Yale Courses

Introduction to Environmental Engineering (ENVE/ENAS 120)

This classic sophomore level class provides an overview of key aspects and processes relating to current environmental engineering fields. There are five core, interconnected topic areas taught:

  1. Fundamental mass and energy balances
  2. Environmental chemistry
  3. Water quality and treatment technologies
  4. Air quality and treatment technologies
  5. Solid waste disposal, hazardous waste, and remediation technologies

I approach the last three topics by first presenting guiding U.S. regulations, which is then followed by quantitative analyses for related process design. As a course capstone, each student is required to write a term paper focused on a key environmental issue of his or her own interest using knowledge from the class. For this, they are required to present regulatory guidelines, energy and mass balance calculations, remediation options and actions, and economic considerations.

Environmental Organic Chemistry (ENVE/ENAS 438/638)

This graduate level course, which I developed and inaugurated in the fall of 2011, explores key physical and chemical attributes and processes affecting the behavior of organic compounds in environmental systems. Emphasis throughout the course is put on both historical industrially produced anthropogenic organic compounds (e.g., TCE, PCBs, DDT, etc.) and emerging contaminants of concern (e.g., pharmaceuticals, explosives, etc.). The course reviews fundamental concepts from thermodynamics to physical organic chemistry and examines the relationships among the chemical structure, properties, and environmental behavior of organic compounds. Processes important to the fate, treatment, and transformation of specific organic compounds, including diffusion, solubility, volatilization, sorption/attachment, and bioaccumulation/biotransformation, are quantified. Equilibrium and kinetic models based on these principles are used to predict the fate and transport of organic contaminants in aqueous environments. In addition to homework assignments and exams, a group (2–4 students) final project is required that includes both a written term paper and/or a team presentation focused on an organic molecule or class of molecules which is, or has been, environmentally relevant.

“Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.”

—William Butler Yeats