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Environmental engineering education for developing countries: Framework for the future


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This paper presents the existing philosophy, approach, criteria and delivery of environmental engineering education (E3) for developing countries. In general, environmental engineering is being taught in almost all major universities in developing countries, mostly under civil engineering degree programmes. There is an urgent need to address specific inputs that are particularly important for developing countries with respect to the reality of urbanisation and industrialisation. The main component of E3 in the near future will remain on basic sanitation in most developing countries, with special emphasis on the consumer-demand approach. In order to substantially overcome environmental problems in developing countries, E3 should include integrated urban water management, sustainable sanitation, appropriate technology, cleaner production, wastewater minimisation and financial framework.
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Environmental engineering education for developing
countries: framework for the future
Z. Ujang*, M. Henze**, T. Curtis***, R. Schertenleib**** and L.L. Beal*****
* Institute of Environmental and Water Resource Management, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, 81310 Skudai,
Johor Bahru, Malaysia (E-mail:
** Environment and Resources DTU, Technical University of Denmark, Lyngby, Denmark
*** Environmental Engineering Group, School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences, Newcastle University,
Newcastle NE1 7RU, UK (E-mail:
**** SANDEC, Swiss Federal Institute of Environmental Science and Technology, Ueberlandstrasse 133,
PO Box 611, CH-8600 Duebendorf, Switzerland (E-mail:
***** Environmental Engineering, Chemical Engineering Department, Centre of Sciences and Technology,
University of Caxias do Sul, Brazil (E-mail:
Abstract This paper presents the existing philosophy, approach, criteria and delivery of environmental
engineering education (E3) for developing countries. In general, environmental engineering is being taught in
almost all major universities in developing countries, mostly under civil engineering degree programmes.
There is an urgent need to address specific inputs that are particularly important for developing countries
with respect to the reality of urbanisation and industrialisation. The main component of E3 in the near future
will remain on basic sanitation in most developing countries, with special emphasis on the consumer-
demand approach. In order to substantially overcome environmental problems in developing countries, E3
should include integrated urban water management, sustainable sanitation, appropriate technology, cleaner
production, wastewater minimisation and financial framework.
Keywords Appropriate technology; developing countries; education; environmental engineering education;
sustainable sanitation
Environmental engineering education (E3) is comparatively a new discipline in the civil
engineering domain, dedicated to water and wastewater engineering, solid waste manage-
ment, air pollution control, environmental quality and modelling, and environmental man-
agement. In the past three decades, E3 was better known as public-health engineering or in
some cases, environmental health engineering, focussed mainly on sanitary and municipal
waste management. However, since the 1990s the focus has changed to include industrial
waste control and processes retrofitting, particularly with the introduction of cleaner pro-
duction, and waste recovery in syllabus related to industrial waste control. In a few devel-
oped universities, the concept of integrated pollution control, which combines the pollution
medium i.e. water, air, soil and solid, is also part of E3.
Criteria of E3 for developing countries
E3 addresses the needs of various communities and regions. E3 has a variety of targets and
approaches depending on the community being served. Table 1 shows different category of
countries to which E3 is responding, particularly its focus on technology and research pro-
grammes. E3 for developing countries is a new dimension, with special focus on the needs
of developing countries in water supply, environmental sanitation, pollution control and
environmental management. Due to the specific socio-economic conditions prevailing in
Water Science and Technology Vol 49 No 8 pp 1–10 © IWA Publishing 2004
most developing countries, it has progressed gradually with emphasis on low-cost
technologies and simple management systems.
The main challenge of E3 for developing countries, as a field of professional education,
is the fact that 1.1 billion people still do not have access to safe drinking water, 2.4 billion
people lack access to adequate sanitation facilities, and less than half of the municipal
refuse in developing countries is being collected, and even less disposed of in an environ-
mentally compatible way. This leads to dramatic health consequences such as approxi-
mately 4 billion cases of diarrhoea each year causing 2.2 million deaths. This is equivalent
to one child dying every 15 seconds. About 10% of the population in the developing world
is infected by intestinal worms leading to malnutrition, anaemia and retarded growth.
Furthermore, it is estimated that 6 million people are blind from trachoma, and other dis-
ease directly linked to the lack of adequate water supply (WHO/UNICEF/WSSCC, 2000).
Other aspects of E3 such as industrial pollution control, ecological problems and environ-
mental management issues could be listed as the second item in the priority list.
