Wilkes University

Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences

B.S. in Environmental Engineering

Three Wilkes University environmental engineering students take measurements for a project in a local forest.

Environmental engineering (ENV) is not a desk job.

Majors in the field learn and apply fundamental principles of environmental engineering to analyze and solve various engineering problems in areas such as air pollution control, water and wastewater treatment, and solid and hazardous waste management, with consideration to technical, ecological, socio-political, economic, and ethical factors.


GradReports ranked Wilkes University’s environmental engineering program 11th in the nation based on median early-career salaries.

Environmental engineers design pollution prevention (P2) and energy efficient (E2) systems to improve environmental quality by managing resources in a sustainable way.

The department offers opportunities for undergraduate students to gain hands-on and other learning experiences through course work and research. Examples include sampling and analysis of indoor and ambient air, water and wastewater, soil, and rocks and minerals.

Wilkes is one of only a few universities in the country that houses both environmental engineers and scientists in the same department. This unique atmosphere produces high-quality engineers and scientists who have an enhanced ability to work collaboratively with one another.

At Wilkes, you will gain an understanding of how natural and anthropogenic are influencing planet Earth. Our goal is to develop your skills as a strong critical thinker and prepare you for a career in industry, consulting, non-profit, government, or academia.

Cohen Science Center

The 72,500-square-foot Cohen Science Center opened in August 2013. It features state-of-the-art equipment and related laboratory space for hands-on, experiential learning – a hallmark of the Wilkes experience. The third floor is dedicated to research laboratories for biology, chemistry and environmental research, encouraging interdisciplinary connections and faculty-student interactions on teams.

The EEES Department houses the following labs that are used solely for undergraduate teaching and research:

  • Environmental Chemistry.
  • Rock and Soils.
  • Geology .
  • Air Quality.
  • Water Quality/Wastewater.
  • Geographic Information System (GIS).
  • Ash/Cenosphere.
  • Hydrology.
  • Toxicology.

Some of the instrumentation that students will use include:

  • Atomic Absorption Spectrometer.
  • Gas Chromatograph (housed in Chemistry).
  • Perkin Elmer Spectrofluorometer (housed in Chemistry).
  • Hitachi Scanning Spectrometer (housed in Chemistry).
  • Automated Tedelyne ISCO samplers.
  • Wilkes University Student Chapter of the Mid-Atlantic States Section of the Air & Waste Management Association (MASS-AWMA).
  • Wilkes University Student Branch of American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).
  • >Wilkes University Student Chapter of Society for Women Engineers (SWE).
  • >Wilkes University Student Chapter of Pennsylvania Society of Professional Engineers (PSPE).

Students have the opportunity to present their research at conferences in places such as Atlantic City, Houston, Texas, and Quebec City, Canada. Presentations include:

  • “Modeling Compositional Variation in Volcanic Rocks from the North Flank of Mount St. Helens, Washington.”
  • “Community Water Supply and Treatment Project in Cameroon: Chlorinator Design and Development.”
  • “Temporal Changes in Precipitation Chemistry in Northeast Pennsylvania.”
  • "Evaluation of Long-Term Trends and Regional Sources of Fine Particulate Matter Measured in Urban Areas Near-By the Nuclear Power Plant of Three-Mile Island, Pennsylvania."

Additionally, seniors encouraged to conduct their own research have access to the most current environmental research equipment. Recent senior projects include:

  • “Analysis of the Combined Effects of External Loading and Internal Pressure on Pipe Breaks.”
  • “Retrofit Energy Efficiency and Sustainability Design - Doane Hall, Wilkes University.”
  • “Determination of Valuable Metal Content in Sewage Sludge.”
  • “Design and Optimization of Nitrate and Organic Carbon Removal Process for Flow-Through System Applications.”
  • "Analysis of Quakertown Borough Wastewater Sewage Sludge Treatment Options."
  • “Investigation of Various Adsorbents on Phosphate Removal and Recovery.”

The department encourages, facilitates and accommodates student participation in hands-on internship experiences. Students have recently interned with:

  • National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates.
  • Johnson & Johnson.
  • Johnson Matthey.
  • Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.
  • Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.
  • Schott.

Employers of Wilkes EEES graduates include:

  • E&W Equipment Company LLC.
  • The Arro Group.
  • Borton-Lawson Engineering and Architecture.
  • Energy Environmental Group.
  • Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.
  • Tobyhanna Army Depot.
  • The Crossroads Group.
  • Suburban Consulting Engineers Inc..
  • Quad Three Group.
  • Boomi Environmental.
  • Rettew Associates Inc..
  • Arcadis.
  • HDR.
  • Hatch Mott MacDonald.
  • T&M Associates.
  • Pennoni.
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
  • Aecom.
  • IES Engineers.
  • Gannett Fleming.
  • ERM.

Recent graduates have attended graduate school at:

  • Drexel University.
  • Lehigh University.
  • Texas A&M.
  • University of Delaware.
  • University of New Haven.
  • Villanova University.

The Industrial Advisory Council (IAC) members are employers of our graduates and some are alumni of our programs. They play an important role in program improvement by providing suggestions and comments on curricular topics and professional development.


  • Thomas Walski, PhD, P.E. (Council Coordinator), Bentley Systems, Inc.
  • James Connor, P.E. EW Equipment.
  • James J. Brozena, P.E., Brozena Consulting Services.
  • Chris Belleman, P.E., Luzerne County Flood Protection Authority.
  • Angelika B. Forndran, P.E., Cowan Associates, Inc..
  • Lori Girvan, P.G. (Alum 2000), Barry Isett & Associates, Inc..
  • Jeremy Hoagland (Alum 2001), The Crossroads Group.
  • Brian Oram (Alum 1985) BF Environmental.
  • Matthew Peleschak, P.E. (Alum 1999), Systems Design Engineering.
  • Janet Warnick, Tobyhanna Army Depot.

Why is Research Important?

Learn about some of the benefits of research opportunities with Dr. Holly Frederick, Associate Professor of Environmental Engineering.