The rapid economic growth initiated by the Industrial Revolution has occurred within a paradigm of exploitation of nature for the benefit of humanity. However, a rising tide of ecological disasters has convinced society that human well-being is intimately linked with ecological well-being, and that society's long term future is dependent upon an ethic of sustainability. Sustainability requires more than end of pipe solutions, and environmental problems are invariably laden with social and ethical dimensions. The environmental engineer needs skills of integration, communication, and conceptualisation in addition to a traditional engineering background. Such a complex knowledge and skill mix is best promoted by a specially designed program. An environmental engineering degree program must impart the required knowledge and skill base and promote the intellectual versatility to develop appropriate technical solutions to environmental problems within existing ethical, ecological and legal frameworks.

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