The master’s degree programs in environmental engineering at South China University of Technology (SCUT) have been offered since 1984, which made SCUT one of the earliest institutions carrying out higher education and scientific research in environmental engineering. In 2004, the School of Environmental Science and Engineering was established. In 2012, the School was renamed as School of Environment and Energy, starting the interdisciplinary development of Environment and Energy.Since its establishment the school has achieved leapfrog development under the support of governments at all levels, the guidance of the Party Committee and administrators as well as the consorted efforts of the faculty, staff, and students. In 2006, the school was authorized to grant a Ph.D. degree in the first-level discipline of “Environmental Science and Engineering”. In 2007, the Post-doctoral Research Station of Environmental Science and Engineering was founded and the major of Environment Engineering was listed as one of the Guangdong Provincial Key Disciplines. After 5 years of efforts, the discipline of Environmental Science and Engineering was ranked 14th in the third-round national discipline assessment and evaluation. The major of Environmental Engineering was authorized by the China Engineering Education Accreditation Association in 2011, 2014, and 2017. In 2016, the National Engineering Laboratory for VOCs Pollution Control Technology and Equipment was approved. In 2017, for the 4th-round of the national key discipline evaluation by the Ministry of Education, the discipline of Environmental Science and Engineering was tied for 8th and evaluated as A-level, leaping into the first echelon of the best subjects in universities of China. In 2019, the school gained the approval for doctorate degree authorization on Resource and Environment. In 2021, the school ranked 2nd in the Shanghairanking's Academic ranking and Environmental Science and Engineering ranking in the country (A+ level). The major of Environmental Engineering was selected into the national first-class discipline construction points.
By September 2021, the school has 98 members, including 78 faculty members, 6 laboratory technicians, 2 engineering technicians, 7 administrative staffs, and 3 teaching assistants.
The school was the first batch of universities to be authorized to award the master's (1984) and doctoral (1986) degrees in environmental engineering. The school was approved for the first-level discipline master's degrees, doctoral degrees an Post-doctoral Research Station in environmental Science and Engineering and the second-level discipline master’s degree in Green Energy Chemistry and Technology. The school is equipped with a comprehensive talents training system for undergraduates, masters and doctors.By September 2021, there are 1453 enrolled students , including 548 undergraduate students,197 academic doctoral candidates, 82 professional doctoral candidates (doctor of engineering), 295 academic master candidates,287 full-time professional master candidates, 32 part-time professional master candidates and 12 international students.
The school has developed comprehensively in pollution control and new energy development for environmental medium such as water, air, solid waste and soil, espeically with a prominent edge in areas such as industrial wastewater management in typical industries, volatile organic waste gas treatment and contaminated site remediation. We have provided technical supports in pollution control and restoration for industrial clusters, among which technologies such as new biological wastewater three-phase fluidized bed, VOCs control, and simultaneous removal of contaminated soil with heavy metal - organic pollutants have reached the leading level domestically.
By crossing and integration of environment and energy, a new research area of the school, Green Energy Chemistry and Technology, has been formed. By applying modern high-precision in situ analyzing technology, the research is mainly focused on the mechanisms of energy conversion and storage, waste treatment and energy technology, and pollution control when utilizing the energy. Major breakthroughs has been achieved in extracting the precious metal in the waste circuit board by in situ microbial reduction and the preparation of high efficiency electric catalyst for hydrogen production, the related results were published in top international journals such as j. Am. Chem. Soc., Angew. Chem. Int. Ed.
Aiming at major demands for pollution prevention and control in key regions of China, the school has developed engineering technologies such as waste gas treatment, metal mining area and farmland pollution remediation, coal-fired power plant desulfurization ash disposal and resource recovery in key industries (coking, papermaking, printing, dyeing and petrochemical, etc.). The school has also formed a mature mechanism for achievement transformation and application promotion under the principle of " Government- Industry - University - Application", and has accelerated the engineering practical application of related technologies. The technologies have been applied in more than 200 practical engineering applications for Shandong Yantai Economic and Technological Development Zone, Guangdong Guiyu Circular Economy Industrial Park, Chongqing Automobile Industrial Park, Tianjin Tiantian Group, and so on, which have produced tremendous economic, social and environmental benefits.
