Sustainable engineering is built on the application of scientific and mathematical principles and consideration of economic factors that are central to chemical and environmental engineering.
Sustainable engineering principles extend the investigation and development of specific processes or products to consider their full life-cycles and their social and economic impacts in addition to its technological performance. Areas of coverage will include: benign synthesis routes, reaction engineering, plant-based synthesis routes and environmental remediation.
Another area of interest is the role of the environment in public health problems of global dimensions, including the spread of infectious diseases. Sustainable water quality and water quantity are crucial to protecting human health and maintaining health ecosystems. Emerging contaminants, which include nanomaterials, pharmaceuticals and other synthetic organic compounds, pose challenges to environmental health. Urban water quality is a critical component of environmental health, and interdisciplinary research will investigate the linkages among land use, water quantity, water quality and urban ecosystems.
The development of sensors and an associated cyberinfrastructure can enrich this research and also provide a means of public communication of environmental health indicators. With increasing stress placed on finite water and energy resources, technologies for water reuse must continue to be developed and the intersection between energy and water supply optimized.
Sustainable air quality and technologies that provide for clean air will be paramount in a rapidly developing world. The direct linkage of adverse health effects in both urban and rural areas to poor air quality further illustrates the needs for better understanding of this linkage and the development of effective technologies.