Society and Environment

Engineering in the Service of Society and Environment

The engineers trained at Columbia's School of Mines during its early years contributed much in developing the technologies that provided the basic materials to meet the needs of society and paved the way for further technological advancements.

With the creation of a university-wide major initiative in Earth studies, the Columbia Earth Institute, the traditional programs in mining and mineral engineering of HKSM were transformed in the late nineties to include environmental concerns for land and water resources. The M.S. program in Earth Resources Engineering was instituted in 1996 to replace the traditional programs in mining and mineral engineering/extractive metallurgy. The B.S. program in Earth and Environmental Engineering was initiated in the fall of 1998 to replace the traditional mining/mineral/extractive metallurgy programs of HKSM and is now accredited by ABET.

As a result of the vast developments in the technologies and the field of environmental management, in 1996 and 1998 respectively the engineering school created the M.S. program in Earth Resources Engineering and the B.S. program in Earth and Environmental Engineering to meet the needs of a changed society. Students interested in the traditional disciplines of mining, mineral engineering and metallurgy  continue to study these fields through the Earth and Environmental Engineering department course offerings as well as the course offerings through the  Material Science and Engineering program.

The Earth Engineering Center (EEC) is the engineering unit of the Earth Institute at Columbia University. Its mission is to develop technologies that can help in the sustainable development of the Earth's resources: Minerals, energy, water, and the environment. The Research Associates of EEC include Columbia engineers from various disciplines as well as specialists from other universities and organizations.

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