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What does math have to do with an Air Quality Engineer?
Question Date: 2005-05-09
Answer 1:

Air quality engineer may be considered as a part of environmental engineering. Environmental engineers are the technical professionals who identify and design solutions for environmental problems. They apply their knowledge of math, physics, chemistry, and biology, and engineering problem solving skills for the protection of human health and the environment.

Environmental engineers provide safe drinking water, treat and properly dispose of wastes, maintain or improve air quality, control water pollution in rivers and lakes, cleanup contaminated land and water resources, and help industry minimize pollution, among many other activities. They work on local, regional, and global environmental problems.

Math comes into play in our daily lives but especially for air quality engineers. Tasks such as evaluation and issuance of permits; calculation of air pollutant emissions, analysis of air pollution control equipment and processes; toxic risk analysis and assessment; compliance audits; emission source testing; rule analysis and evaluation; database development; geographical information systems; innovative technology projects; report preparation, etc, all require mathematics.

For example, companies attempting to obtain air-permits, would request an air-quality engineer to predict down wind concentrations of air pollutants in the air by identifying the pollutants first, and then use computer simulation models to calculate the downwind concentrations of air pollutants and how these pollutants move and degrade or persist in the region. The task not only requires math knowledge but also chemistry, physics, etc.

Answer 2:

I am unsure of all the aspects of a job in which an Air Quality Engineer uses math so I am unable to be very specific, but I am certain that math has a lot to do with the jobs since math is applied in all science and engineering.

Math is encountered everyday. It can be in simple arithmetic or algebra forms or it can become more complex in which college level calculus may be applied. It is also used extensively in making graphs which can be useful in conveying important information to other people. I once wondered this same question myself and as I am working in graduate school I find out more and more how I am applying (or have to review) the math skills I've learned throughout my schooling for my own research.

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