Delivery of E3 for developing countries
In general, the delivery of E3 at university level can be divided into three categories, based
on the concern, understanding, expertise and policy framework, as follows:
Universities in industrialised countries
Universities in developing countries
Collaborating universities in both industrialised and developing countries
Z. Ujang et al.
Table 1 Comparison of E3 between industrialised, fast-industrialising and slowly-industrialising countries
Items Industrialised countries Fast-industrialising countries Slowly-industrialising countries
E3 main considerations Environmental protection Basic infrastructures Basic necessity
and economic growth for economic growth
Standards Meeting accreditation Meeting local Meeting local
boards; international accreditation boards accreditation boards
peer review
Local E3 programs PhD, MSc, BSc PhD, MSc, BSc BSc
Course contents Advancement in E3 as similar to Special emphasis
environmental engineering programs offered on low-cost solutions
in developed countries;
special related to various
local issues
Special requirements Advancement in Address local Address local
related to philosophy of E3 scientific progress issues, particularly issues, particularly
related to environmental related to related to basic
issues industrialization and infrastructures, and
urbanization management system
Special requirements Advancement in Course content Course content
related to course content course contents; should address should address the
flexibility in course the local environmental local environmental
delivery; e-learning issues; low-cost issues; low-cost
high-performance technology
Special requirement Highly qualified Qualified teachers Qualified teachers
related to teachers’ teachers (PhD with with wide exposure with wide exposure
qualifications several years of post- and high level of and high level of
doctoral research qualification (PhD) qualification (MSc)
Financial sponsors Students’ fees and Government Government grants
government grants grants and donor agencies
With regard to the first category, there are several universities and research centres in
Europe and in the United States that have been active for many years in E3 and research for
developing countries. Examples of such universities and research centres are the
Universities of Newcastle, Loughborough, Leeds and Surrey in England, the IHE-Delft in
the Netherlands and the Department for Water and Sanitation (SANDEC) at the Swiss
Federal Institute for Environmental Science and Technology in Switzerland. The main
emphasis in E3 is on the knowledge transfer on basic infrastructures, particularly in sanita-
tion, water supply and solid waste management. The degree of technologies is mainly low-
cost and simple, such as waste stabilization ponds and septic tanks for wastewater
treatment, and composting for solid waste management. In terms of deliverables, this cate-
gory provides good outputs because of the usage of modern knowledge transfer methods,
including lectures, seminars, role-play, video, internet, study tours, and field visits. Some
courses offered also include high-tech and low-cost technologies, by comparing case stud-
ies in both developed and developing countries.
Despite significant contributions made by many universities in developed countries, the
need and importance of the growth of the higher education sector in developing countries
has been widely recognised by major stakeholders in this field. Among other reasons, envi-
ronmental engineering has been considered as a strategic discipline for modernisation and
industrialisation by many governments, such as Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, South
Africa, Israel, Brazil, Pakistan, Vietnam, India and others. In Malaysia for example, three
major research public universities, i.e. Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), Universiti
Kebangsaan Malaysia and Universiti Putra Malaysia are offering environmental engineer-
ing at bachelor level as a major, coupled with civil engineering or chemical engineering. E3
at graduate levels is also offered in these universities, and other five public universities. In
Brazil there are about 50 universities offering E3 at BS level. Most of these are private
institutions. With the new policies, the regional characteristics are privileged and so the
universities can establish better curricula to address the regional demand, respecting the
In the past few years, several universities from developing countries have been actively
promoting collaboration programmes in E3 with major universities and research centres in
Europe, the United States, Australia and Japan. The basis for the collaboration is on the
importance of sharing resources and synergy towards achieving better delivery of E3. For
instance, UTM has been actively participating with European partners, particularly
University of Newcastle, England and the Technical University of Denmark, and Aalborg
University, Denmark on exchange programmes, visiting professorships, credit transfer and
research collaboration. In the year 2000, the Malaysian University Consortium on
Environment and Development (MUCED) was established, funded by the Danish
Government to undertake collaborative effort on E3 at MSc level. Under this framework of
collaboration, the needs for both developing and developed countries on E3 have been con-
sidered and implemented, particularly on research direction and course contents (LUCED,
2003). In the case of MUCED, twelve modules on environmental science and engineering
have been produced, incorporating many case studies, to be used not only by the four par-
ticipating universities in Malaysia, but by others who might be interested. Similarly, the
School for Environment, Resources and Development (SERD) at the Asia Institute of
Technology (AIT) in Bangkok, Thailand, has been collaborating closely with SANDEC in
Switzerland in the field of environmental sanitation.
Between E3 and environmental status in developing countries
It is important to note that environmental engineering is being taught in almost all major
universities in developing countries, mostly under civil engineering degree programmes. In
Z. Ujang et al.
addition, the chemical engineering programme covers non-sanitary components of E3 such
as process engineering, industrial pollution control, waste and materials recovery and
process integration. Since these programmes started in many developing countries in the
1960s, it can be concluded that E3 has been part of the development of the major public and
private universities in developing countries. However, only a few of these programmes
have been taking into full consideration that the physical and especially the socio-econom-
ic situation in developing countries is quite different from that of industrialised countries.
Due to serious constraints in financial and human resources, most cities in developing
countries have not been able to implement full conventional urban water management sys-
tems including sewers and adequate wastewater treatment. They are mostly adopting and
implementing fragmented approaches, which might not be sustainable, to urban water
management with insufficient and inappropriate facilities for water supply and sanitation.
