Environmental Courses at Rensselaer:


School of Engineering



33 Civil Engineering

33415 Experimental Soil Mechanics Second course in geotechnical engineering, emphasizing experimental aspects of soil behavior. Laboratory experiments to measure the following soil properties: consolidation, compressibility, shear strength, permeability, various moduli, and bearing capacity. Theory, practical applications of theory, and laboratory. Prerequisite 33262 or equivalent. Spring term annually. 3 credit hours

33651 Advanced Soil Mechanics An intensive study of the fundamentals of soil mechanics at the graduate level. Transmission of stresses between particles. Soils in which the pore water is either stationary or flowing under steady conditions. Soils in which pore pressures are influenced by applied loads, and hence the pore water is flowing under transient conditions. Prerequisite: 33415. Fall term annually. 3 credit hours

33652 Advanced Foundations and Earth Structures The applications of the principles of soil mechanics to the design of foundations, at the graduate level. Subsurface investigation. Design of footings, retaining walls, pile foundations, flexible retaining structures, anchor tie-backs, bridge piers, abutments, embankments and natural slopes. Slope stability analysis and landslide prevention. Earthquake effects. Case studies. Prerequisites: 33401, 33415. Spring term annually. 3 credit hours

33653 Seepage, Drainage, and Groundwater Introduction to groundwater hydrology, well hydraulics, permeability, seepage, flow nets, filter criteria, dewatering, slope stabilization, practical applications. Prerequisite: 33262 or equivalent. Spring term annually. 3 credit hours

33656 Soil Dynamics Study of engineering problems related to the dynamic and cyclic loading of soils. Vibration of simple oscillators and wave propagation in elastic media. Behavior of actual soil subjected to dynamic and cyclic loading, including descriptions of the special field and laboratory tests used in soil dynamics. Engineering applications, focusing on earthquake engineering problems such as modification of ground shaking caused by the soil, liquefaction of saturated sands, etc. Prerequisite: 33415. Fall term annually. 3 credit hours

33658 Geostochastics Exploration of the role that various uncertainties play in risk assessment and decision making in geotechnical engineering. Review of reliability analysis. Conventional factor of safety and reliability. Decision making under uncertainty. Three-dimensional time-dependent systems. Conventional vs. probabilistic approach in consolidation theory. Length of flow paths, stochastic process in the grain skeleton of soil, three-dimensional diffusion equation. Stochastic analysis of strength of soils and of the stability of soil structures. Prerequisite: 33459 or equivalent. Spring term annually. 3 credit hours

33659 Soil Behavior Under Load Study of stress-strain behavior of soils subjected to monotonic and cyclic loading. Basic principles and experimental evidence of drained and undrained response of a wide variety of soils. Laboratory and field tests. Densification and pore pressure buildup in soils during cyclic loading. Effect of cyclic strain. Prerequisite: 33415. Spring term alternate years. 3 credit hours




37 Mechanical Engineering

37470 Heat Transfer Analysis of Solar Devices Solar irradiation, its nature, and its measurement. Insolation on tilted surfaces. Application of the principles of heat transfer and thermodynamics to the theoretical and experimental analysis of solar energy components used in the heating and cooling of buildings as well as hot water heating devices. Theoretical consideration of thermal storage devices, solar collectors, and solar-augmented heat pumps. Approximate techniques; other ongoing research topics. Prerequisites: 20210, 20243. Spring term annually. 3 credit hours




38 Environmental and Energy Engineering Undergraduate Courses

38210 Environmental Engineering Fundamentals The application of basic principles and equations dealing with water, air, and solid and hazardous wastes; material and energy balances; and chemical and biochemical cycles. Topics include water resources, water quality and pollution, air quality and pollution, solid and hazardous wastes, and environmental legislation. Prerequisite: 20240 (pre- or corequisite), 65240 or 65130. Fall term annually. 3 credit hours

