PhD in Environmental Engineering - Environmental Planning


Program Description


The Ph.D. degree program in Environmental Engineering- Environmental Planning is the advanced degree in Environmental planning and is focused on training students for research and teaching in the areas of environmental planning. Environmental planning is the application of natural and social science to promote environmentally sound development and management of natural resources. It is a broad field, bridging the disciplines of geology, soils, hydrology, plant and wildlife ecology, law, and public policy. The environmental planner plays a pivotal role providing a bridge between specialists and the decision makers. Much better land-use decisions will result if the decision makers are better informed about the environmental effects of alternative actions. Thus, the environmental planner pulls information together from various disciplines and presents it in a form comprehensible to decision makers. This involves working closely with specialists in interactions that draw upon the planner’s background in these specializations. At the regional planning scale, environmental planners analyze the landscape to identify constraints on land use. From these analyses, guidelines and regulations are developed to reduce losses from landslides, earthquakes, floods, forest fires, and other natural hazards.Environmental planners for the site planning review specific development proposals, acting as intermediaries between natural scientists and planning firms to inspire more creative and ecologically informed plans and to help mitigate the detrimental effects of development toward a sustainable one.

Ph.D. Curriculum

The Ph.D. of Environmental Engineering- Environmental Planning requires completion of 36 credits, a set of core courses (8 credits), a set of elective courses (10 credits) and a Ph.D. thesis (18 credits). The main emphasis of the program is on the successful completion of an original and independent research project written and defended as a dissertation.

Comprehensive Exam

Comprehensive Exam should be taken at most at the end of the 4th semester and is required before a student could defend the Ph.D. proposal. Students will have two chances to pass the Ph.D. Comprehensive Exam. If students receive an evaluation of “unsatisfactory” on their first Comprehensive Exam attempt, the student may retake the qualifier once. A second failure will result in termination from the program. The Comprehensive Exam is designed to ensure that the student starts early in gaining research experience; it also ensures that the student has the potential to conduct doctoral-level research.

Ph.D. Proposal

The Ph.D. proposal must contain Specific Aims, Research Design and Methods, and Proposed Work and Timeline. In addition, the proposal must also contain a bibliography and, as attachments, any publications/supplementary materials. The student must defend their thesis proposal to their committee in an oral exam.


A student should choose a thesis advisor (and one or two co-advisors if required) within the first year of being in the Ph.D. program, approved by the Faculty committee. In the second year, a thesis committee suggested by the advisor alongside by the Ph.D. proposal should be handed over for approval. The thesis committee should consist of a minimum of five faculty members. Two members of thesis committee should be from the other Universities at the Associate Professor level. Not later than the end of the 5th semester, a student has to present and defend a written Ph.D. proposal.

Research Progress

A student is expected to meet with his/her thesis committee at least once a year to review the research progress. At the beginning of each university calendar year, each student and the student’s advisor are required to submit an evaluation assessment of the student’s progress, outlining past year accomplishments and plans for the current year. The thesis committee reviews these summaries and sends the student a letter summarizing their status in the program. Students who are failing to make satisfactory progress are expected to correct any deficiencies and move to the next milestone within one year. Failure to do so will result in dismissal from the program.

Ph.D. Dissertation

Within 4 years after entering the Ph.D. program, the student is expected to complete the thesis research; the student must have the results of the research accepted or published in peer-reviewed journals. Upon submitting a written thesis and public defense and approval by the committee, the student is awarded the Ph.D. degree. The defense will consist of (1) a presentation of the dissertation by the graduate student, (2) questioning by the general audience, and (3) closed-door questioning by the dissertation committee. The student will be informed of the exam result at the completion of all three parts of the dissertation defense. All members of the committee must sign the final report of the doctoral committee and the final version of the dissertation.

A minimum GPA of 16 over 20 must be maintained for graduation.

Leveling Courses (not applicable to the degree)

The Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering- Environmental Planning assumes a Master degree in related fields. However, students holding any other master degree besides will be required to complete a few leveling courses, not exceeding 6 credits that are designed to provide a background for the Ph.D. courses. These leveling courses are decided by the faculty committee and are not counted for graduate credits towards the Ph.D. in environmental Engineering-Environmental Planning.

