Environmental Engineering

Photo Credit: G. Girard

Environmental Systems Engineering

Environmental Systems Engineering (ESE) is a field of study that focuses on protecting the health of our water, land and urban systems. Over the past 30 years, the ESE Group at the University of British Columbia has been a global leader in the field of Environmental Systems Engineering. In the 1970s and 80s, the Group was at the forefront of the development of biological phosphorus removal technologies. In the 1990s, the Group was instrumental in maintaining Canada’s lead in the development of green technologies both in the natural resource sector (e.g. forest industry) and in urban/agricultural water and waste management sectors. Since the start of the millennia, the Group continues to be a world leader through the development and commercialization of technologies essential to address emerging environmental challenges, both locally and globally. Current research is being conducted in collaboration with community and industry partnerships in the following areas:

  • recovery of nutrients and energy from wastes (e.g. anaerobic membrane bioreactors, membrane enhanced biological nutrient recovery, phosphorous crystallization);
  • microwave enhanced advanced oxidation process (AOP) treatment of sewage sludge;
  • production of high quality water (e.g. integrated biological systems, water recovery/cascading/reuse, membrane technologies).

For more information on Environmental Systems Engineering studies, please contact Professor Pierre Bérubé.

Geo-Environmental Engineering

Geo-environmental Engineering is an evolving field of study, dealing with contamination of soil as a result of human development. It involves knowledge from such diverse fields as geotechnical, environmental and chemical engineering, geology, hydrogeology, chemistry, microbiology and soil sciences. Geo-environmental Engineering/ Environmental Engineering research at UBC covers a broad range of problems, from fundamental studies and project-based applications to commercial exploitation and development. Research expertise of members of the group covers a wide spectrum and includes, for example, contaminated land and landfill engineering, soil remediation, applied clay mineralogy and geochemistry, reactive pollution migration in soils, attenuation characteristics of natural soil materials and their uses as landfill liners, and reactive/barrier walls. Some of the current research topics include volatile organic compound migration in sub-surface soil and intrusion into buildings, development of remediation technologies, liner studies, contaminant transport, and specific site studies. For more information on Geo-Environmental studies, please contact Dr. Loretta Li.