38411 Aqueous Geochemistry Fundamentals of aqueous chemistry as applied to the evolution of natural waters. The course covers principles of chemical equilibrium, activity models for solutes, pH as a master variable, concentration and Eh-pH diagrams, mineral solubility, aqueous complexes, ion exchange, and stable isotopes. The carbonate system, weathering reactions, and acid rain are examined in detail. Emphasis is on the chemical reactions that control surface and groundwater evolution in natural and engineered (treatment process) settings. Students learn theory, computation methods, and the use of computer programs for calculation of speciation and mass balance. Students cannot receive credit for both 76469 and 38411. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor. Fall term annually. 3 credit hours

38412 Unit Operations in Environmental Engineering A study of the physical processes, termed unit operations, that are common to air, water, and land pollution control systems. Among the topics included are fluid flow, cycloning, electrostatic precipitation, filtration, sedimentation, mass transfer, heat transfer, adsorption, evaporation, and thickening. Prerequisite: 20203 or permission of instructor. Spring term annually. 3 credit hours

38413 Environmental Systems Engineering The study of physical-chemical processes and biological processes encountered in environmental engineering, such as chemical equilibria, water stabilization, ion exchange, activated sludge, trickling filter, stabilization ponds, anaerobic digestion, wet scrubbing, fume incineration, combustion, and elutriation. Prerequisite: 38412 or permission of instructor. Fall term annually. 3 credit hours

38414 Introduction to Applied Hydrology Fundamental principles and governing equations, systems analysis, and engineering applications in hydrology. Topics include hydrologic cycle and hydrograph, atmospheric transport, surface and subsurface hydrology, precipitation, evapotranspiration, pipe and open channel flow, pipe network analysis, water distribution, and storm-water collection systems. Prerequisites: 20210, 20240. Fall term annually. 3 credit hours

38415, 38416 Environmental Engineering Laboratory I, II A two-term laboratory course on experimental analysis of the operations and processes of environmental engineering. Emphasis is placed on planning of experiments, data evaluation, and report writing. Fall and spring terms annually. 2 credit hours each

38417 Environmental Process Design I The basic tenets of design are introduced and developed. Included are field inspection trips to pollution-control facilities. This course leads to 38418. Fall term annually. 2 credit hours

38418 Environmental Process Design II The design of equipment, processes, and systems of interest in environmental engineering through application of scientific, technological, and economic principles. Emphasis is placed on problem formulation and the conceptual, analytical, and decision aspects of open-ended design situations. The work integrates knowledge and skills gained in previous and concurrent courses. Spring term annually. 2 credit hours

38419 Air Pollution Fundamental aspects of air pollution with emphasis on emissions from major stationary and mobile sources (automobiles). Combustion and industrially generated pollutants. Diffusion and ambient air quality, chemical behavior of pollutants, effects on receptors (man, animal, plant materials), visibility, both local and global. Analytical measurements of stack and ambient levels, standards, and techniques for specific pollutants. Principal pollutants discussed are particles, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, oxidants, hydrocarbons, and trace metals. Prerequisites: 72120, 20210, and 20240. Fall term annually. 3 credit hours

38420 Solid and Hazardous Waste Engineering Classification and characteristics of solid and hazardous wastes; appropriate waste management systems; design of collection and transfer systems; methods of destruction and disposal, including landfills; recycle methods; and salvage and conversion operations for resource recovery. Spring term annually. 3 credit hours

38421 Industrial Waste Treatment and Disposal Physical, chemical, and biological characteristics of industrial wastes. Application of unit operations and processes to the treatment of waste streams. Consideration of recovery and/or recycling of useful products. Spring term annually. 3 credit hours

38422 Environmental Law This course provides environmental engineers, researchers, managers, public officials, and corporate executives with a firm foundation in the environmental laws and regulations with which and under which they must work. Classroom lectures and discussions generate papers on selected environmental law topics. Fall semester annually. 3 credit hours