Leveling courses: up to 3 courses may be required; 6 credits

Core courses: 4 coursesrequired; 8 credits

Elective courses: 5 courses required; 10 credits

Courses Descriptions

Planning theories and environment

Course Content

Towards a Decision-centred View of Planning, Application to Environmental Planning, the Roll of Environmental Planning, Social Planning in Change- Practical Applications of Social Sensitivity, Public Policy Planning in Change- Macro-Planning Versus Local Control, Economic Planning in Change- National Planning, Demand Versus Supply Emphases, Values in Planning and Design: A Process Perspective on Ethics in Forming the Built Environment, The Relevance of Public Space: Rethinking Its Material and Political AspectsCost-Benefit Analysis and Evaluating Transport Safety Effects, Designing for Meaning: The Designer’s Ethical Responsibility, Risk, Space, and Distributive Justice, City Planning and Animals: Expanding Our Urban Compassion Footprint

Economics of the Environment

Course Content

Using the Environment an Allocation Problem, Interaction between the Environment and the Economy, Production Theory and Transformation Space, Optimal Environmental Use, Environmental Quality as a Public Good, Aggregation of Willingness to Pay, Abatement Costs in Selected Sectors, Property Rights Approach to the Environmental, Incidence of an Emission Tax, Policy Instruments, The Political Economy of Environmental Scarcity, Environmental Endowment Competitiveness and Trade, Trans frontier Pollution and Global Issues, For Global Environmental Media, Regional Aspects of Environmental Allocation, Long-term Aspects of Environmental Quality, Economic Growth and Environmental Quality, Environmental Constraints, Risk and Environmental Allocation

Analysis of environmental planning methods

Course Content

An Introduction to the Comprehensive Plan, Data Retrieval, and Management for Community Analyses, Demographic Analysis, Housing Analysis, Economic Analysis, Environmental Analysis, Community Facilities and Services Analysis, Transportation System Analysis, Land Use Analysis, The Process of Plan Making

Estimation of Habitat range and characteristics

Course Content

Biodiversity, Biological Conservation, Conservation Research, Diversity and Distributions, Ecoscience, Occupancy in Ecological Investigations, Fundamental Principles of Statistical Inference, Single species Single season Occupancy Models, Single species Single season Models with Heterogeneous Detection Probabilities, Design of Single season Occupancy Studies, Single species Multiple season Occupancy Models, Occupancy Data for Multiple Species Interactions, Occupancy in Community level Studies, Future Directions, Some Important Mathematical Concepts

Sustainable development and resource management

Course Content

Understanding Sustainability Evaluation and Its Contributions to Policy Making, How to Select Policy Relevant Indicators for Sustainable Development, Should Evaluation be Revisited for Sustainable Development?, The Role of Evaluation Assessment, The SIMPLEM methodology, The Case of Trade Policy, The Example of Land Use, Problems of Evaluation Validity and Legitimacy, Sustainability Evaluation Assessment Systems in Different Application Areas, How Informed Should Decisions Be, The Continuation of Politics by Other Means, Science Policy Interface and the Role of Impact Assessments in the Case of Biofuels, Monitoring and Quality Improvement, Framework for Analyzing the Policy Influence of the UK Energy Sector Indicators, Quality and Evaluation, Quality Requirements for Sustainability Evaluations, Bellagio Sustainability Assessment and Measurement Principles Bellagio STAMP Significance and Examples from International Environment, Evaluation Quality in the Context of Sustainability, Developing and Mapping a Community for Evaluating Sustainable Development

Disaster management

Course Content

Identifying the Risks, Natural Risks, Emerging Risks, Governmental Regulations, Structural Preparedness, Coordinating with Local Assets, Preplanning for a Disaster, Eliminating Minimizing and Shifting Risks, Developing an Action Plan, Developing the Written Plan, Effective Communication, Selecting the Right People, Training for Success, Media Control, Shareholder Factor, After a Disaster Minimizing the Damage, Governmental Reactions, Legal Issues, Disability Issues, Disaster Preparedness Assessments, Personal Disasters Use of Criminal Sanctions, OSHA Inspection Checklist, Employee Workplace Rights, Web Sites for Disaster Preparedness, Typical Responsibilities, Potential Sources of Disaster Preparedness and Management Assistance through Local Colleges and Universities

