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Environmental Engineering

Study Environmental Engineering at the University of Waikato for a career where you'll make a lasting impact on society by helping to protect and enhance our natural and man-made environments, while enjoying excellent job prospects.

Environmental engineers work to protect water, air, soil and built environments. They evaluate and assess options, design equipment and systems, and develop regulations and controls, seek to solve issues of water quality, water supply, waste reduction and disposal, soil and air quality management, and noise.

As the world’s demand for materials, food and energy grows, so does the need for environmental engineers. Environmental Engineering graduates with strong technical and communication skills are in demand, in New Zealand and around the world.

During your degree you will learn how to identify, monitor and solve important problems associated with the environment, resource allocation and use, and sustainability. Our programme is multi-disciplinary, combining the fundamentals of engineering, science, mathematics, and computing, with the study of water resources and quality, earth and ocean environments, environmental planning, modelling and sustainability, process energy and management.

An important part of the Environmental Engineering programme at the University of Waikato is supported work placements into relevant industries. This gives you the opportunity for paid work experience while exploring first-hand the field of Environmental Engineering you could choose for your career.

You'll work on major research design projects, creating products with commercial applications, which are then showcased at our annual Oji Fibre Solutions Engineering Design Show. There is also a focus on developing well-honed communication skills that are such a vital part of the profession.


Students can work in specialised laboratories including the Large Scale Lab complex that features a suite of workshops and laboratories dedicated to engineering teaching and research, such as 3D printing, a mechanical workshop and computer labs with engineering design software.

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Key information

Study Locations:Hamilton, Tauranga
Papers offered differ by location. The Catalogue of Papers has full location info.
Area of Study:

Study Environmental Engineering in these qualifications

Study Environmental Engineering as a specialisation of

Career opportunities

  • Environmental Engineer
  • Water and Sanitary Engineer
  • Public/Environmental Health Engineer
  • Infrastructure Engineer
  • Sustainability Engineer
  • Restoration Engineer
  • Resource/Waste Management Engineer

Year 1

Students must take the following papers: BIOMO101, CHEMY102, ENGEN101, ENGEN102, ENGEN103, ENGEN112, ENGEN170 and ENGEN180.

Year 2

Students must take the following papers: ENGEV280, ENGCV223, ENGCV231, ENGEN201, ENGEN270, ENGEN271, ENGEV241, ENGME221 and ENVPL203.

If you are studying the Diploma in Engineering Management, concurrent with the BE(Hons), you must complete ENGEN272 (in place of ENGEN271).

Year 3

Students must take the following papers: BIOMO203, CHEMY201, ENGCV323, ENGEN370, ENGEN371, ENGEV341, ENGEV343, ENGEV380 and ENVPL306.

If you are studying the Diploma in Engineering Management, concurrent with the BE(Hons), you must complete ENGEN372 (in place of ENGEN371).

Year 4

Students must take the following papers: ENGEV581, ENGEN570 and ENGEN582.

Plus 45 points of electives from: ENGCB523, ENGCV523, ENGEV541 or ENGEV542.

100 Level

Code Paper Title Points Occurrence / Location
BIOMO101Introduction to Molecular and Cellular Biology - Mātai Pūtau a Mātai Rāpoi Ngota Koiora15.023B (Hamilton)
An introduction to the central concepts of Molecular and Cellular Biology, including the ultrastructure and function of cells, the biochemical processes involved, and the role of DNA in cellular function, inheritance and evolution. He whakataki tenei pepa i nga aria pokapu o te Matai Putau, Matai Rapoi hoki, tae atu ana ki te ngota...
CHEMY102Chemical Reactivity - Tauhohehohe Matū15.023B (Hamilton)
A theoretical and practical course covering aspects of physical and organic chemistry. This course is required for the chemistry major. He pepa a-aria, a-mahinga hoki hei tirotiro i nga tuahuaranga o te matuora a-kikokiko, a-paraumu hoki He pepa matua o roto o te tohu matuora.
ENGEN101Engineering Maths and Modelling 1A15.023A (Hamilton), 23A (Secondary School - Unistart), 23A (Tauranga) & 23B (Hamilton)
A study of the fundamental techniques of algebra and calculus with engineering applications.
ENGEN102Engineering Maths and Modelling 1B15.023B (Hamilton), 23B (Secondary School - Unistart), 23B (Tauranga) & 23G (Hamilton)
A further study of the fundamental techniques of algebra and calculus with engineering applications. Includes an introduction to relevant statistical methods.
ENGEN103Engineering Computing15.023A (Hamilton), 23A (Tauranga) & 23G (Hamilton)
This paper introduces computer programming in languages such as the MATLAB language. It provides the basis for the programming skills required in more advanced papers.
ENGEN112Materials Science and Engineering15.023A (Hamilton) & 23A (Tauranga)
Introduction to engineering materials (metals, ceramics, polymers, composites, semiconductors and biomaterials) and their atomic structure and mechanical properties. Includes; elastic and plastic deformation, fracture mechanisms, failure in service, iron-carbon phase diagram, redox reactions in corrosion, production of polymers, ce...
ENGEN170Engineering and Society15.023A (Hamilton) & 23A (Tauranga)
Introduction to the role of engineering in society with a focus on sustainable development, data analysis, holistic systems thinking, and the future of work within a global and New Zealand context including an introduction to the Treaty of Waitangi.
ENGEN180Foundations of Engineering15.023B (Hamilton) & 23B (Tauranga)
Introduction to the engineering design process and computer aided design, fundamental principles of engineering analysis, open ended problem solving, engineering economics and the skills of a successful engineer. Includes a design-build-test experience.

