Asee peer logo

Location, Location, Location: The Value of Disciplinary Adjacency in Enhancing Environmental Engineering Programs

Download Paper |


2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

Environmental Engineering Division Technical Session 2

Tagged Division

Environmental Engineering

Page Count




Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Phil Dacunto United States Military Academy

visit author page

COL Phil Dacunto is an Associate Professor of Environmental Engineering at the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY. He earned a Ph.D. in the field of environmental engineering at Stanford University in 2013.

visit author page


Michael A. Butkus United States Military Academy

visit author page

Michael A. Butkus is a professor of environmental engineering at the U.S. Military Academy. His work has been focused on engineering education and advancements in the field of environmental engineering. His current research interests are in physicochemical treatment processes with recent applications in drinking water disinfection, lead remediation, sustainable environmental engineering systems, and contaminant transport. Dr. Butkus is a Board Certified Environmental Engineer and he is a registered Professional Engineer in the state of Connecticut.

visit author page

Download Paper |


Since the field was largely born out of civil engineering, most of the initial environmental engineering degree-granting programs began in civil engineering departments. Many have stayed there. However, 10 of the last 25 environmental engineering programs accredited by ABET have emerged in other departments. The rationale for aligning environmental engineering programs with other disciplines can be based on numerous factors including diversity of perspectives within the department, collaboration opportunities, facilities requirements, and efficiency. This study examines the distribution of ABET-accredited environmental engineering programs across departments, to include specific program adjacencies and trends over time. In addition, the study examines faculty perspectives on the departmental alignment of environmental engineering programs, to include the faculty’s overall satisfaction with their program’s adjacencies, and the advantages and disadvantages of its particular alignment. Furthermore, it examines faculty perspectives on the program adjacencies that they believe would be most useful, as well as the reasons why. These faculty perspectives can be used to inform the actions of academic institutions who are forming new environmental engineering programs, or those considering a program realignment. In addition, they can inform faculty in existing programs of potential inter-program collaborative possibilities, regardless of which department currently houses their program.

Dacunto, P., & Butkus, M. A. (2019, June), Location, Location, Location: The Value of Disciplinary Adjacency in Enhancing Environmental Engineering Programs Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--33069

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2019 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015