Environmental engineering is much like it sounds. These professionals specialize in finding ways to treat water, air, and soil to make it more productive for agriculture or safer for general consumption. The field was created centuries ago because there has always been a need to keep communities safe from the harmful effects of polluted resources. It’s come a long way since its inception, though, and today can get as specialized as environmental process engineering, which deals with chemical compounds and purification processes.
A Day in the Life of an Engineer
Depending on their position and specialization, an engineer could spend all day in a lab or out in the field. Some engineers who work in labs may work on projects such as improving the quality of water or pesticides for the agriculture sector, or attempt to enhance the chemical stability and efficacy of medical treatments. Others may opt to study the environment outdoors by collecting samples and studying their chemical makeup, or looking for ways to improve an environment so people can safely live nearby. Overall, the main goal of any environmental engineer to test and ensure nothing harmful is being released into the water, air, or soil that could potentially affect people.
Recent Advancements in the Field
As the world changes and expands, so does the processes by which people live. This means more modified foods and water sources, more pollution in cities, and more reasons for environmental engineers to fight back. One major advancement in the field in recent years has been the development of nanomaterials to aid in purifying and altering substances for the better. These materials are usually manmade, but can have positive effects when introduced to natural products.
In the forever changing environmental landscape, these engineers are working diligently to keep communities safe from the harmful effects of unwanted chemicals.