200 Level

Code Paper Title Points Occurrence / Location
BIOMO203Microbiology15.023A (Hamilton)
This paper will focus on microbial cell structure, function, and metabolism. Content and context will be drawn from both human and environmental examples. Students will acquire skills in microbiological laboratory techniques, data collection, data analysis, and report presentation. This paper is required for the Molecular and Cellu...
CHEMY201Organic Chemistry15.023B (Hamilton)
This paper covers aspects of organic chemistry including reaction mechanisms with carbanion and radical intermediates; mechanisms of reactions of carbonyl groups and multiple electrophilic substitutions of aromatic rings, also an introduction to carbohydrate chemistry is provided.
ENGCV223Water Engineering 115.023B (Hamilton)
This course covers the basic principles of fluid mechanics. Topics include fluid statics, fluid dynamics, Bernoulli and energy equations, momentum analysis of flow structures, flow measurement, dimensional analysis, internal flow in pipes and ducts, external flow over streamlined and bluffed bodies, pump sizing and selection, and a...
ENGCV231Geotechnical Engineering 115.023A (Hamilton)
An introduction to the basic principles and concepts of geotechnical engineering, which includes soil characterisation, soil mechanics, site investigation, and the bearing capacity of soil.
ENGEN201Engineering Maths and Modelling 215.023A (Hamilton) & 23H (Online)
Calculus of Several Variables and its Applications. Vector calculus (Green's, Gauss' and Stokes' theorems). Taylor's Theorem in n dimensions. Introduction to ordinary differential equations and methods to solve them.
ENGEN270Engineering and Business15.023B (Hamilton)
This paper focuses on empowering students to become “business savvy” and prepared to enter the workplace and solve real-world problems. Topics covered include; team formation, design thinking, Lean Canvas, project management, Agile, risk management, project finance, professional ethics, preparing for the workplace, and business...
ENGEN271Engineering Work Placement 10.023X (Hamilton)
This paper is taken by students undertaking their first work placement for the BE(Hons). It involves 400 hours of engineering-related work experience. The paper is typically undertaken during the November to February window after completing the two years of engineering study.
ENGEN272Engineering Work Placement 130.023X (Hamilton)
This paper is taken by students undertaking their first work placement for the BE(Hons) concurrent with the Diploma in Engineering Management or Certificate in Professional Engineering Practice. It involves 400 hours of engineering-related work experience. The paper is typically undertaken during the November to February window aft...
ENGEV241Environmental Engineering 115.023A (Hamilton)
This paper covers skills, knowledge and capability for environmental engineers so they can understand, investigate and evaluate environmental engineering problems and solutions.
ENGEV280Environmental Engineering Design 115.023B (Hamilton)
This paper covers mass balances around reactors, biological systems and separation processes used by environmental engineers in the eco-friendly design of chemical, biological and manufacturing plants and water, waste water and storm water treatment systems.
ENGME221Engineering Thermodynamics15.023A (Hamilton)
This paper covers the fundamental concepts and laws of thermodynamics, including thermodynamics properties of substances, first and second law analysis, power cycles, refrigeration cycles and simple combustion analysis of engines.
ENVPL203Urban Development in Aotearoa New Zealand15.023B (Hamilton)
This paper will introduce students to the theory and practice of urban development in Aotearoa-New Zealand cities.