Through force of circumstance, the top priority is to meet short-term needs. Planning,
funds and capacity to adopt a long-term holistic and integrated approach are seemingly not
available. A further contributing factor is that in many instances, services are provided
through the intervention of external support in terms of funding and technology where the
focus was mainly on the present situation using technologies available from the donor
countries, without a mandate to involve the practitioners, planners and researchers in
broader technological and management issues. The result is that water supply, is perceived
as a “stand-alone” issue, far apart from integrated management of water resources, and
health and environmental control issues (Odendaal, 2000).
Between shortage of water resources and environmental degradation
Rapid growth in urbanization and industrialization
In future scenarios further depletion of water resources by a growing world population will
be coupled with environmental degradation due to poor pollution control, particularly in
the fast industrialising countries in the developing world (Schertenleib and Gujer, 2000;
Zehnder et al., 2003). At present numerous efforts have been initiated in many developing
countries to overcome environmental degradation. In Malaysia, for instance, beside new
regulations and policies, a significant amount of investment has been directed into proper
sewerage facilities, centralised hazardous waste treatment and disposal, incineration and
sanitary landfill for solid and hazardous wastes, and river rehabilitation. Other countries
such as South Africa and Thailand have similar programmes with special emphasis on the
implementation of sustainable environmental resources. Waste minimisation clubs, initiat-
ed by the University of Natal, South Africa are a good example of university–industry col-
laboration on pollution prevention and cleaner production (Barclay and Buckley, 2001). In
addition China has implemented new measures based on the Primary Law and Regulation
System on prevention and control of water pollution since 1984, with a revision in 1996
(Zhang et al., 2002). Indonesia is in the initial stage of managing water using a river basin
approach (Ujang and Buckley, 2002).
However, the environmental protection programmes such as the establishment of envi-
ronmental standards and pollution control measures are chronologically implemented fol-
lowing the examples from developed countries, such as Japan, the United States and some
European countries. Generally, the measures taken in developing countries are to replicate
the experience in developed countries without taking into consideration the development of
technological know-how and the progress of environmental awareness among the general
public. For example, in Japan the chronological development in environmental protection
was mainly due to the progress in understanding among the general public on the nature of
environmental and health problems, and the characterization of various pollutants. Thus
the introduction of environmental standards for various kinds of pollutants and pollution
Z. Ujang et al.
control measures were chronologically introduced, roughly once every decade, as shown in
Figure 1. To control organic pollution from domestic wastewater in the 1960s, for instance,
technologies such as activated sludge and biofilm systems were developed and properly
implemented. The subsequent pollutants such as industrial wastes, nutrients, and haz-
ardous chemicals were taken into consideration later in terms of environmental quality
standards and pollution control (Magara, 2002).
It is generally acceptable to say that the appropriate technologies are already available to
treat the series of pollutants as illustrated in Figure 1, in a “package” form without waiting
for the similar stages for implementation as experienced by Japan and other developed
countries, i.e. “technology leap”. At present many developing countries are experiencing
water pollution phenomena as shown in Figure 2, where the growth rate of urbanization and
industrialization has rapidly increased from the 1980s to the present. The four classes of
pollutants (domestic, industrial, nutrients and toxic) are occurring simultaneously and are
not being detected sequentially as in Figure 2. In this case, the environmental pollution con-
trol measures should not be limited to the chronological approach. The effluent treatment
sequence should not necessarily mirror the historical trend in the developed countries. The
conventional end-of-pipe approach should be replaced by an approach which is tackling the
problems at the source (Larsen and Gujer, 2000). Many “advanced” technologies are not
expensive if measured using a cost-benefit analysis taking into account the cost associated
with public health, environmental quality, eco-tourism potential and sustainability of water
resources. As the advantages of “cleaner production” are becoming more widely known,
the linkage between economic development and environmental degradation is being bro-
ken. Thus many developing countries are heading towards “high tech” solutions such as
developing and applying membrane technology for removal of micro-pollutants such as
Z. Ujang et al.
1960 1970 1980 1990
Domestic wastewater
Industrial wastewater
Hazardous chemicals
of water
Figure 1 History of water pollution in Japan (Source: Magara, 2001)
1960 1970 1980 1990
Domestic wastewater
Industrial wastewater
Hazardous chemicals
of water
Figure 2 Current situation in newly industrialised countries (Source: Magara, 2001)
heavy metals and endocrine-disrupting chemicals, and ultra-pure water production for the
electronic industry.
Poor developing countries
On the other hand, many developing countries are facing a very difficult economic situation
with political instability and environmental degradation. In many situations, water
resources are limited and the water quality is deteriorating, particularly in urban areas of
Africa and South Asia. Water pollution issues, however, are not the main concern because
other issues are more pressing such as national or racial security, food availability and epi-
demic control (Ujang and Buckley, 2002).
In general, the problems in these developing countries can be summarised as follows:
Lack of environmental awareness among the majority of policy makers and the general
public create a situation where water and wastewater management sectors are perceived
to be less important than other sectors such as military empowerment, road improve-
ment, electricity, mass education and health care facilities.
Insufficient expertise, leading to gaps between ideal policies and implementation.
Inappropriate policies on the conservation of water resources, such as no legal require-
ment for prohibition of deforestation activities in water catchment areas.
Insufficient funding for water supply and sanitation programmes because of competing
public expenditures due to rapid urbanization and population growth rate.