Advanced modeling

Course Content

Fundamentals of Modeling, Transport, Transport Solutions, Transport with Decay and Degradation, Transport and Sorption, Transport and Kinetics, Transport and Equilibrium Reactions, Ordinary Differential Equations: Dynamical Systems, Parameter Estimation, Flow Modeling, Groundwater Drawdown by Pumping, Aquifer Base flow and 2D Meshing, Potential and Flow Visualization, Stream function and Complex Potential, 2D and 3D Transport Solutions (Gaussian Puffs and Plumes), Image Processing and Geo-Referencing, Compartment Graphs and Linear Systems, Nonlinear Systems, Graphical User Interfaces, Numerical Methods: Finite Differences, Stocks and Flows, Numerical Simulation, Water Flows in the Mono Basin, Equilibrium Diagrams, S Shaped Growth, Causal Loop Diagrams, Causal Loops and Homeostasis, Bulls Eye Diagrams, Simulating Material Flows, Introduction to Material Flow, The Numerical Step Size, Simulating the Flow of DDT, The Salmon Smolts Spring Migration, The Tucannon Salmon, The Modeling Process, The Steps of Modeling, The Kaibab Deer Herd, Simulating Cyclical Systems, Introduction to Oscillations, PredatorPrey Oscillations on the Kaibab Plateau, Volatility in Aluminum Production, Management Flight Simulators, Air Pollution Cleaner Vehicles and Feebates, Climate Control on Daisyworld, Validation, Lessons from the Electric Power Industry, Units of Measurement, Math Review, Software, Stella, Dynamo, Vensim, Powersim, Spreadsheets, Special Functions, Special Topics, Spatial Dynamics, Comprehensive Sensitivity Analysis, The Idagon

Expert systems

Course Content

Expertise and Expert Systems in British Land Use Planning, Applying a Rule-Based Decision Support System to Local Government Planning, Using Expert Systems to Check Compliance with Municipal Building Codes, Machine Learning, Expert Systems, and an Integer Programming Model: Application to Facility Management and Planning, Observations on the Role of Artificial Intelligence Techniques in Geographic Information Processing, Probabilistic Inferencing and Spatial Decision Support Systems, Database Integration for Knowledge-Based Groundwater Quality Assessment, Regulating the Municipal Environment Using an Expert Geographic Information System, Use of Knowledge-Based Systems for the Review of Environmental Impact Assessments, An Expert System for the Management of the Water Quality in the Latrobe River, Multi-Domain Expert Systems for Hazardous Waste Site Investigations, NOISEXPT: An Expert System for Noise Control in Very Fast Train Design, Knowledge Acquisition and Representation in Building an Expert System for Archaeological Research and Analysis: ESARA, Testing a Prototype Expert System for Diagnosing Wastewater Treatment Plant Operating Problems, Evaluating an Expert System in the Field: Experience with the CORA Expert System

Urban ecological planning

Course Content

Introduction, Processes, Prerequisites, Knowledge, Synthesis, Options, Dialogues, Master Plan, Presentation, Details, Implementation, Urban Ecology Scientific and Practical Aspects, Environmental Quality Targets, Assessment of Human Biometeorological Conditions, Estimation of Air Quality, Requirements and Possibilities, Development of the City of Poznań and Changes, Heavy Metals Chemical Time Bombs, Vegetation as a Sink, Sanaa Urban Ecological Planning Guidelines, The Social Dimension of Urban Ecology, Community Energy Planning, Integrated Flow Management, Germany Ecology as Urban Culture, Scenario Techniques, Sustainable Regional Development, Ecological Aspects in Suburban Renewal, Improvement of Living, Urban Poverty and the Environment, A Procedure of Compositional Data, Environmental Impact Appraisal EIA, Identifying Urban Soil Sealing, Ecological Planning in the Sustainable Mobility in Urban Regions, The Alternative Means of Transport, Modelling the Ecological Effects of Traffic, The Impact of Land Use Patterns, Car Sharing, Habitat Fragmentation and Roads, Urban Development and the Integration of Nature, An Analysis of the Condition, Assessment of Habitats for Nature Conservation

Environmental policies

Course Content

Being and drivers of change, The roots of environmental problems, Sustainable development and the goals of environmental, Unlimited resources, Policies and paradoxes, Framework, Environmental policy-making in organizations, Environmental policy making in government, International environmental policy, Abroad, Environmental economics, Making policy for the planet

Environmental assessment methods

Course Content

Environmental assessment: purpose and procedures, Environmental assessment methods, Techniques for impact prediction and evaluation, Environmental risk assessment, Consultation and participation: the public role in environmental assessment, Managing the EA process, Quality assurance in EA: ES review and post-project analysis, Strategic environmental assessment, EA in practice, Water, Soils, land and geology, Air, Climate and climate change, Ecology, Coastal ecology and geomorphology, Ecosystem services, Noise, Transport , Landscape and visual , Cultural heritage, Socio-economic impacts 1: Overview and economic impacts, Socio-economic impacts 2: Social impacts, Land acquisition, resettlement and livelihoods, Health, Resource efficiency, Risk and risk assessment, Cumulative effects, Environmental and social management plans

Last updated Mar 2018

About the School

Kish International Campus was established in 2007 in order to facilitate the enrolment of foreign students.

Kish International Campus was established in 2007 in order to facilitate the enrolment of foreign students. Read less