Introduction to Environmental Engineering and Sustainability


Acquisition of knowlege to understand of how natural ecosystems work and how humans alter the natural processes.

Explanation of the main environment problems presenting the available technologies for their prevention/solving and results of each one, to ptrovide a higher quality of life

Acquisition of knowledge to evaluate the pollution produced and development of pollution prevention and controlling in order of environment restoration.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Maria Paula Baptista da Costa Antunes


Weekly - 2

Total - 46

Teaching language



Knowledge on environmental problems taught in high school is recommended.


Chiras, D (2006) Environmental Science. Creating a Sustainable Future, 7th ed. Jones & Bartlett Pub., Sudburry

Spoolman, S & Miller, G (2011) Living in the Environment: Principles, Connections, and Solutions, 17 ed. Brooks/Cole

vanLoon, G & Stephen, S (2011) Environmental Chemistry. A Global Perspective, 3th ed. Oxford Univ. Press

Wagner, T & Sanford, R (2009) Environmental Science: Active Learning Laboratories and Applied Problem Sets, 2nd ed. John Wiley, New York

Wright, R (2010) Environmental Science, 11th ed. Pearson Ed., Upper Saddle River


Teaching method

The theoric-practical classes are based on the presentation of several environmental problems in order to develop capacities to understand and solve environment problems. Use of informatic tools (Excel, PowerPoint and FrontPage) to solve exercices, to present homeworks and homepages. Homeworks about environmental problems will be developed by students with presentation and discussion. Classes will be complemented with a tutorial system using e-learning.

Evaluation method

Continuous evaluation.

Evaluation through four multiple choice mini tests (20% each mini-test) and a set of very short work done in class (20%).

Students are required to attend 2/3 of the classes.

FINAL CLASSIFICATION - arithmetic average of the five elements of evaluation, rounded to the nearest unit.

Subject matter

Major trends and global threats to the environment and sustainability. Planetary boundaries and the Anthropocene.

Sustainability concepts. Sustainability objetives and targets. The Agenda 2030 of United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Human population, resources and sustainability.

Ecological principles and sustainability. Ecosystems, biodiversity and natural capital.

Energy and climate change – main challenges and trends. Mitigation and adaptation strategies.

Environmental quality and sustainability- water, soil and air pollution.

Sustainable production and consumption. Materials, wastes and circular economy.

Introduction to environmental engineering practice. Areas of intervention, approaches and tools of environmental engineering. Introduction to field work and data collection and analysis strategies.

Intervention of environmental engineers in companies, society and policy.

The future of environmental engineering.