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Environmental Sampling And Analysis: A Laboratory Course For 21 St Century Environmental Engineers

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Technology in Environmental Engineering Courses

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.527.1 - 8.527.7

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Paper Authors

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Kerry Kinney

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Howard Liljestrand

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Lynn Katz

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract


Environmental Sampling and Analysis: A Laboratory Course for 21st Century Environmental Engineers

Lynn E. Katz, Howard M. Liljestrand, Kerry A. Kinney

Dept. of Civil Engineering University of Texas Austin, TX 78712


Environmental engineering is evolving from a field primarily concerned with municipal water supply, wastewater treatment processes, and end-of-pipe treatment of industrial wastewater discharges to one in which pollution reduction must be evaluated at the process level. Our undergraduate curriculum includes a class on Environmental Sampling and Analysis. For many years, this class has remained essentially unchanged - a strong laboratory class devoted to learning the standard measurement techniques for the common constituents of concern in municipal drinking water and wastewater treatment. The emphasis on measurement techniques has been on manual, wet chemistry methods of analysis. Over the past several years, we have revised the class to (i) improve the students’ understanding of the relationship between manufacturing processes and environmental protection, (ii) broaden the type of samples to include air and soil samples, and (iii) enhance the students’ understanding of modern instrumental methods of environmental analysis.

To this end, each semester we have studied one to two manufacturing processes. The study of each process included identification of the pollutants of concern, analysis of the production and treatment of contaminants utilizing mass balances, equilibrium and kinetic concepts. Influent and effluent samples from key processes were collected and analyzed using state-of-the-art analytical techniques. Students then prepared interim and final project reports discussing their findings. A major emphasis was to force the students to synthesize the data from different analytical measurements to ensure internal consistency of their results. One of the additional goals of the course was to encourage active and cooperative learning concepts. All of the students worked in teams with rotating project managers. The project managers were responsible for organizing the teams’ efforts and the overall quality of the report.


A graduate from an environmental engineering program (or Civil Engineering with an environmental engineering emphasis) is expected to understand and utilize a wide range of “Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education”

Kinney, K., & Liljestrand, H., & Katz, L. (2003, June), Environmental Sampling And Analysis: A Laboratory Course For 21 St Century Environmental Engineers Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee.

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