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Environmental Engineering – What They Do

Posted by on May 7, 2019 in Stuff with 0 Comments

Environmental engineering is a branch of technology aimed at curbing the man-made impact on the environment as well as improving its quality. Environmental engineers work hard to address problems like air pollution, conservation of forests, recycling, and others. They design plans, methods and techniques to further improve the way industries deal with the waste they produce. And finally they create machinery and applications like EHS software to further their objectives. While, the main concern is to protect and nurture the environment, the ultimate goal of environmental engineering is to make the world a better place to live in for humans and every living creature.

The precursor of environmental engineering can be traced back to the beginnings of the human race. And the first humans who lived in settlements can be considered the first environmental engineer. Ever since there grew a clamor for a way to manage garbage, and other wastes, environmental engineering has been there to assist the rising civilization’s need. And as settlements grew to cities and small garden farms to multi-hectare plains of crops, new problems like air quality, and contamination have made become things to worry about.

What they do

There are plenty of fields for which an environmental engineer can practice his/her craft. Usually, environmental engineers are employed by government bodies tasked to preserving parks and other areas that are considered to be under protection. They survey lands and analyze the qualities of and around the area to ensure that there is no threat looming that could eventually end up becoming a bigger problem. As field workers, they are expected to be able to cover great distances via a vehicle, on foot, or by air, usually aboard a helicopter.

Some environmental engineers, usually those that have multi-disciplinary fields of interest contribute to the efforts by performing experiments, doing research, designing devices and even doing legal work. Here are some examples:

  • Law – There are many lawyers devoted to the fight of saving the planet earth. They often work under the employ of institutions either under the state or a non government office(NGO). They ensure that the industries do not fail on their commitments as dictated by the legislature. They will sue these erring companies to make sure that no one tries to circumvent the policies set in place just for extra profit. It is generally a thankless job as environmental lawyers often fall down the pecking order when comparing salaries. They however are a necessary front against the corporate world as legal work is often the only language they can understand. Another way that a legally inclined environmental engineer can contribute to the efforts of environmental preservation is by creating the policies themselves. As a lawyer who understands both the ins and outs of law making as much as the problems of the environment that needs to be addressed, they can best represent the needs of the field.
  • Chemistry – One of the biggest victories of environmental engineers for the last century is closing the gap in the ozone layer of our atmosphere. This in no small part to the chemists who identified the pollutants that directly affects ozone. Degradation of the environment can be simply viewed as a series of chemical reactions who needs to be stopped. By understanding how the environment works at an atomic level, the fight to save the planet can be better magnified.
  • Agriculture – There are many areas wherein agricultural and environmental engineering will overlap. While the other is concerned more about the yield of the farms they manage, the other is concerned about the yield of another kind of farm – the one which grows the rain, the air we breathe and all other essentials. Agriculture can, however, be destructive to the environment if left unchecked. Especially with the advancements of agriculture, it might become a challenge to ensure that one does not destroy the other.
  • Information Technology – Environmental engineers who have an affinity for software development often use the skill to create applications to help out in surveying, forecasting or simply gathering of data. These are helpful in trying to map out risks in areas that may be too difficult to figure out without using the computing speed of computers. As an enterprise developer, environmental engineers are the ones who design EHS software whose main purpose is to better serve the company in their drive to limit the footprint that they leave in the environment.

Other Thoughts

EHS software is the most effective partner that an environmental engineer have in his/her effort to do better at his/her job. It stands for Environment, Health and Safety and while the other two have its own importance, the environmental engineer would use the application to perform the duty of preserving the environment. EHS software allows the environmental engineer to gather data in way that will not only be easier than manually writing them one by one but more resilient to human errors as well. It will then be used to produce reports like risk analysis, forecasts, and other important information from the data that was processed.

Protecting the environment might not be the best way to use the hard earned engineering degree that you have just got from college at least from a personal perspective. Most environmental engineers fall behind in terms of salary when compared to their other engineering counterparts. It is however a job that will let you sleep better at night knowing that you did your part in saving the planet from destruction brought to it by the people living in it themselves.

The best way to preserve the environment is not to create highly skilled environmental engineers to save the planet. The only way to do it is by educating the population about the perils brought upon by them. Earth is becoming more fragile as it is and while we may get to live before the end of it, it is our duty to leave it as we have come across it for the future generations to thrive in.

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