Two students on boardwalk in marsh

An environmental engineering degree prepares you to use the principles of engineering, soil science, biology and chemistry to develop solutions to environmental problems such as pollution and hazardous waste.

The environmental engineering degree program at UWM is young, but well-connected, especially around water. In addition to being located next to beautiful Lake Michigan, UWM leads global partnerships and collaborations around water so our Bachelor of Science (BS) in Engineering students have access to state-of-the-art facilities and faculty that conduct important research.

Program Type

Major

Program Format

On Campus
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Career Outlook

Environmental engineers work to improve drinking water supply, public health, recycling, and sustainability, and also to control water and air pollution, and manage waste. They may work on waste treatment, wastewater treatment, site remediation, or pollution control technology.

2019 Median pay is $88,860/year*

*U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Liam Brodie
Hear from a current student, talented alums and leaders in the environmental engineering industry about the benefits of an Environmental Engineering major from UWM.

What to Expect

Increased speed to graduation

Our new and redesigned curriculum makes it easier and faster for you to complete your degree. You’ll also find greater flexibility in the electives available to customize your experience. 

What makes our program stand out

The mission of the UWM Undergraduate Environmental Engineering degree program is to educate students to become engineering professionals who use the principles of engineering, soil science, biology, and chemistry to plan, design, build, and manage the infrastructure systems needed to develop solutions to environmental problems.  The program includes classroom, laboratory, and field studies.

Honors

You will be eligible for these honors in the major during your studies and upon completing your degree.

Students at UWM have many opportunities to earn honors recognition

UWM’s College of Engineering & Applied Science program provides many opportunities to pair classroom learning with hands-on experiences outside the classroom. The college’s location in Wisconsin’s largest city, with a broad network of industry partnerships, gives you easy access to well-paid internships and co-ops, as well as other important opportunities to enhance your resume. 

Did you know? 

  • 93 percent of UWM engineering and computer science students complete paid, work-related experiences including internships, co-ops and research opportunities 
  • 91 percent land a job or commit to graduate school before graduation. 

SOURCE: UWM First Destination Survey, December 2019  

Internships & Co-ops

Our students have had many hands-on opportunities to develop their skills and to determine what type of career experience they would like after graduation, while often earning a significant paycheck over summer breaks and even during the academic year.

Capstones/Senior Design Projects

In your senior year, you’ll team up with other students to complete a Capstone Project, during which you’ll use what you’ve learned in class to complete an experience similar to a real-world employer project. Past students have created online games, apps, management software and more.

Student Organizations

American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)

ASCE at UWM is chapter of Wisconsin ASCE that presents students with the opportunity to participate in engineering related activities and competitions, and network with other engineering students and professionals.

Engineers Without Borders (EWB)

EWB@UWM combines sustainable engineering with a passion for human life by helping to bring running water to impoverished villages in the Ixil Triangle of Guatemala and improving the sustainable use of energy in Wisconsin.

Water Environment Federation – American Water Works Association

WEF-AWWA Student Chapter is a community to promote student awareness and interest in environmental and water management issues, and to promote professional development.

For full descriptions and contact information of all engineering and environmental engineering related student organizations and clubs, click here.

Resource Rooms & Teaching Labs

Concrete and Construction Materials Lab

Students use this lab to test and determine properties of various types of cement.

Engineering Mechanics and Composites Research Lab

This lab is used to study the manufacturing, testing, characterization and nondestructive evaluation of polymer and non-polymer based composite materials.

Hydraulics Lab

Students use this lab to conduct experiments of groundwater flow theory and Darcy’s law, steady uniform open channel flow, non-uniform open channel flow, sediment transport, HEC-RAS river flow analysis, and stormwater management modeling.

Pavement Materials Lab

This lab uses the Triaxial test for resilient modulus determination of soils and aggregates, California Bearing Ratio, Micro-Deval abrasion test, and specific gravity and absorption of aggregates.

