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Course content

There is a growing concern for environmental conservation and sustainable development across the globe. To achieve long-term environmental sustainability, it requires innovative solutions to many problems caused by human. These problems include the presence of micropollutants in drinking water, noxious aerosols and fumes in the air, heavy metals and toxic organics in solid wastes that will eventually overwhelm our landfill sites. The scarcity of water resources, the ever-deteriorating air quality in many metropolises, the threat of mounting volumes of waste without suitable disposal sites, and a long list of other critical issues must be resolved through the innovations of scientists and engineers.

Environmental problems are essentially interdisciplinary issues. These issues include the physical process of mixing and dilution, chemical and biological processes, mathematical modeling, data acquisition and measurement. The Environmental Engineering (EVNG) Program offered by the School of Engineering at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) is one of the most successful interdisciplinary research programs in this field of study. The faculty members are leading experts committed to innovative research in a broad range of environmental engineering areas. The Environmental Engineering Program offers a comprehensive curriculum that provides a solid foundation on which students may build careers in research.

The MPhil program seeks to strengthen students’ knowledge of environmental engineering and to expose them to issues in environmental pollution and conservation, and sustainable development. Students are required to undertake coursework and successfully complete a thesis to demonstrate competence in research.

Research Foci
The program focuses on innovative technologies for different applications in the environmental engineering area and seeks to provide research students with an understanding of effective environmental management strategies.

The main research areas include:
-Innovative Water and Wastewater Treatment Technologies
-Solid/Hazardous Waste Management and Waste Recycling/Reuse
-Contaminated Land and Groundwater Remediation
-Indoor and Outdoor Air Quality
-Environmental Sustainability and Renewable Energy

Facilities
The facilities of the Environmental Engineering Laboratories are divided into standard instruments and advanced stationary equipment, as required for different environmental studies. Standard instruments can provide accurate measurements of routine environmental analyses, such as DO, pH, COD, BOD5, ORP, salinity, conductivity, and turbidity.

Advanced equipment includes: a FTIR system with MIR and DTGS detectors for the analyses of functional groups in solid or non-aqueous liquid samples, total organic halogen with ion chromatography system to measure the amount of TOX in liquid or solid samples, UV/Vis spectrophotometer for measuring absorbance or transmittance of liquid samples, florescence spectrometer for analyzing luminescence samples, programmable tube furnace with three control zones for various degree of combustion of different materials, and BET system for the characterization of surface area and pore volume of solid samples.

A relevant central facility is the Material Characterization and Preparation Facility comprising 10 main research groups: surface science, electron microscopy, scanning probe microscopy, x-ray diffraction, nuclear magnetic resonance, thin film deposition, optical characterization, electrical and magnetic characterization, thermal analysis, and sample preparation. Each research group houses state-of-the-art multidisciplinary instrumentation, supported by a team of experienced staff. Major items include X-ray diffraction systems, transmission electron microscopes, scanning electron microscopes, thin film sputtering and evaporation systems, a multi-technique surface analysis system (XPS Auger, ISS), a TOF-SIMS system, a Dynamic SIMS system, scanning probe microscopes (STM, AFM and MFM), FTIR/Raman spectrometers, thin film measurement systems, thermal analysis instruments.

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