Environmental engineers help determine the most sustainable energy options using systems and life cycle analysis. This allows a comparison of energy use and environmental impacts over the entire life cycle of the system, such as from extraction of oil through refining, transport, and end use to determine which energy sources are the most compatible with the environment and are sustainable for the planet.

Environmental engineers can turn traditional "waste" products into energy. For example, anaerobic digesters can be used to produce methane or hydrogen from municipal wastewater or landfills, various organics-laden industrial wastewaters, and animal manure. Environmental engineers design waste-to-energy incinerators to extract the energy content from municipal solid waste that would otherwise end up in a landfill.

Environmental Engineering Technical Electives (upper-division)

Students select at least Two courses from this list (or a second from list A, no double counting). Faculty can petition to add additional courses.

  • ECEN 3010 Circuits  (3 credits, F/S; prerequisites: PHYS 1120 and DiffEq/Linear Alg [pre/co-requisite], both w/ min grade of C.)
  • GEEN 3010 Circuits for Engineers (3 credits, F; prerequisites: PHYS 1140 and APPM 2360 [pre/co-requisite], both w/ min grade of C.)
  • AREN 3010 Energy Efficient Buildings (3 credits, F; prerequisites: AREN 2120 or MCEN 3021 & 3022 and AREN 2050.)
  • AREN 3040  Circuits for AREN (3 credits, S; prerequisites: DiffEq/Linear Alg and PHYS 1120, restricted to AREN/CVEN majors – EVEN students just ask permission.)
  • AREN 4890 Sustainable Building Design (3 credits, F; prerequisites: AREN 3010, restricted to 87-180 credits.)
  • AREN 4110 HVAC Systems Design (3 credits, S; prerequisites: AREN 3010.)
  • MCEN 3032 Thermo 2 (3 credits, F/S; prerequisites: thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, and DiffEq / Linear Alg, all w/ min grade of C.)
  • MCEN 4135 Wind Turbine Design (3 credits, S; prerequisites: MCEN 3021 and ECEN 3010, both w/ min grade of C, restricted to 87-180 credits.)
  • MCEN 4152 Intro to Combustion (3 credits, F; prerequisites: MCEN 3012 w/ min grade of C, restricted to 87-180 credits & to MCEN major only.)
  • MCEN 4194 Energy Conversion & Storage (3 credits, S; prerequisites: MCEN 2024 & 3032, both w/ min grade of C, restricted to 87-180 credits.)
  • MCEN 3022 Heat Transfer (3 credits, F/S; prerequisites: thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, and DiffEq / Linear Alg, all w/ min grade of C.)
  • CHEN 3660 Energy Fund (3 credits, S; prerequisites: CHEN 1211, CHEN 1201 or CHEM 1113 or MCEN 1024, PHYS 1110, and calculus 2.)

Undergraduate Energy Engineering Minor

You may consider the Energy Engineering Minor: The CU Energy Engineering Minor aims to prepare students with the background and tools to be leaders in energy technology, policy and research.  The minor requirements consist of a selection of technical energy courses, an energy policy course and an interdisciplinary projects course focused on the design and analysis of energy technologies from a technical, economic and policy perspective.

Companies that Work on Projects Related to Energy: