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Environmental Engineering

Graduate Student Conducting Stakeholder Interviews

Graduate students in Vanderbilt's Environmental Engineering program have opportunities to pursue exciting research on some of the most serious environmental challenges facing us today. 

Our faculty includes international leaders in the fields of nuclear waste management, risk analysis and the environmental remediation of nuclear and hazardous chemical contaminated sites, assessing leaching of contaminants,  and evaluating the natural processes that affect earth's environment, enriching the research experiences of our students.

Students in the Environmental Engineering Ph.D. program concentrate their studies in one of the following areas:

Graduate students in Environmental Engineering have an opportunity to work with a variety of other disciplines on campus and with universities worldwide to understand and solve multifaceted problems. Emphasis is placed on a solid grounding in fundamentals, which is complemented by  tailored, multidisciplinary experiences.

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Our goal is to prepare Vanderbilt graduate students with the academic knowledge, research acumen, communications skills and leadership experiences to tackle environmental challenges such as:

  • Alternative approaches to leaching and contaminant release mechanisms
  • Bioavailability and biological processes that affect contaminant fate and transport
  • Environmental restoration of legacy nuclear and hazardous waste sites
  • Environmental security and vulnerability analysis
  • Long-term sustainable environmental protection
  • Multi-scale and multi-media contaminant fate and transport in the subsurface
  • Reliability and security of environmental protection systems
  • Risk assessment and risk-informed decision making
  • Assessment of modern environmental change in the ocntext of the record of past variability
  • Present and predicated future vulnerability of coastal environments
  • Magmatic processes that underlie volcanic hazards
  • Predicting landscape evolution in a changing environment
Vanderbilt Environmental Engineering, Science & Management

Graduate courses offered in environmental engineering include:

  • Air and Water Resources
  • Environmental Assessments
  • Environmental Characterization and Analysis
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Nuclear Environmental Engineering
  • Physical, Chemical, and Biological Treatment Processes
  • Radiological Aspects of Environmental Engineering
  • Special Topics in Advanced Environmental Engineering
  • Thermodynamics, Kinetics, and Mass Transfer

The environmental science option features a transdisciplinary capstone course on environmental systems (TIES) that focuses on the scientific, technical, and policy aspects of a major, current environmental proposal. Recent TIES participants have visited Yucca Mountain, Nevada, and Bangladesh.

Additional graduate courses are offered in the College of Arts and Science:

  • GeochemistryVanderbilt Environmental Engineering, Science & Management
  • Aqueous Geochemistry
  • Transport Processes
  • Geomorphology
  • Problems in Sedimentology and Paleobiology
  • Volcanic Processes
  • Magmatic Processes and Construction of Earth's Crust
  • Antarctica: Present and Past Environments, Current Policy Issues
  • Paleoecological Methods
  • Sustainability Science
  • Structure, Composition, and Properties of Earth Materials
  • Equilibria & Transformations of Earth Materials
  • Marine Geosystems

Graduate courses in environmental management draw from the Vanderbilt Law School, Owen Graduate School of Management and Peabody College as well as the School of Engineering to include, for example:

  • Environmental Assessments
  • Environmental Characterization and Analysis
  • Environmental Law
  • Community Development and Urban Policy
  • Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability
  • Politics, Policies and Environmental Regulation
  • Risk and Reliability Case Studies
  • Safety, Security and Environmental Risk Management

Specific course descriptions and degree requirements can be found in the Graduate Catalog.