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A natural treatment system where cattail (Typha sp.) improve water quality while providing vibrant habitat for multiple species. Ecological Engineers design systems to take maximum advantage of naturally occuring processes and reactions, renewable energy, and native species.
As an extension of the Environmental Engineering program, we also offer the option to focus studies in our Ecological Engineering Concentration. Ecological Engineering is a rapidly growing engineering discipline that integrates systems ecology with the methods of the engineer to design ecosystems for the mutual benefit of humans and nature. Examples of Ecological Engineering include water treatment wetlands, restoration/rehabilitation of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, living machines, green roofs, sustainable agricultural ecosystems, and many other applications where renewable energy use is predominant.
Students in the Ecological Engineering concentration prepare to be leaders in this fast-growing field via:
Aside from the required coursework, students in the concentration are presented with the opportunity for internships or research positions related to Ecological Engineering as well as the option to focus their senior capstone sequence on an Ecological Engineering problem. Students who complete these requirements, and the requirements of the Environmental Engineering program, graduate with a B.S. in Environmental Engineering with a Concentration in Ecological Engineering.
Our Center for Watershed Research and Service provides a unique opportunity for students to put their ecological engineering skills into practice working on internship, research, and class projects for our nonprofit partners at home and abroad.
Real world experience is the hallmark of Environmental Engineering at SFU and it logically follows that it is also a key component of the Ecological Engineering Concentration.
In ENVE 424 (Ecological Engineering), our students learn how to approach the design process as an ecological engineer. This class always centers around a large real project and one year it happened to be the design of a sewage treatment wetland for a small nearby community. Aside from being a great practical experience for the students, the designs were used by the community to help think through the full range of the available treatment options.
Ecology is the foundational science of Ecological Engineering. Ecology is the study of how all organisms interact with eachother and their physical surroundings. Concepts from this course will be applied in subsequent classes.
Microbiology is often applied in engineered systems by Ecological Engineers. This course will provide more core foundational knowledge.
Ecological Engineering approaches are often the most fitting for service projects in the developing world, due to their lower operational costs, use of simple materials, and ability to function off of the grid. This class provides an overview of the various ecological/environmental engineering solutions that may be employed to serve people and the environment in the developing world.
This course wraps together the previous coursework to prepare students for rigorous ecological engineering applications. Centered around a real design project, the course covers the philosophy and design principles of ecological engineering. The course focuses on the synergistic application of the students' accrued ecology, microbiology, physics, and chemistry knowledge.
The engineering capstone sequence is already a requirement of the environmental engineering program. However, the Ecological Engineering concentration students will work on a major design project related to the concentration (e.g., treatment wetlands, green roof design, habitat restoration, etc.)
As broader sections of society realize the importance of sustainability, Ecological Engineering continues to grow as an engineering specialty.
Here are a few examples of Ecological Engineering firms:
Also, many graduate programs are looking for prospective Masters and PhD students with experience and interest in Ecological Engineering.
Here are a few examples of Ecological Engineering graduate programs:
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