Relying on the national key laboratories, national engineering laboratories, national engineering research centers, the Ministry of Education, Guangdong Province and other national and provincial innovation platforms, the school has formed top talent teams with rational disciplines and age structure. The school adheres to the combination of scientific research and education. Cooperating with universities such as Massachusetts institute of technology, Georgia institute of technology, Rutgers university, University of California - Santa cruz, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, the Max Planck institute, University of Edinburgh and Taiwan university, we have cultivated a large number of high-level talents in related fields in environmental science, engineering technology and planning management.
The school insists on promoting teaching by scientific research, developing scientific research and engineering practice at the same pace, and cultivating leading academic talents with international vision and strong innovation ability, as well as high-level technical talents who master the development rules of the industry and have strong engineering ability. The school implements the tutorial system for undergraduate students and the talents training for all students throughout the whole course. It also sets up various enterprise scholarships and cooperates with enterprises to create a training model integrating Industry – University - Research. By nurturing the undergraduate teaching with scientific research, we pay attention to the cultivation of students' innovative ability. Besides, the school sets up an Environmental Engineering major taught in English to train international general talents. It has cooperated with many famous foreign universities such as Rutgers university in the United States, University of Edinburgh in the United Kingdom, and the University of Western Australia in Australia to carry out '2+2', '3+2', '3+1+1' and short-term exchange training programs. The school offers two undergraduate majors—the Environmental Engineering and Environmental Science and Engineering, and runs two educational reform classes in Environmental Engineering (English class) and Environmental Engineering (3+2 Sino-Australian Class).
Since its enrollment in 2012, the school has aimed to cultivate elite talents with innovative thinking, international vision and ability. Students need to master the basic principles, methods and means of environmental science and engineering, acquire engineering knowledge of water, gas, solid waste pollution prevention and control, environmental planning and management, and excellent English application ability. Except ideological and political courses, all courses are taught in English. The class is in line with international standard with the general teaching materials from famous international universities and teachers all having overseas study experiences. Some courses are even taught by teachers from famous international universities and research institutions. The students of this class show strong advantages in international exchange activities such as participating in international joint training programs, applying for further study in famous international universities, and working in large multinational enterprises. Students who leave this class can transfer to Environmental Engineering Major of Environmental Science and Engineering.
Since its enrollment in 2017, the class has a 3+2 cooperative educational program with the University of Western Australia (ranked around 80-90 in the world). In the first three years, the students would study with students from English Class of Environmental Engineering. By the end of the third grade, the students can go to the University of Western Australia if they meet the credit requirement of SCUT and English requirement of the University of Western Australia. At the end of the learning semester, if the students meet the degree-conferring requirements of both two universities, they can be awarded the bachelor's degree of SCUT and master’s degree of the University of Western Australia. Students who fail to complete the annual credits and English proficiency requirement in the first three years will be transferred to Environmental Engineering (English Class) for further study.
Since its enrollment in 2018, the class adopts the "1+3" training model, which requires students to complete the prescribed basic platform courses in the first and second semesters and then transfer to the following two majors for further study in the third semester:
(1) Environmental Engineering (specialty of Guangdong Province)
The major has passed the national Engineering Education Professional Certification three times in 2011, 2014 and 2017. In addition to training students to master the basic knowledge of principles, methods and means of environmental science and engineering, this major also emphasis on the study of environmental engineering knowledge and technology.
(2) Environmental Science and Engineering
The major of environmental Science and Engineering was set up in 2019, and it is divided into two training directions: environmental science (including environmental science theory, environmental management and engineering practical ability) and water engineering (focusing on water supply and sewage treatment technology and engineering practical ability). In the sixth semester, the major will be divided into the above two directions.
