University of Southern California

Viterbi School of Engineering

Environmental Engineering — Sonny Astani Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Kaprielian Hall 210
(213) 740-0603
FAX: (213) 744-1426

Director: Lucio Soibelman, Ph.D.

Associate Director: Massoud Pirbazari, Ph.D.


Fred Champion Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering: Constantinos Sioutas, Sc.D.

Professors: Ronald C. Henry, Ph.D. (Civil Engineering); Jiin-Jen Lee, Ph.D., P.E. (Civil Engineering)*; James Moffett, Ph.D. (Marine Environmental Biology); Massoud Pirbazari, Ph.D. (Civil Engineering); Lucio Soibelman, Ph.D. (Civil Engineering)

Research Assistant Professor: Scott Fruin, Ph.D. (Environmental Health, Keck School of Medicine)

Emeritus Professors: Joseph S. Devinny, Ph.D. (Civil Engineering); George V. Chilingar, Ph.D.

*Recipient of university-wide or school teaching award.

Degree Requirements

Educational Program Objectives

Environmental engineers are the technical professionals who identify and mitigate environment damage. Environmental engineers provide safe drinking water, treat and properly dispose of wastes, maintain air quality, control water pollution and remediate sites contaminated by spills of hazardous substances. They monitor the quality of the air, water and land and develop improved means to protect the environment.

The undergraduate programs in environmental engineering have the following objectives:

(1) Professional Achievement

Graduates will be successful in their chosen field of engineering, compete effectively as problem solvers in a world of technological change, and become leaders in industry, academic or governmental institutions.

(2) Societal Impact

Graduates will make use of their knowledge of global and societal issues, environmental considerations and sustainability objectives to create a safe and healthy world.

(3) Organizational and Team-building Skills

Graduates will use their organizational abilities, communication skills and strengths in collaborative teamwork to foster a productive and efficient work environment in the organizations with which they are associated.

(4) Professional Development

Graduates will uphold high ethical and professional standards, be active in professional engineering organizations, support the advancement of the practice of engineering and obtain professional licensure.

(5) Continuing Education

Graduates will engage in lifelong learning, and be prepared to pursue graduate studies in engineering or other diverse fields such as business, law or medicine.

Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering

See Civil Engineering.

Minor in Environmental Engineering

A minor in environmental engineering provides students with a basic knowledge of our environment, potential causes for its deterioration, methods to prevent or mitigate environmental hazards, and the means to improve its quality at reasonable costs. Students will learn how to control water pollution, maintain air quality, treat and properly dispose of wastes, and remediate sites contaminated due to improper disposal of hazardous waste. This minor also enhances students’ employment opportunities in the field of environmental engineering. The program provides the necessary infrastructure for the pursuit of graduate studies in environmental engineering.

The minor in environmental engineering is offered to undergraduates in various fields of engineering and natural sciences.

Prerequisite Courses

CHEM 105aLbL or CHEM 115aLbL; MATH 125, MATH 126 and MATH 226, and PHYS 151L.

Required courses Units
CE 443 Environmental Chemistry 3
CE 453 Water Quality Control 3
CE 463L Water Chemistry and Analysis 3
ENE 201 Introduction to Applied Environmental Science and Engineering 4
ENE 410 Environmental Fluid Mechanics 3
ENE 428 Air Pollution Fundamentals, or
ENE 429 Air Pollution Control 3
ENE 495 Seminars in Environmental Engineering 1
minimum 20

Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering
Emphasis in Environmental Engineering

See Civil Engineering.

Master of Science in Environmental Engineering

See Civil Engineering.

Engineer in Environmental Engineering

Requirements for the Engineer in Environmental Engineering are the same as set forth in the general requirements. See General Requirements for the Engineer Degree.

Ph.D. in Engineering (Environmental Engineering)

See listing under Civil Engineering.

Sustainable Cities Graduate Certificate

See the listing in the USC Price School of Public Policy section.

Courses of Instruction


The terms indicated are expected but are not guaranteed. For the courses offered during any given term, consult the Schedule of Classes.

ENE 201 Introduction to Applied Environmental Science and Engineering (4) Gateway to B.S. in Civil Engineering (Environmental Engineering), B.S., Environmental Engineering, and Minor in Environmental Engineering. Fundamental concepts of environmental science and engineering. Pollution control and remediation for air, water and soil. Pollution remediation for developing countries.

ENE 390 Special Problems (1-4) Supervised, individual studies. No more than one registration permitted. Enrollment by petition only.

ENE 400 Environmental Engineering Principles (3, Sp) Analysis of water, air, and land pollution, including hazardous waste and engineering of mitigation measures. Water and waste water treatment analysis. Prerequisite: CHEM 105bL or CHEM 115bL; MATH 226; PHYS 152L.

ENE 410 Environmental Fluid Mechanics (3) Equation of motion; continuity, momentum, energy principles; dimensional analysis, similitudes; groundwater flows; transports in conduits and channels; mixing, dispersion in environments; manifold diffusers; hydraulic transients. (Duplicates credit in CE 309 and AME 309.) Prerequisite: MATH 245.

ENE 428 Air Pollution Fundamentals (3, Fa) Air pollution effects on man, vegetation, materials; pollutant sampling and analysis; air quality standards and criteria; meteorological factors and dispersion modeling. Prerequisite: MATH 245, PHYS 151L, CHEM 105bL or CHEM 115bL; Recommended Preparation: ENE 400 or CHE 350.

ENE 429 Air Pollution Control (3, Sp) Emission surveys; engineering controls of aerosols and gaseous contaminants at emission sources, disposition of contaminants. Field trips. Senior standing. Prerequisite: ENE 428; CE 309 or ENE 410.

ENE 443 Environmental Chemistry (3) (Enroll in CE 443)

ENE 453 Water Quality Control (3) (Enroll in CE 453)

ENE 463L Water Chemistry and Analysis (3) (Enroll in CE 463L)

ENE 465 Water Supply and Sewerage System Design (3) (Enroll in CE 465)

ENE 486 Design of Solid and Hazardous Waste Engineering Systems (3, Fa) Engineering design of solid and hazardous waste facilities such as waste minimization, secured landfill, and hazardous waste treatment. Prerequisite: ENE 400.

ENE 487 Environmental Biotechnology and Bioremediation (3) Understanding and designing microbiological processes for environmental protection; learning how processes in environmental biotechnology work; emerging applications for bioremediation of hazardous chemicals in the environment. Prerequisite: CE 210L, BISC 320L.

ENE 495 Seminars in Environmental Engineering (1, FaSp) Hazardous waste management, biodegradation of environmental pollutants, groundwater problems, waste minimization, energy resources, and air pollution control.

ENE 502 Environmental and Regulatory Compliance (3) Federal and state environmental laws; environmental impact assessment techniques; permitting for industrial facility construction and operation. Prerequisite: graduate standing.

ENE 503 Microbiology for Environmental Engineers (3) (Enroll in CE 503)

ENE 504 Solid Waste Management (3) (Enroll in CE 504)

ENE 505 Energy and the Environment (3, Fa) Environmental effects of energy development using fossil and fissile fuels, geothermics, photosynthesis, and other sources. Relationship of elemental cycles to the life supporting systems.

ENE 506 Ecology for Environmental Engineers (3, Fa) The role of environmental engineering in maintaining stability of freshwater, marine, and terrestrial ecosystems; macroscopic plant and animal forms as indicators of water quality.

ENE 510 Water Quality Management and Practice (3, Fa) Surface and ground water quality and resources management; water pollution in aquatic environment; water/wastewater infrastructure systems and management.

ENE 513L Instrumental Methods for Environmental Analysis (3) (Enroll in CE 513L)

ENE 514ab Advanced Sanitary Engineering Design (3-3) (Enroll in CE 514ab)

ENE 516 Hazardous Waste Management (3) Standards and regulations for the management of hazardous waste: identification, transportation, monitoring, storage, treatment, and disposal practices.

ENE 517 Industrial and Hazardous Waste Treatment and Disposal (3) (Enroll in CE 517)

ENE 518 Environmental Systems Engineering and Management (3) Evaluating, implementing and managing effective environmental systems to prevent pollution, conserve energy and resources, reduce risks and achieve sustainability in business and industries.

ENE 523 Process Kinetics and Dynamics in Environmental Engineering (3) (Enroll in CE 523)

ENE 526 Particulate Air Pollutants: Properties/Behavior/Measurement (3) Gaseous and particulate air pollutants, their measurement and instrumentation methods, and their effects on the environment and human health; studies on toxicity and risk assessment of selected pollutants.

ENE 535 Air Pollution Management: Exposure, Health Effects and Risk (3, Sp) Pollutant sampling; occupational, community, and personal exposures; receptor modeling; data analysis; health effects of air pollutants.

ENE 553 Chemical and Biological Processes in Environmental Engineering (3) (Enroll in CE 553)

ENE 560 Environmental Aspects of Oil and Gas Production (3) Environmental aspects of drilling for and producing oil and gas, and the necessary safety practices. Attention is given to the urban areas.

ENE 563 Chemistry and Biology of Natural Waters (3) (Enroll in CE 563)

ENE 580 Applied Environmental Engineering Biotechnology (3) Fundamentals of bioremediation processes; bioremediation technologies for decontamination of air, water, and soil; global applications of bioremediation techniques.

ENE 590 Directed Research (1-12) Research leading to the master’s degree. Maximum units which may be applied to the degree to be determined by the department. Graded CR/NC.

ENE 594abz Master’s Thesis (2-2-0) Credit on acceptance of thesis. Graded IP/CR/NC.

ENE 596 Chemical Reactions in the Atmosphere (3, Fa) Chemical reactions and scavenging processes important in urban air pollution. Effects of solar irradiation on vehicle exhaust gases, oxides of nitrogen and sulfur.

ENE 790 Research (1-12) Research leading to the doctorate. Maximum units which may be applied to the degree to be determined by the department. Graded CR/NC.

ENE 794abcdz Doctoral Dissertation (2-2-2-2-0) Credit on acceptance of dissertation. Graded IP/CR/NC.