38423 Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Engineering principles and practices applied to the design of municipal water and wastewater systems, including collection, treatment, storage, distribution, and disposal. Topics include water quantity and quality concerns, particulate removal systems, disinfection technology, corrosion control practices, and distribution networks; and wastewater characteristics, sewer pipes and pumps, primary through tertiary treatment systems, and sludge disposal. Individual and team projects emphasize the interaction of hydraulic designs with economic and public health constraints. Prerequisites: 20240 and 38210 or 38412. Fall term annually. 3 credit hours

38424 Bench Scale Design The design and operation of different laboratory experiments to provide experience for the environmental engineer in the practical application of chemical and biological theory. Design parameters are developed via bench scale testing. Topics include biological treatment, ion exchange, test for total carbon in a solid waste and PARR bomb calorimeter, soil columns, and microbial respirometry. Spring term annually. 3 credit hours

38612 Biological Treatment Processes The study of chemical and biological processes common to environmental engineering. Development of reaction rate and mass balances on biological reactors for pollution control. Topics covered include activated sludge, trickling filters, stabilization ponds, sludge treatment and digestion, disinfection, chemical precipitation processes, biological aerosol formation and decay, and biological solid waste treatment processes. Prerequisites: 38412, 38413. Spring term annually. 3 credit hours

38613 Land Applications of Wastewater Treatment efficiency and design parameters for different methods of treatment of wastewaters by land application. Methods considered include irrigation, rapid infiltration, overland flow, septic-tank leach field systems, and deep well injection. Soil geology and groundwater flow maintenance, monitoring of systems, and public health considerations. Evaluation of sludge disposal. Prerequisite: 38412. Fall term alternate years. 3 credit hours

38614 Stream Pollution Control Principles of limnology applied to the ecological conditions of streams and bodies of fresh water relative to capacity to stabilize organic materials. The economic aspects of water pollution; health aspects of bacterial pollution. Fall term annually. 3 credit hours

38615 Limnology Classification and identification of microscopic and macroscopic aquatic plant and animal life. Chemical analysis sufficient to relate the organisms to their environment. Measurement of the physical characteristics of a lake. Field and laboratory studies on different aquatic systems. Classes conducted at Fresh Water Institute on Lake George. Prerequisites: 72245 and 70231, or 70631, or permission of instructor. Summer term annually. 3 credit hours

38616 Environmental Impact Analysis Studies related to the evaluation of the impacts of major actions by state and federal agencies on the quality of human environment. Consideration is given to the preparation of impact statements. The impacts of various types of action are discussed; the adverse effects produced and alternatives to proposed action considered, and the tradeoffs between short-term uses and long-term productivity are evaluated. Case studies are presented and analyzed. Open to graduate students in science or engineering. Spring term annually. 3 credit hours

38617 Atmospheric Chemistry The course presents important thermodynamic and kinetic aspects of reactions in the atmospheric layer. Consideration is given to transport phenomena in determining atmospheric compositions and kinetics. Applications of principles to upper atmospheric and lower (air pollution) atmospheric cases are discussed. Prerequisites: 72225, 72226, 72245 or equivalent or permission of instructor. Offered on sufficient demand. 3 credit hours

38618 Air Pollution Meteorology Investigation of atmospheric processes of particular importance in dealing with the environmental problems of air pollution: atmospheric turbulence, temperature lapse rates, wind profiles, plume rise, plume dispersion relations, urban dispersion models, wet and dry atmospheric scavenging processes, and inadvertent climate and weather modification. Open to graduate students in science or engineering. Prerequisites: 20202 (or 20203), 72245, 38419 or permission of instructor. Offered on sufficient demand. 3 credit hours

38619 Public Health Occurrence and control of communicable diseases; principles of epidemiology and biostatistics and their application, emphasizing the relationship with environmental factors; food infections and food poisoning; use and impact of pesticides and other methods of pest control; air pollution sources and health effects. Organization of government health agencies. Offered on sufficient demand. 3 credit hours

