Integrated Water Management

Course Information

The Master of Engineering Leadership (MEL) in Integrated Water Management offers a bold approach to professional graduate education in engineering and environmental science. Seventy per cent of the courses you’ll take are technical in nature and offered through the UBC Faculty of Applied Science. The remaining 30 per cent are business courses offered through UBC Sauder’s Robert H. Lee Graduate School.

Many courses use a flipped classroom format. This means you are expected to independently review course content ahead of classroom time through assigned readings and lecture videos. The classes themselves are then an opportunity for engaged learning – discussing and applying what you’ve learned through case studies, group project work, experiments and demonstrations.

Course Overview

integrated water management courses

Part-Time Study Class Schedule

While there is some flexibility, if you’re completing the MEL in Integrated Water Management part time over 24 months, you will generally take your business leadership classes and two technical electives in the first 12-month period. In the second year of the program, you will typically complete your core technical classes. Over the two years of part-time study, you’ll attend classes alongside both full-time and part-time students, giving you enhanced opportunities to build your professional network.

Winter term: January to April

You must choose two electives during the program. Either both electives in the Winter Term, or one during the Winter Term and one during the Fall Term:

IWME Technical Elective*

IWME 503: Chemical & Biological Water Treatment Design

This course introduces students to the chemical and biological technologies used for treating industrial wastewater. A basic understanding of the chemistry of industrial wastewater is fundamental to selecting the appropriate technology for treatment. Additionally, the course will provide students with knowledge and understanding of how to select, design, model and optimize a variety of processes for removing constituents of concern from wastewater produced in industries such as mining, oil and gas, pulp and paper, agriculture, and food and beverage.

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • Understand the fundamentals of chemical and biological treatment of industrial water.
  • Apply fundamental engineering approaches to designing and modelling industrial water treatment processes.
  • Use advanced concepts and techniques to analyse the dynamics of complex multispecies interactions.
  • Evaluate actual industrial water treatment processes through case studies.
  • Carry out a conceptual design of an industrial water treatment process in a term project.

APPP 503: Organizational Leadership

Understand the behaviour of people and groups and how this applies to management and leadership within professional organizations. This course explores motivation, group dynamics, organizational structure, leadership styles and tools for assessing organizational effectiveness. The course is collaboratively delivered with the Faculty of Commerce and Business Administration.

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • Apply theoretical principles of leadership and organization behaviour in a variety of organizational contexts and industries.
  • Diagnose organizational behaviour and people management challenges and find solutions that deliver business results and ensure employee engagement.
  • Understand what it takes to build effective manager-employee relationships, given the realities of power, motivation and commitment in an organizational setting.
  • Develop and present recommendations for organizational leadership challenges using the case study analysis approach.

BA 580B: Strategy & Innovation

This course provides an introduction to the principles and frameworks of strategic management, as well as concepts surrounding the creation or expansion of innovation capabilities, within organizations. Strategic management involves analysis, planning and execution of initiatives that achieve objectives in support of organizational goals. Innovation generally involves the development of revolutionary new or evolutionary improvements to existing ideas, methods, products, services, or combinations thereof that are adopted. The course will also consider the changing nature of organizational strategy and innovation in an environment of increasing globalization, digitization and automation. Entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship will be recurring themes throughout the course. The course will emphasize actionable lessons and models that students, regardless of their professional or academic backgrounds, can apply in practice to create tangible and valuable outcomes across organizational types, growth stages, and industries.

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • Understand strategic decision making and organization innovation processes.
  • Analyze business situations using relevant concepts and tools.
  • Understand business approaches for managing strategy and innovation programs and projects.
  • Create and present plans for solutions to organizationally important challenges.
  • Communicate effectively about planning and delivering on strategy and innovation.

Summer term: May to August

IWME 501: Environmental Fluid Mechanics – May & June

The course will introduce students to the basic principles of environmental fluid mechanics with emphasis on the effects of density stratification on flows in the environment. An understanding of the water quality, chemistry and biology of aquatics systems is not possible without a thorough grasp of the fluid mechanics of those systems. Case studies will emphasize the fundamental importance of environmental fluid mechanics to the management of aquatic systems. Topics include governing equations for incompressible, non-rotating flows of variable density, equations of motion for stratified fluids, selective withdrawal, flow over topography, estuarine and exchange flows and hydrodynamic stability.

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • Develop a basic understanding of Environmental Fluid Mechanics and its relevance in Engineering practice.
  • Develop an understanding of the basic principles of density stratified flows.
  • Solve practical deterministic problems of environmental concern in inland and coastal waters.

IWME 502: Engineering Hydrology – May & June

This course will provide comprehensive coverage of the mechanisms governing water flow in a full suite of environmental situations. It will include physical and statistical prediction methods for design related to hydrologic systems, precipitation, evaporation, snow hydrology, infiltration and base flow, surface runoff, channel and storage routing and unit hydrograph methods.

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • Have a good understanding of the hydrological cycle.
  • Know the driving physical processes behind the most important fluxes.
  • Relate hydrological fluxes and storages to global issues.
  • Critically evaluate hydrological models and data and their uncertainties.
  • Know various methods by which hydrological data is collected.

