University of Southern California

Viterbi School of Engineering

Environmental Engineering — Sonny Astani Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Kaprielian Hall 210
(213) 740-0603
FAX: (213) 744-1426

Chair: Lucio Soibelman, Ph.D.

Associate Chair: Erik Johnson, Ph.D.

Director, Environmental Engineering: Amy Childress, Ph.D.

Associate Director, Environmental Engineering: Massoud Pirbazari, Ph.D.


Stephen Schrank Early Career Chair in Civil and Environmental Engineering: Burcin Becerik-Gerber, D.Des.

Fred Champion Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering: Constantinos Sioutas, Sc.D.

Gordon S. Marshall Professor of Engineering Technology: Roger Ghanem, Ph.D. (Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering)

Professors: James C. Anderson, Ph.D.*; Amy Childress, Ph.D.; Roger Ghanem, Ph.D. (Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering); Erik A. Johnson, Ph.D; Jiin-Jen Lee, Ph.D., P.E.; Vincent W. Lee, Ph.D.; Patrick Lynett, Ph.D.; Sami F. Masri, Ph.D. (Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering); Najmedin Meshkati, Ph.D., CPE (Industrial and Systems Engineering); Massoud Pirbazari, Ph.D.; Constantinos Sioutas, Sc.D.; Lucio Soibelman, Ph.D.; Costas Synolakis, Ph.D. (Aerospace Engineering); Mihailo Trifunac, Ph.D.; L. Carter Wellford, Ph.D.; Hung Leung Wong, Ph.D.*

Associate Professor: Burcin Becerik-Gerber, D.Des.

Assistant Professors: George Ban-Weiss, Ph.D.; Felipe de Barros, Ph.D.; Kelly Sanders, Ph.D.; Ketan Savla, Ph.D.

Professors of Engineering Practice: Gregg E. Brandow Jr., Ph.D., P.E.; Geraldine Knatz, Ph.D. (Public Policy); Henry M. Koffman, P.E.

Associate Professor of Engineering Practice: Amy Rechenmacher, Ph.D.

Senior Lecturer: Dana Sherman, Esq.* (Industrial and Systems Engineering)

Joint Appointments: David J. Gerber, D.Des. (Architecture); Genevieve Giuliano, Ph.D. (Public Policy); Behrokh Khoshnevis, Ph.D. (Industrial and Systems Engineering); James Moffett, Ph.D. (Marine Environmental Biology); James Moore, Ph.D. (Industrial and Systems Engineering, Public Policy); Firdaus E. Udwadia, Ph.D. (Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering); John P. Wilson, Ph.D. (Sociology)

Research Professor: Michael Orosz (Information Sciences Institute)

Research Assistant Professor: Scott Fruin, Ph.D. (Environmental Health, Keck School of Medicine)

Adjunct Associate Professor: Hanh Dam Le-Griffin, Ph.D.

Adjunct Assistant Professor: Navid Nastar, Ph.D.

Adjunct Research Professors: Maria I. Todorovska, Ph.D.; Yan Xiao, Ph.D., P.E.; Dongxiao Zhang, Ph.D.

Adjunct Research Assistant Professors: Jose C. Borrero, Ph.D.; John Caffrey, Ph.D.; Mohammad R. Jahanshahi, Ph.D.; Mazen Wahbeh, Ph.D.

Emeritus Professors: Mihran S. Agbabian, Ph.D., P.E.; George V. Chilingar, Ph.D.; Joseph S. Devinny, Ph.D.; Geoffrey Martin, Ph.D.

*Recipient of university-wide or school teaching award.

Degree Requirements

Undergraduate Program Educational Objectives

Fulfilling the vision of the Sonny Astani Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, the Viterbi School of Engineering and the University of Southern California, our graduates will:

  1. Be successful in their professional careers, become leaders in industry, academia, government or service, while adapting their technical, collaborative and managerial skills for the benefit of Society’s built and natural environments.

  2. Support the advancement of the practice of science and engineering, while maintaining professional standards and moral and legal obligations to society, while being active in professional organizations and obtaining professional licensure when appropriate.

  3. Be prepared to pursue graduate studies in engineering or other disciplines, while continuously broadening their abilities and enhancing their technical skills to maintain their relevance with technological change.

Undergraduate Program Criteria

The program leading to a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering prepares graduates to apply knowledge of mathematics through differential equations, calculus-based physics, chemistry and at least one additional area of basic science, consistent with the program educational objectives; apply knowledge of four technical areas appropriate to civil engineering; conduct civil engineering experiments and analyze and interpret the resulting data; and design a system, component, or process in more than one civil engineering context. The program also explains basic concepts in management, business, public policy, and leadership; and explains the importance of professional licensure.

