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Teaching Environmental Systems Engineering

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1998 Annual Conference


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 28, 1998

Start Date

June 28, 1998

End Date

July 1, 1998



Page Count


Page Numbers

3.531.1 - 3.531.5

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Paper Authors

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Terrence E. Dwan

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E. Eugene Mitchell

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George E. Piper

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Carl E. Wick

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

Session 3551


George E. Piper, Terrence E. Dwan, E. Eugene Mitchell, Carl E. Wick

Department of Weapons & Systems Engineering United States Naval Academy 105 Maryland Avenue Annapolis, MD 21402-5025

ABSTRACT The Systems Engineering Department at the U. S. Naval Academy has introduced a track in environmental systems engineering. The track consists of a sequence of two courses. The first course is taught within the Systems Engineering Department. This course addresses areas where systems engineers impact environmental issues. The course concentrates on environmental hardware, sensors, data handling, and modeling. For the second course in the track, students choose from two traditional environmental courses in the Ocean Engineering Department at the Naval Academy. One course centers on marine pollution: its causes, effects and remediation. The other course centers on ocean resources: their identification, recovery and utilization. This paper presents an overview of the Environmental Systems Engineering track and focuses on the Systems Engineering Department's environmental course. It discusses the course philosophy, content, and labs.

1. INTRODUCTION As the country's environmental concerns expand, engineers in all disciplines have to be more aware of environmental issues. Environmental engineering is no longer just the domain of civil and chemical engineers. Environmental issues span the entire engineering profession. To address the growing influence of environmental issues in engineering, the Systems Engineering Department at the United States Naval Academy has introduced a track in environmental systems engineering.

In the Systems Engineering curriculum at the United States Naval Academy, students study the interaction between mechanical, electrical, and computer systems. The curriculum focuses mainly on linear systems theory, feedback control, and mechatronics. It is a four year, undergraduate, ABET accredited, engineering program. Throughout the curriculum students learn how to model, simulate, and design various types of systems.

So how does environmental engineering fit in with systems engineering? This is the most common question asked by our students. To illustrate, consider an agency interested in monitoring the water quality of a river. The agency would compile a team of scientist, mathematicians, and engineers for the task. The scientists and mathematicians would be primarily concerned with what kind of data is collected from the study. The engineers, on the

Dwan, T. E., & Mitchell, E. E., & Piper, G. E., & Wick, C. E. (1998, June), Teaching Environmental Systems Engineering Paper presented at 1998 Annual Conference, Seattle, Washington.

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