300 Level

Code Paper Title Points Occurrence / Location
ENGCV323Water Engineering 215.023A (Hamilton)
Application of hydraulics and hydrology in water engineering such as design of water distribution systems, fundamentals of flow in open channels, design of hydraulic structures, fundamentals of surface water hydrology, rainfall-runoff models, analysis and modelling of hydrological processes, fundamentals of groundwater hydrology, d...
ENGEN370Engineering and the Environment15.023A (Hamilton)
This paper covers sustainability in engineering design and renewable energy generation through the critical lens of environmental impact assessment, risk and resilience, sustainable infrastructure and development, material and energy flow analysis, emissions, carbon accounting and life cycle analysis.
ENGEN371Engineering Work Placement 20.023X (Hamilton)
This paper is taken by students undertaking their second work placement for the BE(Hons). It involves 400 hours of engineering-related work experience. The paper is typically undertaken during the November to February window after completing the three years of engineering study.
ENGEN372Engineering Work Placement 230.023X (Hamilton)
This paper is taken by students undertaking their second work placement for the BE(Hons) concurrent with the Diploma in Engineering Management or Certificate in Professional Engineering Practice. It involves 400 hours of engineering-related work experience. The paper is typically undertaken during the November to February window af...
ENGEV341Environmental Engineering 215.023B (Hamilton)
This paper covers the design, operation and management of unit processes used in environmental engineering including air, water, wastewater, storm water, waste, soils and noise treatment and control systems.
ENGEV343Ecological Engineering15.023A (Hamilton)
This paper covers the principles of ecological engineering in a New Zealand context including the design, management and restoration of natural and artificial ecological systems that integrate human society with the natural environment to their mutual benefit such as the management of storm water and agricultural runoff.
ENGEV380Environmental Engineering Design 215.023B (Hamilton)
This paper covers aspects of product and process design from the perspective of green engineering and sustainability. The product and process must be safe, sustainable, economic with reduced impact on the environment. Principles of environmental and green engineering will be utilised in the development.
ENVPL306Planning for a Changing Environment15.023B (Hamilton)
The purpose of the paper is to provide students with knowledge relating to the changing environment globally and in Aotearoa-New Zealand and the new ways science, plans, policies, and people are addressing these challenges.

500 Level

Code Paper Title Points Occurrence / Location
ENGCB523Advanced Energy Engineering15.023B (Hamilton)
Application of engineering thermodynamics, process integration and pinch analysis to energy systems including renewable energy systems and energy storage, small and large industrial utility systems with and without cogeneration, distributed and smart energy systems, and green buildings.
ENGCV523Advanced Hydrology and Hydraulic Engineering15.023B (Hamilton)
This paper covers advanced hydrology and hydraulics for civil engineering and modelling techniques, including methodologies of hydrological data analysis, rainfall-run off modelling, hydrologic and hydraulic flood routing, flood plain analysis and planning, and loose boundary hydraulics from river engineering perspective.
ENGEN570Engineering and the Profession15.023D (Hamilton)
The roles and responsibilities of professional engineers are examined. Topics include; project management, leadership, negotiation, ethical responsibilities, legal duties, Treaty of Waitangi, intellectual property and professional communication.
ENGEN582Honours Research and Development Project45.023X (Hamilton)
This paper provides the "capstone" project required to complete an accredited engineering degree. The paper builds on the knowledge and skills students have gained in the first three years of their professional engineering degree and reinforces the multidisciplinary aspect of engineering. Students will learn how to carry out a Res...
ENGEN584Special Topics in Engineering 415.023X (Hamilton)
An independent theoretical literature or experimental investigation of an engineering topic supervised by a member of staff.
ENGEV541Advanced Water and Wastewater Engineering15.023A (Hamilton)
This course covers advanced aspects of design and operation of unit processes in water and waste water treatment, and process modelling and simulation tools such as Sumo19 and Superpro Designer.
ENGEV542Waste Minimisation Engineering15.023A (Hamilton)
Design of processes for the handling, recycling, reuse, treatment and disposal of domestic and industrial solid wastes including treatment plant sludges, assessment and modeling of gaseous emissions, odour, particulates, and air pollution control systems.
ENGEV581Advanced Environmental Engineering Design Challenge15.023A (Hamilton)
Engineering design principles applied to a complex Environmental Engineering design challenge. Detailed considerations in the project to include options evaluation, process selection, detailed design, environmental impact, safety in design, H&S, and risk.

Entry into the BE(Hons) in the specified programme of Environmental Engineering will be guaranteed to applicants who gain University Entrance, including a minimum of 16 credits in NCEA at Level 3 in Calculus. Applicants must also gain at least 16 credits in NCEA at Level 3 in Chemistry and 14 credits in NCEA at Level 3 in Physics.

All other applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis and pathways are available

New to Waikato? The International Excellence Scholarship is worth up to $10,000.

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Work placements are a major feature of the Environmental Engineering programme and you will complete 800 hours of relevant work experience during your degree.

Our  Work-Integrated Learning team actively seeks and oversees your work placement, ensuring a good fit for your area of study and career goals, and supporting you throughout your work experience.

By the time you graduate you will have the credibility of paid experience to take with you as you start your career.

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Our engineering programme pairs perfectly with a Diploma in Engineering Management (DipEM) where you can develop critical skills in business, innovation and leadership to unlock doors into future senior management roles as a professional engineer. The diploma programme dovetails into the BE(Hons), and can all be completed within four years.


School of Engineering
Phone: +64 7 838 4322
Email: [email protected]