The program leading to a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering prepares graduates to be proficient in mathematics through differential equations, probability and statistics, calculus-based physics, general chemistry; an earth science, e.g., geology, meteorology, soil science, relevant to the program of study; a biological science, e.g., microbiology, aquatic biology, toxicology, relevant to the program of study; fluid mechanics relevant to the program of study; and an introductory level knowledge of environmental issues associated with air, land, and water systems and associated environmental health impacts. The program prepares graduates to be proficient at conducting laboratory experiments and critically analyzing and interpreting data in more than one major environmental engineering focus area, e.g., air, water, land, environmental health; performing engineering design by means of design experiences integrated throughout the professional component of the curriculum; and to be proficient in advanced principles and practice relevant to the program objectives; including understanding of concepts of professional practice and the roles and responsibilities of public institutions and private organizations pertaining to environmental engineering.

Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering

See Civil Engineering.

Minor in Environmental Engineering

A minor in environmental engineering provides students with a basic knowledge of our environment, potential causes for its deterioration, methods to prevent or mitigate environmental hazards, and the means to improve its quality at reasonable costs. Students will learn how to control water pollution, maintain air quality, treat and properly dispose of wastes, and remediate sites contaminated due to improper disposal of hazardous waste. This minor also enhances students’ employment opportunities in the field of environmental engineering. The program provides the necessary infrastructure for the pursuit of graduate studies in environmental engineering.

The minor in environmental engineering is offered to undergraduates in various fields of engineering and natural sciences.

Prerequisite Courses

CHEM 105aLbL or CHEM 115aLbL; MATH 125, MATH 126 and MATH 226, and PHYS 151L.

Required courses Units
CE 443 Environmental Chemistry 3
CE 453 Water Quality Control 3
CE 463L Water Chemistry and Analysis 3
ENE 201 Introduction to Applied Environmental Science and Engineering 4
ENE 410 Environmental Fluid Mechanics 3
ENE 428 Air Pollution Fundamentals, or
ENE 429 Air Pollution Control 3
ENE 495 Seminars in Environmental Engineering 1
minimum 20

Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering
Emphasis in Environmental Engineering

See Civil Engineering.

Master of Science in Environmental Engineering

See Civil Engineering.

Engineer in Environmental Engineering

Requirements for the Engineer in Environmental Engineering are the same as set forth in the general requirements. See General Requirements for the Engineer Degree.

Ph.D. in Engineering (Environmental Engineering)

See listing under Civil Engineering.

Sustainable Policy and Planning Graduate Certificate

See the listing in the USC Price School of Public Policy section.

Courses of Instruction


The terms indicated are expected but are not guaranteed. For the courses offered during any given term, consult the Schedule of Classes.

ENE 200 Environmental Engineering Principles (3, FaSpSm) Analysis of water, air, and land pollution, including hazardous waste, and engineering of mitigation measures. Water and wastewater treatment systems. Prerequisite: CHEM 105b or CHEM 115b and MATH 226, PHYS 152.

ENE 201 Introduction to Applied Environmental Science and Engineering (4) Gateway to B.S. in Civil Engineering (Environmental Engineering), B.S., Environmental Engineering, and Minor in Environmental Engineering. Fundamental concepts of environmental science and engineering. Pollution control and remediation for air, water and soil. Pollution remediation for developing countries.

ENE 390 Special Problems (1-4) Supervised, individual studies. No more than one registration permitted. Enrollment by petition only.

ENE 410 Environmental Fluid Mechanics (3) Equation of motion; continuity, momentum, energy principles; dimensional analysis, similitudes; groundwater flows; transports in conduits and channels; mixing, dispersion in environments; manifold diffusers; hydraulic transients. (Duplicates credit in CE 309 and AME 309.) Prerequisite: MATH 245.

ENE 426 Particulate Air Pollutants: Properties/Behavior/Measurement (3) Particulate air pollutants, their measurement and instrumentation methods, and their effects on the environment and human health; optical properties and visibility degradation. Prerequisite: ENE 200. (Duplicates credit in former ENE 526.)

ENE 428 Air Pollution Fundamentals (3) Air pollution effects on man, vegetation, materials; pollutant sampling and analysis; air quality standards and criteria; meteorological factors and dispersion modeling. Prerequisite: MATH 245 and PHYS 151 and CHEM 105b or CHEM 115b; recommended preparation: ENE 200 or CHE 350.

ENE 429 Air Pollution Control (3, Sp) Emission surveys; engineering controls of aerosols and gaseous contaminants at emission sources, disposition of contaminants. Field trips. Senior standing. Prerequisite: ENE 428; CE 309 or ENE 410.