38620 Hazardous Waste Management I This course concentrates on management issues and study of the fate and transport of hazardous materials in the environment. Management topics are broken down into three broad categories: regulatory issues, those necessary for daily operation of an industrial facility (industrial hygiene, storage, and transportation issues), and preliminary environmental site assessments. Fate and transport issues will be dealt with quantitatively. Prerequisites: 38412 or equivalent or permission of instructor. Fall term annually. 3 credit hours

38621 Hazardous Waste Management II A continuation of 38620. The principal topic discussed is the selection of remediation alternatives and waste minimization. Prerequisite: 38620. Spring term annually. 3 credit hours

38622 Environmental Radiation Safety Controls Consideration and control of the health hazards peculiar to the atomic industry. Radiological units; exposure control; shielding; fallout; toxic materials; shipping and storage; waste disposal; legal aspects. Introduction to criticality hazards. Nonionizing radiation. Prerequisites: 72471 or 38413 and 70231 or 70631 or equivalent. Fall term annually. 4 credit hours

38623 Mathematical Modeling of Environmental Engineering Systems Basic modeling approaches and techniques for the simulation of environmental engineering systems. Model development, system conceptualization and analysis, mathematical representation, solution and simulation, as well as model calibration and verification, are discussed. Problems such as simulation of biochemical reactors and behavior of toxic chemicals in groundwater are drawn from the literature. Ongoing research projects are discussed. Offered on sufficient demand. 3 credit hours

38624 Air Pollution Control The major approaches to air pollution control are discussed from three viewpoints: equipment for particle and gaseous emissions control, control of specific processes and pollutants, control strategies. Emphasis is on control devices for particles, sulfur oxides, and nitrogen oxides; absorption with chemical reaction; wet scrubber technology. Combination with other approaches to develop control strategies. Prerequisite: 38419. Spring term annually, upon availability of instructor. 3 credit hours

38625 Bench Scale Design The design and operation of different laboratory experiments to provide experience for the environmental engineer in the practical application of chemical and biological theory. Design parameters are developed via bench scale testing. Topics include biological treatment, ion exchange, test for total carbon in a solid waste and PARR bomb calorimeter, soil columns, and microbial respirometry. Spring term annually. 3 credit hours



Environmental and Energy Engineering Graduate Level Courses--38

38611 Seepage, Drainage, and Groundwater Introduction to groundwater hydrology, well hydraulics, permeability, seepage, flow nets, filter criteria, dewatering, slope stabilization, practical applications. Prerequisite: 33262 or equivalent. Spring term annually. 3 credit hours

38612 Biological Treatment Processes The study of chemical and biological processes common to environmental engineering. Development of reaction rate and mass balances on biological reactors for pollution control. Topics covered include activated sludge, trickling filters, stabilization ponds, sludge treatment and digestion, disinfection, chemical precipitation processes, biological aerosol formation and decay, and biological solid waste treatment processes. Prerequisites: 38412, 38413. Spring term annually. 3 credit hours

38613 Land Applications of Wastewater Treatment efficiency and design parameters for different methods of treatment of wastewaters by land application. Methods considered include irrigation, rapid infiltration, overland flow, septic-tank leach field systems, and deep well injection. Soil geology and groundwater flow maintenance, monitoring of systems, and public health considerations. Evaluation of sludge disposal. Prerequisite: 38412. Fall term alternate years. 3 credit hours

38614 Stream Pollution Control Principles of limnology applied to the ecological conditions of streams and bodies of fresh water relative to capacity to stabilize organic materials. The economic aspects of water pollution; health aspects of bacterial pollution. Fall term annually. 3 credit hours

38615 Limnology Classification and identification of microscopic and macroscopic aquatic plant and animal life. Chemical analysis sufficient to relate the organisms to their environment. Measurement of the physical characteristics of a lake. Field and laboratory studies on different aquatic systems. Classes conducted at Fresh Water Institute on Lake George. Prerequisites: 72245 and 70231, or 70631, or permission of instructor. Summer term annually. 3 credit hours