Insufficient water resources especially in arid and urban areas.
Inappropriate management system and institutional support for providing water supply
and sanitation facilities.
Since conventional approaches to environmental engineering are obviously not able to
make a significant change to the backlog, which still exists in many developing countries
with regard to basic services, the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council has
recently called for a radical overhaul of conventional policies and practices in environmen-
tal sanitation (Schertenleib, 2001).
The importance of developing countries
It has been claimed that developing countries have no role to play in the solution of global envi-
ronmental degradation and depletion of water resources. There has also been a widespread
opinion that the focus of action and the source of reliable solutions lie with donor countries and
agencies, as well as with educational and research institutions in developed countries. Thus,
for the past 40 years or so, various activities towards solving the water and wastewater man-
agement problems of the developing countries have been mainly centred in Europe, the United
States and Japan. On the other hand, students and professionals from developing countries
have enjoyed their education and training in those countries (Ujang and Buckley, 2002).
Research and education
Since the 1990s, many developing countries have strengthened their research and educa-
tion programmes in universities and research institutions, partly in order to reduce the cost
of human resource development (HRD) by reducing the number of students sent to univer-
sities in the United States or Europe. In countries like Malaysia, South Africa, Indonesia,
Egypt, Brazil and Thailand, the main programme of HRD for environmental engineers and
scientists is no longer centred in the developed countries thus opening up an opportunity to
investigate the source of problems in water and wastewater management from within the
society. In Malaysia for instance, since 1995 the number of graduates at masters and
doctoral levels in water and wastewater management has been greater than 100 per year,
from the local public universities.
Z. Ujang et al.
Graduate programmes require students to undertake research. Therefore many new
universities in developing countries are heavily involved in theoretical and applied
research, and in some cases with substantial funding from donor countries mainly
European. This is very important development that has caused a paradigm shift in research
emphasis and direction in the field of water and wastewater management.
In the past, when most of the research programmes on developing countries were con-
ducted in developed countries, the paradigm was more towards helping out the developing
countries from a distance. However, the new paradigm is more on local capacity building in
research and technological know-how as shown in Table 2. Many research programmes
now are initiated based on local needs, targeting the most problematic and polluted sectors
such as, in the case of Malaysia, palm oil, rubber, textile and electroplating, while in
Thailand aquaculture and food-based industries have been targeted, and mining operation
in South Africa.
In this new paradigm, it is important for developing countries to set their own water and
wastewater management research and education priorities. It is definitely not appropriate
to blindly adopt the priorities prevailing in the industrialised countries of the North.
The way forward
E3 in developing countries should cover not only basic sanitation since many developing
countries are facing industrialisation and rapid urbanisation. The E3 program should also
include industrial pollution aspects, such as waste minimisation, industrial ecology and
cleaner production. However, in slowly industrialising countries, sanitation and water sup-
ply will remain as the key components of E3. And it is important to include in the course
content of E3 for that particular sector the existing problems and its problem-solving
To overcome problems faced by developing countries, the water supply and sanitation
programmes as proposed by many experts and agencies should be re-visited. Cairncross
(1992) reviewed the sanitation and water supply programme in developing countries and
suggested many practical lessons for the future. The review was based on the International
Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation Decade (198190) to provide low-cost waste dis-
posal facilities to poor communities in developing countries. The principal lesson was that
progress and continuing success depend most on responding to consumer demand and that
services should not be mainly supply oriented. This is also the basic philosophy behind the
Z. Ujang et al.
Table 2 Progress in E3 and research for developing countries (Ujang and Buckley, 2002)
Period Themes Objectives
1950–1970s • Low-cost technologies e.g. waste • Satisfying the requirements of donor
stabilization ponds, slow sand filtration, agencies
septic tanks • International funding purposes
•Labour intensive systems • Basic public health infrastructures
•Ease of maintenance or upgrading
1980s •Optimisation and upgrading of low- • Rapid urbanization requirements
cost technologies • Satisfying the requirements of donor
• Public health improvement agencies
• Environmental protection • International funding purposes
1990s • Cost-effective-high-performance • Academic research programme
technologies e.g. SBR, membrane • Rapid industrialization
technology and adsorption • Rapid urbanization
• Management system for better • Meeting international standards
• Cleaner production for competitive edge
household-centred environmental sanitation approach (HCES), which has been endorsed
by the WSSCC (WSSCC/SANDEC, 2000).
Since customer demand should be the prime driver, awareness and community educa-
tion became central in providing water supply and sanitation facilities. Governments
should plan and strategise the services and facilities but the community should also take
part in decisions relating to the degree of complexity of the systems to be implemented
(should the payment of services be based on full rate or subsidised?) and the conservation
of the water resources from polluted and unsustainable development. In many places hand-
pumps are used extensively for water supply. Thus the community caretakers should be
trained to accept, use and maintain the equipment.
