Master of Science in Chemical Engineering (MSChE)


Chemical Engineering

Document Type



The Environmental Engineering discipline remains on the forefront of discovery due to advancements in computer technology, advancements in experimental methods and an ever increasing public interest in mitigating the harmful effects of the chemical process industry. Experimental methods have a critical role in defining environmental processes and effects but are limited in their ability to predict future environmental conditions. Conceptual and mathematical models are needed in order to evaluate the effect of environmental conditions far into the future as well as to extend and apply the knowledge gained from experimentation. Models can be used to predict chemical exposure levels, design environmental remediation procedures, and verify our understanding of natural phenomenon. Model development relies on the ability to better identify and characterize the governing processes of a system and to relax the assumptions imposed by historical models. Mathematical models must reflect the needs of those intended to employ them, as well as describe a physical system with an accuracy, as determined by nature, that distinguishes individual scenarios. Key to the successful modeling of environmental systems is to recognize which solution method is best applied, and how to best utilize a computer to implement such method. This research shall employ computer based solution methods to solve several important environmental problems of varying degrees of complexity, including; hurricane induced hazardous substance release scenarios (using the Mathcad mathematical modeling software), nutrient flux and redox dynamics within surficial sediments (using author developed code based upon published algorithms), and contaminant fate and transport through a sediment cap (using a finite element modeling approach, FEMLAB). Environmental systems will be mathematically described by a system of algebraic and/or partial differential equation. These mathematical models are then solved by an appropriate computer algorithm, including the use of 3rd party software and coded routines. Whenever possible, results are compared to literature values as verification. The product of the research includes the tools for modeling the specific environmental problems that have been addressed but also includes a comparative assessment of three very different approaches to modeling.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Danny Reible