38616 Environmental Impact Analysis Studies related to the evaluation of the impacts of major actions by state and federal agencies on the quality of human environment. Consideration is given to the preparation of impact statements. The impacts of various types of action are discussed; the adverse effects produced and alternatives to proposed action considered, and the tradeoffs between short-term uses and long-term productivity are evaluated. Case studies are presented and analyzed. Open to graduate students in science or engineering. Spring term annually. 3 credit hours

38617 Atmospheric Chemistry The course presents important thermodynamic and kinetic aspects of reactions in the atmospheric layer. Consideration is given to transport phenomena in determining atmospheric compositions and kinetics. Applications of principles to upper atmospheric and lower (air pollution) atmospheric cases are discussed. Prerequisites: 72225, 72226, 72245 or equivalent or permission of instructor. Offered on sufficient demand. 3 credit hours

38618 Air Pollution Meteorology Investigation of atmospheric processes of particular importance in dealing with the environmental problems of air pollution: atmospheric turbulence, temperature lapse rates, wind profiles, plume rise, plume dispersion relations, urban dispersion models, wet and dry atmospheric scavenging processes, and inadvertent climate and weather modification. Open to graduate students in science or engineering. Prerequisites: 20202 (or 20203), 72245, 38419 or permission of instructor. Offered on sufficient demand. 3 credit hours

38619 Public Health Occurrence and control of communicable diseases; principles of epidemiology and biostatistics and their application, emphasizing the relationship with environmental factors; food infections and food poisoning; use and impact of pesticides and other methods of pest control; air pollution sources and health effects. Organization of government health agencies. Offered on sufficient demand. 3 credit hours

38620 Hazardous Waste Management I This course concentrates on management issues and study of the fate and transport of hazardous materials in the environment. Management topics are broken down into three broad categories: regulatory issues, those necessary for daily operation of an industrial facility (industrial hygiene, storage, and transportation issues), and preliminary environmental site assessments. Fate and transport issues will be dealt with quantitatively. Prerequisites: 38412 or equivalent or permission of instructor. Fall term annually. 3 credit hours

38621 Hazardous Waste Management II A continuation of 38620. The principal topic discussed is the selection of remediation alternatives and waste minimization. Prerequisite: 38620. Spring term annually. 3 credit hours

38622 Environmental Radiation Safety Controls Consideration and control of the health hazards peculiar to the atomic industry. Radiological units; exposure control; shielding; fallout; toxic materials; shipping and storage; waste disposal; legal aspects. Introduction to criticality hazards. Nonionizing radiation. Prerequisites: 72471 or 38413 and 70231 or 70631 or equivalent. Fall term annually. 4 credit hours

38623 Mathematical Modeling of Environmental Engineering Systems Basic modeling approaches and techniques for the simulation of environmental engineering systems. Model development, system conceptualization and analysis, mathematical representation, solution and simulation, as well as model calibration and verification, are discussed. Problems such as simulation of biochemical reactors and behavior of toxic chemicals in groundwater are drawn from the literature. Ongoing research projects are discussed. Offered on sufficient demand. 3 credit hours

38624 Air Pollution Control The major approaches to air pollution control are discussed from three viewpoints: equipment for particle and gaseous emissions control, control of specific processes and pollutants, control strategies. Emphasis is on control devices for particles, sulfur oxides, and nitrogen oxides; absorption with chemical reaction; wet scrubber technology. Combination with other approaches to develop control strategies. Prerequisite: 38419. Spring term annually, upon availability of instructor. 3 credit hours

38625 Bench Scale Design The design and operation of different laboratory experiments to provide experience for the environmental engineer in the practical application of chemical and biological theory. Design parameters are developed via bench scale testing. Topics include biological treatment, ion exchange, test for total carbon in a solid waste and PARR bomb calorimeter, soil columns, and microbial respirometry. Spring term annually. 3 credit hours



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