Protecting the Planet as an Environmental Engineer

It’s no secret that environmental issues are growing by the day. Many scientists and world leaders have expressed concern over topics such as rising sea levels, the increasing presence of microplastics, and the long-term effects of climate change. These concerns are well-founded, but all hope is not yet lost. Environmental engineers are working diligently to find solutions to these issues that affect us all. Whether they’re gathering data on air quality or designing new systems to reduce carbon emissions, environmental engineers are at the forefront of making a positive change to our planet. 


The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates a 6% growth rate for environmental engineering jobs over the next decade. The increased demand for these types of careers is largely attributed to the public’s growing awareness and concern about environmental hazards. This type of concern often leads to new government regulations and policies, which then creates a need for new technologies and solutions. Students who are interested in pursuing this career path will greatly benefit from a strong background in math and science. Math in particular can provide students with an abundance of valuable skills that can be applied to the engineering field.


Building Math Skills for Environmental Engineering

Engineering is essentially a broad field that uses math and science to solve real-world problems. A core component of math is problem-solving, so it’s clear that these two disciplines are deeply connected. Students who have a strong grasp of math concepts will likely have an easier transition into the complexities of engineering. Advanced math courses like calculus and trigonometry can train students to develop certain skills that are regularly used in environmental engineering. 


Calculus skills can be applied to certain engineering activities like predicting how materials will respond to different environmental conditions or forecasting the probability of natural disasters. Although climate-related events cannot be avoided, engineers can often design systems that lessen the impact and help protect property and lives. Trigonometry skills are especially useful for environmental engineers involved in designing a water supply system or inspecting a hazardous-waste management facility. Both of these activities are essential in different ways, and a team of engineers can help ensure that these systems and facilities are safe for the environment and the communities they serve.


Advanced math skills also provide students with the general abilities to analyze data, think critically, and solve complex problems with unknown variables. Environmental engineers are often involved in analyzing vast amounts of data that have been collected over many years. For example, consider that certain regions are historically more prone to droughts. Maybe these droughts are recurring on a predictable schedule or there’s been a noticeable change and they’re becoming less frequent. This might have an impact on deciding where to plan a new community or creating a system to prevent flash floods from destroying a community. Environmental concerns can create lasting impacts on future generations, but engineers have the skills needed to predict these problems and develop effective solutions. 


VeraRosa’s Commitment to Supporting Students in STEM

Students who study science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM) are well-prepared for numerous high-demand careers. Environmental engineering is just one of many fields that a math student can pursue that is rewarding both financially and personally. Healthcare, video game design, and cybersecurity are some of the other careers that can be built on a foundation of math. VeraRosa Higher-Learning Scholarship is committed to supporting and encouraging STEM students from all backgrounds as they follow a path of higher education. We ensure that they have the necessary resources that will open the doors for many exciting career possibilities. If you’d like to join our mission, please contact us to learn more.