Environmental Science and Engineering Institute


Institute Office: Steinman 107 • Tel: 212-650-8010

General Information

The Institute for Municipal Waste Research, a University-wide institute chartered in 1991, is headquartered in the Grove School of Engineering. It was formed to mobilize the intellectual resources of the university to assist New York City and other urban communities across the nation in finding and implementing solutions to the problems of municipal waste. It conducts research on the generation, treatment, processing, recycling, and disposal of municipal waste, as well as on other related topics. The research encompasses both technical and federal agencies having responsibility for municipal waste, as well as organizations representing the public interest. Areas of current technical interest include improved methods for water and waste treatment, heat treatment of sewage sludge to increase methane production, ground water contamination, incinerator modeling and simulation, and alternatives to landfill disposal (e.g., utilization of incinerator ash in concrete).

Current Research Areas

The Institute is currently involved in several projects that are funded by federal, state and city agencies. These projects are primarily involved with water quality issues. Water disinfection and biostability of drinking water systems are of primary concern. Different disinfection alternatives using chlorine and ozone are being considered. By-product formation and identification during disinfection is an additional area of interest in on-going and proposed projects.

Water pollution control represents another active area of research that is currently funded. As a result of the Long Island Sound Study, nitrogen has been identified as the limiting nutrient of concern in the Sound. A mass balance performed on the Sound indicated that point sources such as discharges from wastewater treatment plants are significant contributors of nitrogen. The Institute, working with the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, is developing and testing innovative technologies that can be implemented at existing treatment plants to improve nitrogen removal from municipal wastewaters. The studies involve bench-scale experiments and demonstration of selected technologies in full scale treatment facilities.

Graduate Study in Environmental Engineering and Water Resources

Graduate programs in environmental engineering and water resources are offered by the Department of Civil Engineering. Students with a Bachelor of Engineering or Bachelor of Science degree can enroll in the graduate program and earn either a Master of Science or a Master of Engineering degree. Professionals who are currently practicing in different disciplines of Engineering may also enroll in the Department and earn a Certificate of Advanced Study in environmental engineering or water resources.

Further information may be obtained from the Civil Engineering Department.