New Mexico Tech is a small science and engineering university with a student enrollment of approximately 2,000. Tech benefits from the low tuition of a public university and the personal attention characteristic of an expensive private college. Tech’s campus is green and tree-filled with southwestern-style architecture, a small-town setting, sunny weather, and spectacular desert mountain views. For a more extensive profile of New Mexico Tech and Socorro, NM, visit the New Mexico Tech site.
The faculty work with New Mexico industries and local and state agencies, and perform sponsored research with Sandia National Laboratories and Los Alamos National Laboratory, the New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT), and the Energetic Materials Testing and Research Center (EMRTC). Opportunities exist for students to conduct research at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. The faculty are committed to teaching and involving undergradute students in research activities. Two of the CEE faculty, Dr. Mark P. Cal and Dr. Clinton P. Richardson, have been honored with New Mexico Tech’s Distinguished Teaching Award.
What does a civil engineer do?
The primary objective of this program is to produce a well-balanced civil engineer capable of entering the civil engineering profession, or continuing studies at the graduate level. Graduates will be well-prepared to solve current civil engineering problems and will have the ability to adapt to problems of the future. The achievements of civil engineers are well-known to the general public, because civil engineers build the world's infrastructure. In doing so, they can shape the history of nations. Projects that civil engineers work on include: airports, bridges, buildings, dams and waterways, drainage and sewer systems, city roads, and highways.
CE Undergraduate Program
The undergraduate program offers a balanced approach to civil engineering education. Students take a common core of civil engineering courses, and can specialize in the areas of geotechnical, water resources, or structural engineering. The program is also designed to give students a solid foundation in engineering and science. Students take courses in chemistry, physics, and math, in addition to a core set of engineering courses common to most engineering disciplines. Our civil engineering courses teach students the fundamentals of engineering design, and well as potential applications. Students are taught how to use computer software to expedite the design process and how to balance engineering designs with economic constraints. During their senior year, undergraduate students work with a professor on a semester-long design project
What does an environmental engineer do?
Every activity of the human race has an impact on the environment, either directly or indirectly. The goal of the environmental engineer is the minimize that impact.
Environmental engineers deal with such questions as: how can we control the sulfur dioxide emissions that pour out of power plants which burn fossil fuels? What must we do to ensure a clean, safe drinking water supply? To what degree must wastewater be treated before it is returned to the environment? How can we best protect the land, the final receptor of all pollution?
Environmental engineers seek the answers to these questions in the field, in the research lab, and through the use of computer models. Ultimately, the challenge you will face, as an environmental engineer is to see that adequate technology satisfies the needs of the population for energy and materials without creating future problems for the environment.
ENVE Undergraduate Program
The undergraduate program offers a balanced approach to environmental engineering, offering courses in all major areas of environmental engineering. In addition, our program is designed to give the student a solid foundation in the sciences and engineering. Students take courses in biology, chemistry, physics, and math, in addition to a core set of engineering courses in areas common to all engineering disciplines.
All of our environmental engineering courses teach students the fundamentals of engineering design, relevant laws and regulations, and presents actual case studies. We also teach students how to use state-of-the-art computer models to expedite the design process. Students are also taught how to balance engineering designs with economic constraints.
During their senior year, undergraduate students are required to work with a professor on a senior thesis. Normally, senior thesis topics are chosen b the student in an area of interest to them. For large projects, such as those required for the annual WERC: A Consortium for Environmental Education and Technology Development design contest, students can work in groups. Senior theses may require lab work, detailed engineering designs, and computer modeling.
New Mexico Tech offers a Master of Science (M.S.) degree in environmental engineering. All Master of Science students are required to complete a thesis or an independent study, and are subject to general education requirements. Opportunities exist within the department and within allied departments for research and teaching assistantships. Additionally, some students may be eligible for funding through cooperative research with Sandia National Laboratories and Los Alamos National Laboratory.
What is environmental engineering?
Students measure Socorro's airborne particulate concentration (PM-10) as part of the Air Pollution Sampling Laboratory class.
According to the Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors (AEESP),
"Environmental engineers are the technical professionals who identify and design solutions for environmental problems. Environmental engineers provide safe drinking water, treat and properly dispose of wastes, maintain air quality, control water pollution, and remediate sites contaminated due to spills or improper disposal of hazardous substances. They monitor the quality of the air, water, and land. And, they develop new and improved means to protect the environment."
Although many people are concerned about the state of our environment, environmental engineers are the people who do things to protect it from damage and to correct existing problems. Environmental engineers possess the scientific and technical know-how to identify, design, build, and operate systems that make modern society possible.
In addition to being a "hands on" discipline, the environmental engineering field is multi-disciplinary. It involves traditional engineering components such as mathematics, physics, chemistry, and engineering design. In addition, environmental engineering also includes biology, microbiology, ecology, public health, geology, meteorology, economics, governmental law & regulation, and computer science. To address the spectrum of the issues facing the environment, environmental engineers are broadly educated, as well as technically trained.
Where do environmental engineers work?
Environmental engineers work in many places. Some of the common ones are:
- engineering consulting firms that design and construct air and water pollution-control systems
- industries that need to treat their wastewater or air discharges
- private and municipal agencies that supply drinking water
- companies that treat and dispose of hazardous chemicals
- companies that operate treatment facilities for municipalities and industries
- government agencies that monitor and regulate waste discharges
- universities and colleges that teach and conduct research on environmental control
- private and government laboratories that develop the new generations of pollution-control systems
- international agencies that transfer knowledge and technology to developing countries
- public-interest groups that advocate environmental protection
You can pursue civil engineering or environmental engineering as part of a Bachelor of Science degree program (for civil or environmental engineering) or Master of Science degree program (for environmental engineering) at New Mexico Tech. The department office is located in room 111 of the Jones Hall Annex.