Future engineers go green

by Christine Whitman, Senior Staff Writer

San Diego State offers tons of majors to choose from, but many students don’t know about the variety of “green” majors the university offers. One such major is environmental engineering.

SDSU offers a bachelor’s degree of science in environmental engineering, part of the college of engineering.

The mission of the environmental engineering department is written in the general catalog as follows: “The objective of the program is to give the student a basic knowledge of environmental engineering, as well as the inter-disciplinary background and skills to meaningfully participate in and contribute technical advances toward this profession.”

Each student decides to become an environmental engineer for a variety of reasons. Environmental engineering senior Patrick Poon said his experience growing up in Hong Kong pushed him to choose the major.

“Living in a place full of environmental problems motivated me to become an environmental engineer in order to provide a better environment for people to live in,” Poon said.

Environmental engineering senior Lauren Breitenbach has a different reason as to why she chose to pursue the degree.

“There are not many females in the STEM fields, and I look to break that major glass ceiling by encouraging more women to major in math or science,” Breitenbach said.

It’s important to consider that the environmental engineering major is an impacted program.  In order to be admitted, a student must complete a series of classes with a grade of C or better and have an overall cumulative GPA of a 2.1 or better.

The major offers a variety of labs, seminars, experimental topics and projects at the upper-division level to suit all students’ learning needs. When a student in the environmental engineering field becomes a senior, he or she has the opportunity to work with students in both the civil and construction emphases for the final project.

“I like the department because it provides me with practical experience,” Poon said. “Some of the professors have actual field experience along with their theoretical background.”