Soil Mechanics Instructional Lab

Students use this lab to perform various tests on soil to determine their physical, engineering, and mechanical properties. Apparatus and tools such as soil crushers and sample splitters are used to prepare soil specimens.

Structures & Mechanics Lab

This lab is used to perform load testing, as well as to test tension and compression, flexure, bend, fatigue and creep testing for reinforced concrete beams, steel and bolted connections.

Surveying Lab

Civil engineering students will use equipment and tools from this lab to measure distance and angles in order to perform a topographic survey,

Virtual Reality Infrastructures Lab

UWM is the first non-military user of this Euclideon hologram table in the U.S. It is unique in allowing multiple people to simultaneously view 3D digital objects from different perspectives without bulky headgear. Students are able to solve design problems here before the product shows up in a shop or in the field.

Water Quality Lab

Students will use this lab and its state-of-the-art equipment to perform various water quality tests including pH, turbidity, conductivity, and acidity.

UWM students have a wealth of additional resources available to them within the College of Engineering & Applied Science. From computer labs and tutoring resources to teaching labs and spaces to create or collaborateDetails here.

Research Opportunities

We’re a top tier R1 research university and our environmental engineering degree students have the opportunity to work with faculty engaged in cutting-edge research in areas such as:

  • Adsorbents
  • Innovative treatment systems
  • PFAS
  • Water policy research
  • Water sensors and devices

As a top tier R1 research university, our students have the opportunity to work with faculty engaged in cutting-edge research and to participate in the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships (SURF) program which has a profound impact on students’ preparation and advancing to graduate programs. The SURF program helps students to improve professional preparation through research by closely working with our faculty to explore, discover, and transform ideas into reality.

Both graduates and undergraduates have the opportunity to participate in the annual Student Research Poster Competition to see who can best represent their research visually on a poster and verbally by describing it to judges.

Student Startup Challenge

Directed by the Lubar Entrepreneurship Center, the UWM Startup Challenge is an optional, co-curricular program that fosters our students’ innovative and entrepreneurial ideas. You can work alone or as part of a team as you gain the skills that come from entrepreneurial experience. More detail here.

We’re Here to Help

We have a dedicated Career Services Department at the College of Engineering & Applied Science who works exclusively with our students to prepare them for a career after graduation.

What You’ll Do

  • Prepare, review, and update environmental investigation reports
  • Design environmental protection projects, such as water reclamation facilities or air pollution control systems
  • Obtain, update, and maintain plans, permits, and standard operating procedures
  • Provide technical support for environmental remediation projects and for legal actions
  • Analyze scientific data and do quality-control checks
  • Monitor the progress of environmental improvement programs
  • Inspect industrial and municipal facilities and programs in order to ensure compliance with environmental regulations
  • Advise corporations and government agencies about procedures for cleaning up contaminated sites

Alumni Stories

Details to come

Advising

Current, Tina
  • Senior Advisor, Undergraduate Advising
  • Students with last names beginning I-O
  • Prospective Transfer Student Liaison
Kaempfer, Sharon
  • Senior Advisor, Undergraduate Advising
  • Students with last names beginning A-H
Klumpp, Jennie
  • Senior Advisor, Undergraduate Advising
  • Students with last names beginning P-Z
  • Prospective Student Liaison

Tutoring

Steven Anderson
  • Retention Coordinator, Tutoring
  • Tutoring & Mentoring Center Coordinator
  • Freshmen Orientation Instructor

Faculty & Staff

Jin Li
  • Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Qian Liao
  • Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
faculty member yin wang
  • Associate Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Contact
Civil & Environmental Engineering

Contact Info: ceas-cem@uwm.edu

Street Address
College of Engineering & Applied Science
3200 North Cramer Street
Milwaukee, WI 53211

Mailing Address
College of Engineering & Applied Science
P.O. Box 784
Milwaukee, WI 53201-0784