However, many studies and practical experiences in developing countries are based on
poor communities. Less emphasis is given to rapid growth countries such as Malaysia,
Thailand and South Africa. Since these are the countries where the water quality is serious-
ly degrading due to industrial discharges and non-point source pollution, special strategies
and models need to be developed here. The models tailored for poor countries are definitely
not appropriate, neither are those from the developed countries. The Danish Cooperation
for Environment and Development (DANCED) has vast experience of working in these
three countries, targeting a few key factors in environmental conservation and pollution
control, and vigorously promoting the concept of cleaner production and sustainable devel-
opment. At a lower scale, universities such as UTM, the University of Natal and AIT have
conducted studies to provide models for water quality management. However, more stud-
ies are needed to broaden the perspective and applicability.
Strategy of E3 for developing countries
To overcome the problems in developing countries in water and wastewater management,
some strategies should be carefully considered in E3 course contents and research direc-
tion, as follows.
Integrated urban water management (IUWM)
Integrated urban water management implies an integrated approach in planning and imple-
menting all water-related urban activities and components, includes water and wastewater
management, solid and hazardous waste, economic and social factors, as well as communi-
ty and governance. The urban environment constitutes an ideal platform for pioneering
integrated water management (Odendaal, 2000), and developing countries are well placed
to pioneer this concept. IUWM in practice has been cascaded down to the catchments level,
which is also known as integrated catchments management. Can developing countries
adopt IUWM?
Sustainable sanitation
Sustainable sanitation could be defined as a sanitation system which is technically manage-
able, socio-politically appropriate, systematically reliable, economically affordable that
utilises a minimal amount of energy and resources with the least negative impacts, and
recovery of useable matters. The concept of sustainable sanitation emphasises three major
components: separation at source, decentralisation and reuse.
Appropriate technology
Some aspects of sustainable sanitation duplicate with the concept of appropriate tech-
nology. In general, appropriate means suitable and sustainable. Thus appropriate water and
wastewater technologies mean suitable and sustainable technologies, in this case, for
developing countries. However, what is appropriate in Thailand might not be appropriate in
Z. Ujang et al.
Nepal or Ghana. There are many factors which define the suitability and reliability, such as
financial, expertise, institutional, temporal and environmental factors. Twenty years ago,
waste stabilisation ponds (WSP) were the main sewage treatment processes in urban areas
in Malaysia. However due to financial and technical constraints, especially the cost of land
and insufficient nutrient removal, waste stabilisation ponds are no longer appropriate for
urban areas in Malaysia. The definition and application of appropriate technology, there-
fore, depend on timing, the locality and socio-economic factors.
Cleaner production
Industrialization is vital for rapid economic growth. Therefore many developing country
governments have policies to encourage and hasten industrialization by inviting multina-
tional corporations to invest in their countries and setting up manufacturing plants. In this
situation it is important to adopt a policy of cleaner production in which only clean plants
can be allowed to operate. The ideal goal of cleaner production is zero pollution. In
practice, not all wastes can be easily prevented, treated, reused or recycled using the
state-of-the-art of environmental technology, and there is generally some waste for final
disposal. Thus the objective should be to minimise the volume and toxicity of this waste so
that it can be effectively managed in an environmentally safe manner. Special note must be
taken of local environmental concerns.
Wastewater minimisation
Industrial activities have traditionally consumed large amounts of resources and energy,
e.g. freshwater and raw materials, resulting in significant emissions to the environment.
These industrial emissions have led to local and global environmental pollution problems.
Therefore, the reduction of wastewater from industrial activities is paramount for the sur-
vival of human civilization (Ujang, 2000). Wastewater minimisation in an industrial set up
is a systematic attempt to achieve the following goals:
Reduce freshwater consumption.
Minimize wastewater discharges by reducing wastewater flow rates.
Reduce costs in terms of wastewater management.
Many definitions of developing countries are based on financial grounds. Developing
countries are basically poor countries, and developed implies rich countries. Thus most of
the developing countries are not able to meet the financial requirement for water supply and
sanitation programmes. How can they overcome these financial problems? Soft loans are
not the answer for many countries. And foreign development aid is not sufficient in terms of
quantity and philosophy. Therefore, there is a need to devise a framework for financial sup-
port for developing countries for the 21st century.
Delivery methods
It is also critical to explore the possibility of extending the delivery methods in E3 from
conventional to modern approaches. In principle the modern and contemporary approaches
include adopting information and communication technologies (ICT) to materialise the
concepts of e-learning or global campus. Such innovations will reduce the shortage of
qualified teachers particularly in poor countries. By adopting appropriate ICT, the quality
of E3 delivery will be sufficient, comparable to the materials commonly delivered in many
universities in developed countries.
Z. Ujang et al.
E3 as a professional discipline has developed rapidly, including in developing countries.
Focus and strategy of E3 for the future will significantly contribute to the effectiveness of
E3 in providing professionals, both quantity and quality, in solving environmental degrada-
tion due to rapid industrialisation and urbanisation processes.
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... PhD or Masters Level); • Funding (e.g. student fees, government grants, sponsor agencies) Ujang et al. have compared the engineering education between industrialized, fast-industrializing and slowlyindustrializing countries and its results have been shown in Table 1 [7]. ...
