Environmental Engineering Science
Duke's research in environmental engineering science addresses the consequences of society’s production and use of energy and materials, emphasizing approaches to predicting, monitoring and managing impacts on air and water, and global cycles. In addition to activities within the Pratt School of Engineering, numerous faculty in the Nicholas School of Environment are engaged in research and teaching in this area.
Three areas of research:
Environmental Chemistry and Toxicology: Research focuses on the fate and effects of natural and anthropogenic stressors, particularly chemicals, in the environment. Ongoing research topics include: environmental implications of nanotechnology; mechanisms underlying chemical fate and transport; modeling of atmospheric transport and chemistry; molecular mechanisms of toxicity and adaptation; toxicogenomics; impacts on populations, communities and ecosystems, and environmental risk assessment.
Environmental Process Engineering: Research focuses on phenomena that govern the origin, transport, transformation and impacts of contaminants on our environment and technologies for reducing the associated risks to human health and the environment. Research includes chemical processes that affect the fate of trace metals in the environment, transport and impacts of nanomaterials, molecular biological methods to monitor and improve performance of engineered microbial systems; biodegradation of organic contaminants, development of advanced membrane processes for water treatment and reuse, energy technologies and their impacts, and the properties, measurement and effects of ambient aerosols.
Hydrology and Fluid Dynamics: Research focuses on some of the most modern open problems in environmental fluid dynamics, hydrology and water resources. Ongoing research topics include: hydrometeorology (rainfall dynamics, land-atmosphere interaction, remote sensing), eco-hydrology (impact of hydroclimatic variability on ecosystems and feedbacks on the hydrologic cycle and local climate), contaminant transport hydrology (surface-subsurface interactions), water cycle dynamics and human health, and stochastic hydrology.
Opportunities for Study
Doctoral and Master of Science study in environmental engineering at Duke is highly interdisciplinary, drawing on a broad slate of faculty in the Pratt School of Engineering and the Nicholas School of the Environment. Students have considerable flexibility in crafting a graduate program that suits individual interests, but typically students specialize in one of two study tracks:
The department also offers a program of study towards the Masters of Engineering (M.Eng) in Environmental Engineering. This 30-credit degree program includes course work towards departmental requirements, an area of specialization, business and management fundamentals, and an internship or applied research experience. There are currently four areas of specialization offered within this degree program:
- Environmental Engineering and Public Policy;
- Environmental Process Engineering;
- Ecohydrology and Environmental Fluid Dynamics; and
- Environmental Nanotechnology
Undergraduates interested in environmental engineering have opportunities to study and conduct research in two BSE degree programs offered by CEE:
- Major in Environmental Engineering
- Major in Civil Engineering in the Environmental Engineering & Water Resources study track