The need for preparing engineering students through hands-on experiences and real-world projects can never be overstressed. Environmental engineering students require more emphasis on sustainable design to solve the complex environmental issues though real-world projects. This approach was applied in our environmental engineering elective and graduate civil engineering courses in which undergraduate and graduate students worked together to provide sustainable design and solutions for water desalination, wastewater treatment and biofuel production. Four projects received support from the US Environmental Protection Agency over the past three years which focused on 1) sustainable design tools for small communities; 2) low-cost water desalination; 3) anammox microbial desalination cells for enhanced energy and water recovery; and 4) innovative in-situ extractive-transesterification of algal lipids. This article discusses the relevance of the sustainable design projects undertaken by the undergraduate and graduate civil engineering students for engineering education in deepening their course content and environmental engineering principles.
Veera Gnaneswar Gude
Civil and Environmental Engineering
Mississippi State University