... The degree of technologies is mainly low-cost and simple, such as waste stabilization ponds and septic tanks for wastewater treatment, and composting for solid waste management. In terms of deliverables, this category provides good outputs because of the usage of modern knowledge transfer methods, including lectures, seminars, role-play, video, internet, study tours, and field visits [7]. ...
... level. Under this framework of collaboration, the needs for both developing and developed countries on E3 have been considered and implemented, particularly on research direction and course contents [7]. ...
Full-text available
Improving engineering education is an essential task for development, production, cultural and economic progress, and social services in the future for the most of developing countries. Today, universities can provide the necessary skills and technical progress by proper education and research programs. These programs have a dynamic state in developed countries. In these countries, besides proper education of theoretical and special courses, academic programs and laboratory works are as well considered to further participation of students in industry such that most units passed by students are in the form of laboratory or real time projects. In this paper, efficient environmental engineering educational programs and systems in different countries has been comprehensively investigated and compared with the situation in Iran. Then, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of different educational programs have been analyzed and strategies to make improvement in educational system in Iran in the field of civil and environmental engineering are proposed.
... ). This model is now widely accepted in the scientific community and the sanitary engineering profession (Abdul-Talib et al., 2002; Ujang et al., 2004). ASM1 was developed primarily for municipal activated sludge to model and describe the removal of organic carbon compounds and ammonium-N, with facultative consumption of oxygen or nitrate as the electron acceptor. ...
... ASM1 was developed primarily for municipal activated sludge to model and describe the removal of organic carbon compounds and ammonium-N, with facultative consumption of oxygen or nitrate as the electron acceptor. The subsequent ASM3 model (Gujer et al., 1999; Henze et al., 2000; Ujang et al., 2004) was also developed for biological N removal, with basically the same goals as ASM1. Denitrifying PAOs will, in ASM2, be modeled as denitrifying heterotrophs and small input of nitrate to the anaerobic tanks can be modeled without problems (Henze et al., 2000). ...
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Activated Sludge Models (ASMs) have been widely used as a basis for further model development in wastewater treatment processes. Values for parameters to be used are vital for the accuracy of the modeling approach. The objective of this study is to determine coefficients of the system, and oxidizable nitrogen of palm oil mill effluent (POME). A continuous stirred tank reactor (CSTR), with continuous flow for 20 hours, was used in this study. The DO profile for 11 days was monitored. The total, soluble, insoluble COD and soluble ammonia nitrogen were measured at the beginning and end of the experiment. Also, the coefficients and oxidizable nitrogen fractions are determined.
... Nas décadas seguintes, as questões ambientais ficaram cada vez mais em destaque. Entre os eventos marcantes, destaca-se a Conferência das Nações Unidas sobre o Meio Ambiente Humano realizada em Estocolmo (1972), a publicação do relatório The limits to growth (1972), a publicação do relatório inovador Our Common Future (Nosso Futuro Comum, 1983) e a Conferência das Nações Unidas sobre o Meio Ambiente e Desenvolvimento (CNUMAD 92) realizada, no Rio de Janeiro, também chamada de Rio-92.À medida que os problemas ambientais aumentaram em grau de complexidade, a Engenharia Ambiental foi sendo cada vez mais considerada uma área estratégica para modernização e industrialização por muitos governos(Ujang, Henze, Curtis, Schertenleib & Beal, 2004). No Brasil, seguindo a tendência mundial, a educação em meio ambiente por meio de uma disciplina obrigatória de Ciências do Ambiente passou a fazer parte da matriz curricular de todos os cursos de engenharia a partir da Resolução nº 48 de 1976, do extinto Conselho Federal de Educação. ...
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Environmental Engineering, a relatively new type of engineering, still longs for more information on training and professional performance. Research with graduates can support this debate. This study presents exploratory and qualitative and quantitative research with graduates of Environmental Engineering from EM / UFOP regarding their perceptions about the course, the job market, and the relationship between the content received during graduation and the professional reality. The online questionnaire applied (survey method) identified the need to expand the articulation between theoretical content and real work situations - which corroborates the current trends in engineering education focused on a curriculum based on projects and other active methodologies. The articulation between the theoretical and practical content was also present in the reasons for increasing or decreasing the student's motivation during the course, in the suggestions for insertion of subjects, and the advice directed to the undergraduate students. Extracurricular activities stand out as an instrument for maintaining student motivation and facilitating their insertion in the job market. Graduates enter the market relatively quickly, with 50% of them starting to work in the field in less than 6 months after graduating. However, the largest portion (63%) receives less than the minimum wage. Average wages are higher among graduates with more experience. The results contribute to discussions about teaching Environmental Engineering, to promote the training of better prepared and safer professionals for professional coping.
... The great majority of publications found dealing with the relationship of education with CE did so in general terms and did not consider the subcategories defined for infrastructures (Bowman and Farr, 2000;Russell and Stouffer, 2005;Becerik-Gerber et al., 2011;Bacon et al., 2011;Bhandari et al. 2011;Passow, 2012;Watson et al., 2013a,b;Lozano and Lozano, 2014;Grigg, 2018), except for a small group of publications which mainly dealt with environmental engineering in relation with sustainability (Stokes, 1995, Ujang et al. 2004, Taylor et al., 2007, Dimitrova, 2014, Kov a c and Vitkov a, 2015, Panero et al., 2018and Schmidt et al., 2018. ...
