Sustainable Engineering Minor

Why Minor in Sustainable Engineering?

" . . . engineers of the future will be asked to use the earth's resources more efficiently and produce less waste, while at the same time satisfying an ever-increasing demand for goods and services."

"Due to population growth and expanded global development, the next generation of engineers must be able design with fewer resources for a wider variety and greater number of end users."

Examples of sustainable engineering include:

  • Design and manufacturing techniques that improve energy efficiency, use recycled materials, minimize pollution, and/or reduce water use;
  • Using methods that minimize environmental damage to provide sufficient food, water, shelter, and mobility for a growing world population,
  • Designing products and processes so that wastes from one are used as inputs to another.

A minor in sustainable engineering can broaden job options. According to the Houston Chronicle, engineers with training in sustainability are often employed by government agencies (e.g. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, NASA), conservation groups, and private industry (e.g. automotive, aerospace, and defense industries and electric utilities). They help agencies and industry reduce their impact on the environment and use energy more efficiently.

What is the Difference Between Sustainable Engineering and Environmental Engineering?

Environmental engineering historically has been treatment-process focused, or end-of-pipe focused: once pollution is created, environmental engineers use principles of chemistry, biology, and physics to clean it up. Air pollution control engineers, for example, design devices which can be used to remove pollution from coal-fired power plant exhaust before it is discharged into the atmosphere.

A more efficient approach, however, is to ask the question: how can we avoid generating the air pollution in the first place? This question leads to consideration and design of sustainable power systems, such as biogas from waste, solar power, and wind power. This forward-thinking approach is the approach of sustainable engineering.

In addition, sustainable engineering, like all sustainable decision-making, emphasizes balancing environmental along with social and economic factors.

  1. Center for Sustainable Engineering (
  2. Davidson, et al. (2007)

Sustainable Engineering Minor Requirements in the UTA Catalog

Sustainable Engineering Minor Application


Arpita Bhatt, Ph.D.
Department of Civil Engineering

Requirements for Licensure or Certification

All discipline specific programs in the College of Engineering meet educational requirements for professional licensure or certification in all U.S. states, territories, and the District of Columbia.


Arpita Bhatt, Ph.D.

Primary Contact


Melanie Sattler, Ph.D., P.E.