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.

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

Environmental Engineering

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 Houston, Texas, and Atlantic City, N.J. 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”

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

  • “The Comparison of Lipid Yield from Microalgae Using Two Extraction Methods”
  • “Optimization of the Voltage Output From a Microbial Fuel Cell”
  • “Bacterial Growth in Pipes”
  • “Stream Restoration Through Fluvial Geomorphology at Blue Bell Farm”
  • “Are Songbirds Exposed to Contaminants from Natural Gas Drilling in PA?”
  • “Soil Properties in a Specific Culm Bank and Impact on Vegetative Growth”
  • “A Petrological Study of Volcanic Rocks From the North Flank of Mount St. Helens, Washington”

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

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
  • The Crossroads Group
  • Suburban Consulting Engineers Inc.
  • Quad Three Group
  • Rettew Associates Inc.
  • Arcadis
  • HDR
  • Hatch Mott MacDonald
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • Aecom
  • IES Engineers
  • Gannett Fleming
  • ERM

Recent graduates have attended graduate school at:

  • University of New Haven
  • Lehigh 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
  • Dino Agustini, P.E., Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
  • Brent Berger, Quad Three Group
  • James J. Brozena, P.E., CFM Brozena Consulting Services
  • Chris Belleman, P.E., Luzerne Country Engineers Office
  • 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
  • Natalie O'Connor (Alum 1998), Alfred Benesch
  • Matthew Peleschak, P.E. (Alum 1999), Systems Design Engineering
  • Steve Cannizzaro, General Dynamics
  • Janet Warnick, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection