Environmental and Ecological Engineering

College of Engineering

Environmental and Ecological engineers use the principles of systems engineering, biology, and chemistry to develop strategies to protect human and environmental health and design sustainable systems and technologies.  They can address issues at the local or global level, such as unsafe drinking water, air quality, and industrial sustainability.  Projects may focus on improvement of materials cycling, resource recovery, public health, and water and air pollution control.

EEE at Purdue is unique and cutting edge in that it educates students in a systems perspective that includes sustainability and industrial ecology. Rather than only considering conventional waste emission treatment, we train our students to approach problems from an integrated perspective that considers both environmental issues and ecological aspects. Our name Environmental and Ecological Engineering highlights this modern approach of EEE relative to similar programs at peer institutions.

We seek a broad systems perspective for addressing environmental issues, with a focus on ecological interactions and resilient designs that take into account complexity and connectivity between systems. In the undergraduate curriculum, this philosophy drives the early focus on systems thinking and systems understanding and leads to the inclusion of significant course requirements in ecology, sustainability and industrial ecology. The Bachelor of Science in Environmental and Ecological Engineering is the only degree option in this discipline at Purdue, and the degree program is accredited in Environmental Engineering by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET.

Watch this video to see what EEE students do.

Note: The First-Year Engineering Program is the entry point for all beginning engineering students. They must complete the First-Year Engineering requirements before entering the engineering school of their choice. The mission of this student-oriented service program is to advise, teach and retain outstanding students for Purdue's College of Engineering. This core curriculum includes courses in math, chemistry, physics, computer programming, and communication skills, as well as introductory engineering coursework taught in the new Ideas to Innovation (i2i) Learning Laboratory. The First-Year Engineering Program provides students with a firm foundation and initial understanding of engineering and career options to assist them in identifying which of Purdue's engineering disciplines is the right fit. Our professional academic advisors, faculty and student advisors are dedicated to assisting beginning engineers with the first-year experience.

Environmental and Ecological Engineering Website

Plan of Study


Related Career Interests

Engineering and Technology

Environment and Ecology

Science and Research

Careers in Environmental and Ecological Engineering

Most businesses, industries, all levels of government and many international organizations hire environmental and ecological engineers.  Graduates are prepared to enter a wide-range of employment sectors in environmental and engineering fields including the industrial and construction, government, consulting, municipal and public service, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and education sectors. Common career pathways center around:

Water and Watershed Stewardship: Ensuring that engineered systems and ecological systems interact sustainably.

Pollution Control, Monitoring, Abatement and Remediation: Wastewater, soil and air treatment/control, industrial waste control and recycling.

Industrial Ecology: Optimize industrial resource use; analyze and control of complete life-cycles of materials; industrial system redesign; energy efficiency optimization.

Sustainability: Provide for current needs without sacrificing future ability to meet needs. Consider the whole system, including complex interactions of environmental, technological and societal systems.

Specific examples of what environmental and ecological engineers do include:

  • water treatment
  • water quality control
  • air resources management
  • hazardous waste minimization
  • ground water protection
  • solid waste management
  • water resources protection 
  • risk assessment & management
  • ecosystem protection & restoration
  • environmental toxicology
  • public health engineering
  • environmental policy management
  • sustainability
  • life cycle assessment
  • industrial ecology
  • wastewater management
  • resource recovery
  • air pollution control
  • environmental impact assessment
  • regulatory compliance
Transfer to Environmental and Ecological Engineering
Contact Information