Pratt Announces New Environmental Engineering Major

For those students with a keen interest in better understanding how human activity has impacted the world around us, Duke’s Pratt School of Engineering has launched a new major – Environmental Engineering.

Because solving the world’s most pressing environmental problems will entail engineers working as a team with colleagues in different fields, the new degree, BSE (EnvE), will offer a broad range of non-engineering experiences.

“The degree responds to the needs of students looking for an interdisciplinary engineering degree that prepares them to work as environmental engineers, graduate work in environmental engineering, or for advanced study in environmental law, medicine, public health or global sanitation,” said Joseph Nadeau, director of undergraduate studies and associate professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

The new major will be highly interdisciplinary, bringing together topics as diverse as chemistry, the life sciences, economics, fluid mechanics and public health engineering.

“In addition to coursework in the basic sciences, the environmental engineering degree builds on an extensive number of courses in environmental science and engineering, largely in Pratt’s department of civil and environmental engineering and Duke’s Nicholas School of Environment,” said Mark Wiesner, professor of civil and environmental engineering and director of Duke’s Center for the Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology.

The field of environmental engineering is one of the fast-growing in the U.S., according to Nadeau.

“Environmental engineering is regularly identified as a field with very great demand,” Nadeau said. “Forbes just ranked it fifth among the 15 most valuable college majors, with a projected job growth rate of 21.9 percent. In addition, undergraduate study in environmental engineering prepares students for a broad range of graduate programs.”

EnvE students will have considerable flexibility to pursue second majors and minors within Pratt or Duke's Trinity College of Arts and Sciences.

“We’re looking for students seeking breadth in their studies and solid preparation equired for advanced study, professional leadership and high-impact careers,” Nadeau said.

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