Valpo’s College of Engineering continues its trajectory of growth with the addition of its newest degree program in environmental engineering. Beginning fall 2019, students can enroll in the program, preparing them to be global leaders equipped with the skills needed to prevent and solve environmental challenges affecting current and future generations.
“The new environmental engineering program at Valpo will provide undergraduates with an education structured around hands-on laboratory, collaborative design, and interdisciplinary research experiences,” says Anne Raich, Ph.D., department chair and associate professor of civil engineering. “The knowledge and experience these students gain will help prepare them for engineering careers solving complex regional and global environmental problems in service to the public good.”
Environmental engineering is an exciting, growing field, where there is strong demand and good salaries. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a median pay of $86,800 annually in 2017 and projects an 8 percent increase in employment of environmental engineers between 2016 and 2026. And, in 2017, environmental engineering appeared on CNN Money magazine’s list of 100 Best Jobs in America, recognizing careers “with big growth, great pay, and satisfying work.”
Valparaiso University has responded with a bachelor’s degree in environmental engineering, housed within the civil engineering department.
While the number of environmental engineering programs across the nation is growing, there exist only seven other potential competitor programs within the University’s region that offer environmental engineering. And, Valpo is the only small comprehensive university in the Midwest to offer an environmental engineering program, making it unique and highly competitive.
The field of environmental engineering is designed to protect and improve our world and the quality of life of people living in it. The technical expertise of environmental engineers is used to develop innovative, sustainable solutions to all types of global problems surrounding the air, water, and soil. Their skills are more important today than ever due to population growth and the rising standard of living of societies worldwide, resulting in additional environmental challenges such as providing clean air and water to all people.
By offering degrees in both civil engineering and environmental engineering, Valpo students are afforded the flexibility to explore environmental engineering from a broader civil engineering degree perspective or in a more focused manner through the environmental engineering program. The environmental engineering degree program allows students to select from a diverse array of electives tailored to meet their particular interests, including courses focused on groundwater, air quality, and waste management.
From small to mid-size manufacturing companies and large industrial and manufacturing companies to consulting firms, regulatory agencies, and municipalities, graduates of Valpo’s environmental degree program will be prepared for exciting, impactful careers that positively impact the lives of others. And, they won’t have to look far. Opportunity abounds within Northwest Indiana, due to the presence of heavy industry and the resultant challenges around clean air and water, as well as in the Chicago area which is home to several engineering firms.