ENCN281-23S1 (C) Semester One 2023

Environmental Engineering

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 20 February 2023
End Date: Sunday, 25 June 2023
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 5 March 2023
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Sunday, 14 May 2023


Water quality parameters; mass balances; kinetics; surface water quality modelling; ecological systems; treatment of water, wastewater, solid and hazardous wastes; water quality field activities.

The objective of this course is to introduce students to the fundamental concepts of environmental engineering and their applications through case studies and guest lectures, as well as field and laboratory activities. The overarching goal is for students to understand the potential impacts of engineering activities on ecological and public health with a particular focus on the aqueous environment and water quality.

Learning Outcomes

1. Describe and explain environmental quality & public health objectives and how they are informed by Māori perspectives & values.
2. Describe and explain ecology principles (i.e. nutrient cycles, species interaction) and ecosystem function & structure (i.e. population dynamics, food web); calculate energy & material flows; identify ecosystem services & discuss human influences on ecosystems
3. Describe and estimate contaminant behaviour in the environment using mass balances, kinetics, rates of reactions, hydraulic reactor models.
4. Carry out water quality sampling, data collection and analyses, illustrating the importance of variability, reproducibility, QA/QC (quality assurance & quality control); summarize and interpret the results using appropriate units of measurement & significant figures.
5. Classify water quality (physical, chemical, biological, nutrients, heavy metals); identify water pollution sources and the impacts on the environment and public health; describe and discuss environmental risks/hazards and potential ways to minimise them.
6. Apply the concept of equivalent weights and solve environmental chemistry problems (pH, alkalinity, acid/base reactions).
7. Estimate and describe pollutant/contaminant transformation (physical, chemical biological) in environmental engineering systems i.e. drinking water & wastewater treatment, solid & hazardous waste disposal.
8. Perform laboratory-scale treatment of water samples (coagulation/flocculation) and interpret/explain/discuss the observations & results with respect to water quality objectives.


Subject to approval of the Dean of Engineering and Forestry


ENNR203, ENCI383

Course Coordinator / Lecturer

Simone Larcher


Aisling O'Sullivan and Frances Charters


Assessment Due Date Percentage 
Environmental Quality Problem Solving Assignment (kinetics, mass balance, reactors) 8%
Field study report 10%
exam 40%
Lab Report 10%
Chemistry Review/Alkalninity Quiz 8%
Drinking water, wastewater treatment, soil/ groundwater remediation. 8%
WQ Quizz 8%
Tutorial problems 8%

The field activity is a key part of your first semester of study in the department.  You must complete the field activity and complete a report to pass this course.  The field activity ties into both a 10% report for this course and ENCN201 Communications Portfolio submissions. Repeating students who completed the field activities in 2022 do not need to attend the activity.  Repeating students may carryover their field activity report mark from last year, or may make a new submission with the approval of the course co-ordinator.

You will be allocated to a Field activity session (3 consecutive days) and working groups will be assigned during the Field Activity. If you would like to change the week to which you are allocated please find another student who is willing to swap with you and contact the course coordinator.

Textbooks / Resources

Recommended Reading

Mihelcic, James R., Zimmerman, Julie Beth Auer, Martin T; Environmental Engineering - Fundamentals, Sustainability ; Hoboken, NJ : John Wile, 2010.

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $1,030.00

International fee $5,750.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

For further information see Civil and Natural Resources Engineering .

All ENCN281 Occurrences

  • ENCN281-23S1 (C) Semester One 2023