While economic and environmental aspects of civil engineering have attracted the greatest attention among contemporary academy, its social side has frequently been set aside. However, the social impact that infrastructures have is huge and its analysis and understanding are fundamental. At the same time, social aspects such as culture or human behaviour can have significant effects during the different stages of the lifecycle of infrastructures. Therefore, a better understanding of the connections between civil engineering and society can help to better adapt infrastructures to their contexts, as well as minimise their negative impacts; as a result, this understanding can bring about infrastructures that are more socially sustainable. The scarce studies that have assessed the connection between society and civil engineering have considered this relationship as unidirectional. The real scenario is not so simple. The analysis of this relationship needs to be interdisciplinary, and it is in this context that this paper addresses the analysis of infrastructures and of social sciences from a sociotechnical point of view. We draw on the interrelationships found to propose a conceptual framework with the main objective of providing both practitioners and academics with tools to carry out more sustainable and context-adapted decisions. We classify the fields of civil engineering and social sciences into several different subfields, namely six for infrastructures (transport, water, energy, environment, urban planning and buildings) and twelve for social sciences (culture and history, behaviour and mind, communication and interaction, socioeconomics, juridical sciences, life and health, politics, social problems, social groups, ethics and philosophy, arts and education and innovation). Afterwards, we review the existing literature at the intersection between the various categories. We conclude proposing a framework that can support decisions and actions made at different levels and working areas. The framework includes guidelines for a more holistic consideration of the interaction between infrastructures and society in key activities whereby an improved understanding of the effect of this relationship is often required. The guidelines provide a description of different key areas and can be applied to a wide variety of actions ranging from the development of university curricula to the social impact assessment of projects.
... With the deepening development of environmental protection industry in our country, environmental engineering talents cultivation has got more and more attention from society and universities [1][2]. However, our country environmental engineering graduate's employment rate is lower than the same period the national average from the perspective of the employment of current [3][4]. ...
... However, today it has expanded to cover the air, land, water and human environment. Environmental engineering is growing and spreading rapidly across universities in developing countries [1]. National Environmental pollution control technology and control engineering technology development requires environmental pollution control technology innovation system needs more important technical support and personnel support. ...
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Environmental engineering education has been the focus of much attention in recent years. Teaching methods of water pollution control and sustainable teaching innovation and creation was explored by many scholars, and the majority of workers engaged in teaching the course. The development and future of environmental engineering professional teaching requirements of the course was describes in this paper. Diversity of environmental pollution control engineering curriculum innovation of the importance of education was elaborated. the establishment of a flexible operating platform engineering was proposed for the innovation education of the environmental engineering education; and the diversity and the innovation capability teaching platform and systems of creative ability of the education paradigm shift in a sustainable, effective and economical way were explored on the teaching of environmental engineering from the original model to a scientific, humanistic spirit.
Globally, environmental engineering is the professional retort to the overwhelming environmental problems. From its historical development to formal recognition in universities, environmental engineering education has focused on mainly pollution prevention, environmental sustainability, and ensuring the goals of sustainable development. The objective of this education is embedded in human welfare and security. Bangladesh is currently suffering from incessant environmental pollution issues for decades. Although a significant number of legislation and environmental management plans have been enacted, a major gap remains in pursuing the engineering. Inadequate Environmental engineering education hinders in endorsing and devising these laws to be in effect. In contrast with the pressing environmental pollution of Bangladesh, this study particularly addresses the current scenario of environmental engineering education. The aim of this review paper is to convey the need for major amendments in the existing engineering curriculum. To develop a better environmental engineering curriculum and practice, a set of future directives have been discussed in length that would hone in on positive transformations. Ultimately, the appropriate educational changes discussed here should help turn the government's goal of sustainable environmental development into a reality. By preparing future environmental engineering graduates and professionals with befitting environmental engineering and management proficiency, the risk of the growing environmental pollution can be mitigated profoundly.
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This paper describes the planning and execution of a workshop directed to high school students of the Northeast region of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. This activity is included in a research and extension project called New Challenges for the Future Engineer - PETROFUT, implemented in the University of Caxias do Sul - UCS. The goal is to contribute to the motivational aspects related to teaching and learning in science, technology and engineering areas. With a focus on environmental technologies, the generator theme was to produce biogas from swine waste. The teaching strategies involved the application of Active Learning and Problem Based Learning (PBL) methods. The workshop was taught in four weekly meetings, with the participation of around 180 students in 13 sessions. The results revealed a dynamic and active participation of students, making it possible to observe the importance of knowledge transversality. Besides that, several inter-relations with the subjects that are typically learned in high school were established. In addition, it was possible to demonstrate how the engineering, science and technology fields work to solve problems involving different areas of knowledge.