ENE 443 Environmental Chemistry (3) (Enroll in CE 443)

ENE 453 Water Quality Control (3) (Enroll in CE 453)

ENE 463L Water Chemistry and Analysis (3) (Enroll in CE 463L)

ENE 465 Water Supply and Sewerage System Design (3) (Enroll in CE 465)

ENE 486 Design of Solid and Hazardous Waste Engineering Systems (3, Fa) Engineering design of solid and hazardous waste facilities such as waste minimization, secured landfill, and hazardous waste treatment.

ENE 487 Environmental Biotechnology and Bioremediation (3) Understanding and designing microbiological processes for environmental protection; learning how processes in environmental biotechnology work; emerging applications for bioremediation of hazardous chemicals in the environment. Prerequisite: CE 210L, BISC 320L.

ENE 495 Seminars in Environmental Engineering (1, FaSp) Hazardous waste management, biodegradation of environmental pollutants, groundwater problems, waste minimization, energy resources, and air pollution control.

ENE 499 Special Topics (2-4, max 8, FaSp) Course content to be selected each semester from recent developments in environmental engineering and related fields.

ENE 502 Environmental and Regulatory Compliance (3) Federal and state environmental laws; environmental impact assessment techniques; permitting for industrial facility construction and operation. Prerequisite: graduate standing.

ENE 503 Microbiology for Environmental Engineers (3) (Enroll in CE 503)

ENE 504 Solid Waste Management (3) (Enroll in CE 504)

ENE 505 Energy and the Environment (3, Fa) Environmental effects of energy development using fossil and fissile fuels, geothermics, photosynthesis, and other sources. Relationship of elemental cycles to the life supporting systems.

ENE 506 Ecology for Environmental Engineers (3, Fa) The role of environmental engineering in maintaining stability of freshwater, marine, and terrestrial ecosystems; macroscopic plant and animal forms as indicators of water quality.

ENE 510 Water Quality Management and Practice (3, Fa) Surface and ground water quality and resources management; water pollution in aquatic environment; water/wastewater infrastructure systems and management.

ENE 514ab Advanced Sanitary Engineering Design (3-3) (Enroll in CE 514ab)

ENE 516 Hazardous Waste Management (3) Standards and regulations for the management of hazardous waste: identification, transportation, monitoring, storage, treatment, and disposal practices.

ENE 517 Industrial and Hazardous Waste Treatment and Disposal (3) (Enroll in CE 517)

ENE 518 Environmental Systems Engineering and Management (3) Evaluating, implementing and managing effective environmental systems to prevent pollution, conserve energy and resources, reduce risks and achieve sustainability in business and industries.

ENE 523 Physiochemical Processes in Environmental Engineering (3) (Enroll in CE 523)

ENE 527 Climate Change and Atmospheric Aerosols (3, Fa) Climate change; climate science fundamentals; Earth’s energy balance and atmosphere; greenhouse gas dynamics; fundamentals of airborne particles; climate-aerosol interactions; particle-radiation and particle-cloud interactions. Recommended preparation: ENE 428.

ENE 535 Air Pollution Management: Exposure, Health Effects and Risk (3, Sp) Pollutant sampling; occupational, community, and personal exposures; receptor modeling; data analysis; health effects of air pollutants.

ENE 553 Biological Processes in Environmental Engineering (3) (Enroll in CE 553)

ENE 560 Environmental Aspects of Oil and Gas Production (3) Environmental aspects of drilling for and producing oil and gas, and the necessary safety practices. Attention is given to the urban areas.

ENE 563 Chemistry and Biology of Natural Waters (3) (Enroll in CE 563)

ENE 580 Applied Environmental Engineering Biotechnology (3) Fundamentals of bioremediation processes; bioremediation technologies for decontamination of air, water, and soil; global applications of bioremediation techniques.

ENE 590 Directed Research (1-12) Research leading to the master’s degree. Maximum units which may be applied to the degree to be determined by the department. Graded CR/NC.

ENE 594abz Master’s Thesis (2-2-0) Credit on acceptance of thesis. Graded IP/CR/NC.

ENE 596 Chemical Reactions in the Atmosphere (3, Fa) Chemical reactions and scavenging processes important in urban air pollution. Effects of solar irradiation on vehicle exhaust gases, oxides of nitrogen and sulfur.

ENE 599 Special Topics (2-4, max 9, FaSp) Course content will be selected each semester to reflect current trends and developments in the field of environmental engineering.

ENE 790 Research (1-12) Research leading to the doctorate. Maximum units which may be applied to the degree to be determined by the department. Graded CR/NC.

ENE 794abcdz Doctoral Dissertation (2-2-2-2-0) Credit on acceptance of dissertation. Graded IP/CR/NC.