APPP 504: Business Acumen for Technical Leaders

An asset to the aspiring technical leader, business acumen is knowing how business works and applying that knowledge with the goal of business improvement. This course offers an elevated perspective of how technical skills contribute to building value in a business. The course immerses aspiring technical leaders in the practical application of core business skills and the development of six core business competencies, which are presented as modules: Managerial Accounting, Strategy and Performance, Market Evaluation, Operations Management, Negotiations and Contract Management and Business-Case Building and Valuation. This course is collaboratively delivered with the Faculty of Commerce and Business Administration.

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • Apply theoretical principles of business in a variety of contexts.
  • Analyze and discuss common business situations encountered by managers from multiple angles using the case study analysis approach.
  • Appreciate the importance of each of the functional areas, as well as the inter-connectedness of business decision-making.
  • Appreciate the importance of excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Understand the importance of effective team work and strong ethical standards in management.
  • Plan and present effective and meaningful presentations.

Fall term: September to December

You must choose two electives during the program. Either both electives in the Winter Term, or one during the Winter Term and one during the Fall Term:

IWME Technical Elective*

IWME 504: Water & Wastewater Management Strategies

An understanding of microbial and chemical water quality is essential for any professional who wants to practice in the field. This course discusses the nature of contaminants, their sources and the techniques and analytical procedures for assessing and monitoring chemical and microbiological water quality. Equally important is a thorough understanding of water quality standards and current regulations around water and wastewater. The course will also deepen students’ ability to understand, analyze and quantify risk and asset management – crucial knowledge and part of a skill set that every water professional must have.

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • Have a high level overview on water and wastewater management, in a way that is relevant to engineers and plant managers.
  • Apply understandings of physical, chemical, and biological characteristics and knowledge towards sustainable management practices.
  • Describe and conduct analyses on water safety plans, system vulnerability, and asset management for water systems.
  • Describe and distinguish between different stakeholder perspectives on major water issues.

IWME 505: Water Resources Systems Planning & Management

This course explores the art and science of modelling for integrated water resources planning and optimization technologies and risk management techniques for day-to-day operations. The syllabus includes key aspects of optimization theory, currently used modelling technologies, strategies and techniques for problem formulation, design, validation and implementation of practical simulation and optimization models and risk-informed decision-making frameworks in stakeholder processes using real-life examples and applications.

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • Formulate, build and deploy commercially available simulation and optimization modeling systems for the analysis of water resources planning and management problems.
  • Solve deterministic and stochastic simulation and optimization models for the analysis of water resources systems.
  • Structure and apply risk informed decision making frameworks and stakeholder processes for water resources systems planning and management.

UBC Sauder School of Business Courses

Students can choose a UBC Sauder Business Course to gain greater exposure to a particular area of interest. Options include (subject to change):

BA580B – 201: Strategy & Innovation

This course provides an introduction to the principles and frameworks of strategic management, as well as concepts surrounding the creation or expansion of innovation capabilities, within organizations.

BASC 550: Operations and Logistics

This course will introduce students to the key concepts and tools needed to understand and effectively manage supply chains and business operations in general. A key concept in this course is the “business process”, and managing and improving such processes.

BAMA 505-001: Business Development

This course uses the Business Development = Sales = Essential skill for business people = everyone today is in the business of selling thinking. This course is focused on the learning of foundational skills with the intention of enabling students to create better and more successful selling encounters in whatever career they pursue.

APPP 502: Sustainability & Leadership

This course helps students build skills to lead change that influences the triple bottom line and explores concepts related to sustainability, change agency systems thinking, awareness and perspective for engagement and communication, adaptive leadership, and change dynamics. It also incorporates case studies in organizational and social change. This course is collaboratively delivered with the Faculty of Commerce and Business Administration.

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • Recognize tools, concepts, standards and frameworks used in sustainable business.
  • Analyze current realities, market opportunities and issues related to sustainability across a range of industries.
  • Integrate sustainability-related concepts into their own industry and/or personal experiences.
  • Synthesize, apply and communicate sustainability knowledge to one’s peers.
  • Apply various leadership concepts and tools into their professional practice, and in particular to sustainability-related initiatives.

IWME Technical Electives

You must take two electives during the program. Technical electives can be selected from the following list; if you wish to take an elective not on this list, you must first receive approval to do so from the Program Director.

APP 505 Analytics & Interpretation for Applied Science
CIVL 415 Water Resource Engineering
CHBE 560 Biological Engineering
CHBE 486 Waste Management for Resource Recovery
MINE 404 Mine Management
MINE 455 Mine Water Management
PLAN 425 Urban Planning Issues and Concepts
SOIL 518 Water in International Development
UFOR 402 Urban Forestry Administration, Policy and Law
CIVL 416 Environmental Hydraulics
CIVL 565 Physical-Chemical Treatment Processes
CIVL 569 Biological Wastewater Treatment
CIVL 598K Environmental Stewardship and Urban Systems
CHBE 344 Unit Operations I
CHBE 351 Transport Phenomena II
CHBE 373 Water Pollution Control
EOSC 533 Advanced Groundwater Hydrology
GPP 543 Sustainable Water Systems
SOIL 515 Watershed Science
SOIL 516 Urban Watershed Management