Environmental awareness has received higher priority in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) agenda in recent years. In addition to the recently developed governmental structures, many nongovernmental environmental groups have been established over the past decade. A clear assurance exists now among federal bodies, individual agencies, and nongovernmental organizations, together with their domestic and international alliances, of the need for environmental protection and sustainability. Environmental legislations have been recently passed or are currently underway either at a federal level or at an individual emirate level. This fast growing environmental awareness coupled with the necessary legal support is not accompanied with a similar pace of improving the environmental engineering education (E3) in the country. Higher education institutes in the UAE do not yet have academic programs with the sole purpose of offering E3. This is obviously essential to provide the local market with the appropriate UAE graduates needed for pursuing a career in this field. In this chapter, the current status of E3 in the UAE’s higher education institutes was reviewed through an administrative survey. This was then compared with other similar programs in developed countries. In light of the survey results and the comparative study, a strategy for capacity building of E3 that meets the future needs of the UAE is proposed.
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Full CV with listing of all publications and activities
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Fair fresh water distribution among humans and nature and among all sectors will be one of the main challenges of the 21st century. There is a complex interplay between the different water users, and clear systematics are needed for efficient decision making. Water uses can be divided into four sectors, (i) water for people, services and industries, (ii) water for agriculture, (iii) water for nature, and (iv) water for energy production. A number of water related issues are relevant for each sector, though not all with the same importance. The issues relate either to water quality, water quantity, (urban) water infrastructure and integrated water management, and socio-economics and institutional aspects. Depending on the sector and the issues, there is an appropriate level for actions. Responsibilities for providing water for people, services, and industries must be taken at the local level (communities, cities, districts). Water for nature and the provision of ecosystem services ask for a more regional, national, or even multinational decision-making structure. The demographic development of the coming 25 years will be a challenge for agriculture to satisfy the food needs of all humans. The adequate and just access to agricultural products needs to be internationally guaranteed. Decisions for all sectors and on all levels imply formidable economic challenges, which will accompany human societies for the next decennia.
The concept of waste minimisation clubs was developed in the early 1990s to promote the exchange of experiences between geographically close manufacturers in the implementation of waste minimisation measures. It is a successful approach, resulting not only in a reduction in environmental impact, but also significant financial savings for the companies involved. Two pilot waste minimisation clubs were established in the province of kwaZulu Natal in South Africa in 1998 and 1999, to determine if this approach was a feasible method of promoting sustainable industrial development in South Africa. On conclusion of this project in December 2000, the 20 companies that participated in these clubs had saved a total of US$ 1.7 million, and reduced their water use and effluent discharge by over 2,400 Ml/y.
Water environment crisis is a common challenge throughout the world, and the situation is becoming worse. This paper analyzes the development trend of water environment worldwide, and then evaluates the status of China's water environment and the progress in the work of protection of the water environment. According to the future development of economy and society in China, the paper discusses the severe challenges in water environment that China faces at the beginning of the 21st century and proposes related countermeasures.
The world population is expected to increase up to 8 billion by 2015. Most of the cities in the world are scattered around the fresh water resources. These cities and villages have their own interests and they constitute a power order. Therefore, we have been trying to harmonize these cities and villages in the usage of fresh water resources and the discharging of wastewater as well, by using an engineering means of water treatment. However, fresh water resources, which are essential to our lives, have a constant amount of circulation with a period of one week to ten days. The science and technology of the water environment should recognize the limit of fresh water resources for the sustainable development of society, because the water service industries are the essential infrastructure of the community. In order to implement an appropriate risk management it is necessary to identify the goal of environmental management considering the social, natural and economical conditions. The energy-dependent technologies should be reconsidered to consume less energy and undertake more resource conservation engineering. Water science and technology cannot supply all the answers, therefore more comprehensive water management systems should be developed by other sectors, such as the food production industry.
Integrated urban water management – A vision for developing countries
  • P Odendaal
Odendaal, P. (2000). Integrated urban water management – A vision for developing countries. New World Water, pp.10–12.
Tackling Problems at the Source – Even in the households
  • T Larsen
  • W Gujer
Larsen, T. and Gujer, W. (2000). Tackling Problems at the Source – Even in the households. EAWAG News No. 48e, Dubendorf, Switzerland.
Beyond the summit. The role of universities in the search for sustainable futures
LUCED (2003). Beyond the summit. The role of universities in the search for sustainable futures. University of Natal Press (in press).
On the path to New Strategies in Urban Water Management
  • R Schertenleib
  • W Gujer
Schertenleib, R. and Gujer, W. (2000). On the path to New Strategies in Urban Water Management. EAWAG News No. 48e, Dubendorf, Switzerland.
Membrane technology for industrial pollution control in developing countries: A paradigm shift from end-of-pipe-engineering to zero discharge
  • Z Ujang
Ujang, Z. (2000). Membrane technology for industrial pollution control in developing countries: A paradigm shift from end-of-pipe-engineering to zero discharge. Proc. Int. Sem. on Industrial Waste Pollution Control: Quo Vadis Surabaya River. Institut Teknologi Sepuluh, Indonesia.