Research and Development.

Go to top