According to LiveScience, environmental engineering is, "the branch of engineering that is concerned with protecting people from the effects of adverse environmental effects, such as pollution, as well as improving environmental quality."

They can help prevent and clean pollution, design ways to clean water, and design green infrastructure. It is a subdiscipline of civil engineering that deals with general infrastructure.

I did not know I wanted to be an environmental engineer until I was halfway through high school. I always thought I would become a teacher because of my love for working with kids. However, I could never really picture myself in a classroom.

My mom, out of the blue, suggested engineering as a future major and career. My automatic response was confusion and distaste. When I was younger, I always associated engineering with heavy machinery, building computers, making gears, or coding.

Although I was not interested in any of these jobs or ideas, I dug a little deeper. I was good at math and science, which is a typical quality of an engineer.

After a few basic “What career would be good for me?” quizzes and searching around The College Board’s website, I stumbled upon environmental engineering. I never knew you could design a way to help the world.

I already had a love and interest in helping the planet, and now I had a major that would amplify that with my academic skills.

Not only that, but I also have been surrounded by environmental engineering for most of my life. I live on a creek next to a bridge. Understanding how the two coincide is a huge concept covered by environmental engineering principles.

I also attended a summer camp that was in danger of closing due to a warehouse being built next to it. This warehouse would have caused major flooding, damaging essential parts of the camp. It was environmental engineers who spoke out and stopped the warehouse from being built.

In my eyes, they were like superheroes.

I spoke with counselors, teachers, and family members and we went forth to tailor my high school schedule to more STEM-based classes to prepare me for a career in engineering. Everybody that I spoke to was in full support of me.

Environmental engineering has allowed me to see the world differently and search for big solutions to small problems you would not normally think about. I now dream of a better world I did not know was possible before.

What’s my goal and motivation now that I am studying environmental engineering? To change the world and make it a better place.

I fully believe that if we can clean up, prevent pollution, and understand our effects on the environment, the world would be a more beautiful place to live in.

Still being a freshman, I have already learned so much from my professors and my Introduction to Infrastructure class. It really has changed my perspective on the world.

I cannot wait to dive into research and bigger projects for environmental engineering. I have already begun to study wind turbines, solar panels, and green infrastructure.

Do you need an environmental engineering degree to change the world?

No.

However, I want to understand and initiate more conversations and knowledge on environmental problems and inspire others to make a difference.

That starts with me and my environmental engineering degree.