Picture with the outstanding graduates in the 2+2 joint training program with Rutgers University
The college can authorize first-level doctoral and master's degree in environmental science and engineering, and professional degree in the field of resources and environment. The college has many professional tutors, including 63 doctoral supervisors and 80 master supervisors. By July 2021, 246 students have been awarded with doctor's degrees and 1492 students have been awarded with master's degrees. The quality of postgraduate training has been continuously improved, shown by 100% passing rate of post-event sample review of dissertation, more than 150 SCI academic papers published by postgraduates in each of the past three years and 100% employment of postgraduates in the past five years. The international education level of graduate students has also been gradually improved. The rate of students going abroad for further study is increasing. In recent five years, 25 graduate students have been funded by China Scholarship Council and other scholarship funds and went exchange to the University of Washington, Columbia University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Kyoto University, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and other world-renowned universities.
his degree program trains academic doctoral students and academic master students. Since 2010 and 2018, the school has changed from a second-level discipline (Environmental Engineering, Environmental Science, Environmental Ecology, Green Energy Chemistry and Technology) to a first-level discipline of environmental science and engineering to recruit and train academic doctoral and master students. The degree program has seven cultivation directions: water pollution control and purification, atmospheric environment and pollution control, solid waste treatment and resource recovery, Theory and technology for restoration of contaminated ecosystem, Theory and technologies for water pollution control, Environmental ecology, and green energy chemistry and technology.
This degree program trains engineering doctor and professional degree master students. Previously, the enrollment for master's degree was environmental engineering, and the enrollment for doctor of Engineering was energy and environmental protection. In 2020, the enrollment for master's degree and Doctor of engineering was adjusted to resources and environment.
The school meets the major needs of the national environmental protection and new energy development strategy, and focuses on solving the environmental and energy problems arising from the rapid economic growth of the country, especially in south China. Basic and applied research has been carried out in key areas such as water pollution control and purification, atmospheric environment and pollution control, solid waste treatment and resource recovery, ecological remediation, industrial waste water pollution and control, and new energy development and utilization, forming distinctive features in south China. The resulting technology has been widely used and has produced great benefits in social, environmental and economic fields. By September 2021, there had been 20 platforms at all levels, including 1 national platform,1 Key Laboratory of Ministry of Education and 8 provincial platforms, and 10 other scientific research platforms. Over the past five years, the school has received total scientific research funding of 430 million yuan, presided over 5 national key R & D programs and 12 projects, 9 national key programs and 2 tens of millions of horizontal programs.
The school exerts its advantages of the whole process, integrated pollution control of 'emission reduction at the sources, process control, and end treatment', actively provides social services, and strongly supports the national and local economic and social development and ecological civilization construction.
A number of scientific and technological achievements, such as industrial waste water treatment and reuse technology, industrial waste gas purification technology, solid waste treatment and resource utilization, and ecological restoration of polluted sites, have been promoted, transferred and industrialized, and have been applied in more than 200 practical projects nationwide, boosting the rapid and benign development of a number of emerging enterprises, six of which are about to be listed, and creating huge benefits in economic, social and environmental fields.
The college actively hosts or sponsors the 4th Rapid Economic Development of Regional Air Quality Management Strategies of International Academic Conferences, the 7th China-Japan Academic Conference on Environmental Catalysis and Ecological Material, the 8th National Conference on Environmental Chemistry, the 12th National Conference on Water treatment and chemistry, and other important academic conferences, which has made important contributions to the academic exchanges and development in the field of environment.
The school has published three popular science books, conducted more than 140 popular science lectures and more than 40 technical training sessions, received primary and secondary school students to visit laboratories for more than 20 times, published 198 related blog posts on science network (with a click rate of nearly 2 million times). Moreover，the course of Environment and Ecology was selected into the first batch of national high-quality video open courses.
Suggestions on VOCs control in the 'Ten National Measures for The Prevention and Control of Air Pollution', VOCs control countermeasures in the 12th Five-Year Plan for National Environmental Protection, and guidance on VOCs comprehensive pollution prevention and control work have been formed. Six national and local VOCs emission standards for typical industries have been formulated, which has promoted leading automobile manufacturers to invest tens of billions of yuan on VOCs control.