The world is changing. Due to urbanisation most of the rapidly growing world population lives in or around cities. The need for water and other resources increases, while climate change asks for engineering solutions to keep cities liveable.
The task of environmental engineers is to develop solutions to cope with the effects of environmental change; to protect citizens against environmental hazards such as air, soil and water pollution, heatwaves, floods and droughts, and to safeguard water supply and sanitation. The challenge for humanity is to ensure a sustainable and healthy urban and natural environment, based on the principles of a circular economy.
Coping with this challenge requires a new kind of engineers: engineers focusing on the interaction between humans and their living environment and protecting the public from the risk of environmental hazards.
In the master programme Environmental Engineering you learn how to cope with shortage and abundance of resources such as water and waste, the effects of climate change on liveability in cities, air pollution and the depletion of natural resources, such as groundwater. These challenges are of utmost relevance in a world under change that is experiencing population growth and demanding more clean resources than ever.
As an Environmental Engineer you will study these challenges and develop engineering solutions in the fields of air quality, hydrology and water resources management, water technology and urban water infrastructure, fields in which TU Delft has a long-standing history. Future challenges in recycling, long-term storage of waste, urban heat islands, air pollution and noise will be part of this programme.
During the master Environmental Engineering you will choose between three master tracks, that offer you more specialised knowledge into specific fields of environmental engineering. Below you can find some additional information regarding the three tracks. The buttons on the side lead to other usefull information regarding the Environmental Engineering programme.
Worldwide, water problems are increasing. Floods and droughts are following each other, while production of safe drinking water is a challenge, due to all kind of pollutions. Ground water resources are getting depleted and with current water extraction, major cities in the world are without safe water within this century. At the same time, new contaminants of emerging concern, such as antibiotic resistance, PFAS and pharmaceuticals are difficult to remove in wastewater treatment plants, polluting fresh water sources, needed for irrigation and drinking water production. At the same time, technologies are developed for (decentralised) water reuse, and recovery of other important resources from wastewater, such as energy and nutrients. Industries aim to recover every drop of water within their process.
In this track you will acquire the knowledge and develop the skills needed to address these challenges. You will learn to develop engineering solutions and adaptation strategies to ensure safe water access and proper sanitation and to prevent or minimize freshwater scarcity, water pollution and flooding. You can study the hydrological cycle, prevent urban flooding, find solutions for water shortage or develop new technologies for water treatment and transport.
You will learn more about the urban and rural water cycle, including rainfall, groundwater, surface water, urban drainage, municipal sewage, drinking and industrial water supply. In addition, the track addresses the prevention, assessment and mitigation of possible negative impacts of water engineering interventions on the environment and human wellbeing, including quantification methods for risk assessment
Picture you live in a city, densely populated, full of traffic and outside it is 35 degrees, while crops are burned in the surroundings and bush fires gone wild. When you step outside breathing is difficult and the heat is paralysing you. Maybe you because you were woken up early by the noise of the construction works and the traffic. Still you don’t long for the rain to come, since the concrete city will turn in a swimming pool with flooded streets.
The track Atmospheric Environment Engineering prepares you to develop engineering solutions to transpose this city in a sustainable and healthy urban living environment. It will teach you to use the urban morphological complexity to mitigate air pollution and heat islands. You will study air quality, by measuring and modelling the local physical and chemical characteristics of the urban atmosphere. Weather extremes like intense rainfall and heat waves are more prominent in urban areas, and thus, call for better engineering solutions to mitigate the adverse effects of human activities. An example is the use of vegetation on urban roofs in order to mitigate the effects of extreme rainfall or heat.
The world is using more and more resources, producing mountains of waste. Plastics are covering beautiful beaches, energy transition is causing a graveyard of batteries and natural resources are getting depleted rapidly. The track ‘Resource and Waste Engineering’ teaches you to develop engineering solutions to minimise the depletion of natural material resources and the impact of waste on human health and the environment.
This track teaches you to assess the lifecycle of resources from their supply, use, re-use, recovery and recycling to the point where resources leave the cycle as residual resources (waste) and have to be disposed of in safe long-term sinks. The track also addresses the prevention, assessment and mitigation of the potential impact of all these steps on human health and the environment.
The track highlights two themes of choice: one is focused on Waste Processing Technologies, where you gain further knowledge about the circularity of resources and the technologies to separate waste streams. The other is concentrated on reactive resources and wastes.