CVEN 4544/5544 – Solid Waste Management – Municipal and Commercial Resource Recovery

Currently, global civilization is producing 2,000,000,000,000 kg of solid waste annually. For perspective, this is equivalent to the mass of approximately 30 billion people. And this mass of annual waste is expected to rise over the next century.

This course investigates the current practices of solid waste recovery and disposal in low, middle, and high per capita GDP countries. Industries that are under substantial pressure to transform, such as plastic recycling and industrial composting, provide commercial case studies to anticipate and propose novel engineered solutions to be adopted in the next fifty years. Inspiration for these proposals will be drawn from recent innovative approaches to resource recovery that have developed alternative industries and careers, highlighting potential industrial start-up opportunities.

Throughout the course, participants will apply organic and inorganic chemistry to detail the properties of the materials investigated, rudimentary life-cycle and process flows to project the material flow, and basic risk assessments to prioritize the waste streams requiring reconsideration and redevelopment. Participants will also have the opportunity to specialize in a single material type, producing a final poster-presentation accompanied by a resource-recovered chair constructed solely of the material.

Offered Spring 2020

CVEN 5484 – Applied Microbiology and Toxicology

This course is intended to introduce environmental microbiology to advanced upper-division undergraduate and graduate engineering and environmental science students. Therefore, the concepts will be presented from the context of civil, environmental, and geotechnical engineering applications to increase utility.

At the conclusion of this course, students should be able to execute the following:

  1. Describe and predict the lifestyle and metabolic capabilities of resident microorganisms given specific environmental characteristics;
  2. Modify and control local environmental conditions to promote a desired microbial process outcome;
  3. Assess the toxic risk of a hazardous waste site and propose potential microbiological remediation processes; and
  4. Identify current scientific descriptors or classifications of the microbial world that are acting as a barrier to our interpretation and prediction of microbial life.

Offered Fall 2019, Scheduled Fall 2020