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

UBC MEL in Integrated Water Management - Course Information


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 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.f504

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.

BAEN 540: 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 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.

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 modelling 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.

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 teamwork 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 501: Environmental Fluid Mechanics

This course will introduce students to the basic principles of environmental fluid mechanics with emphasis on the effects of turbulence with presence of density stratification on flows in the environment. Theoretical and experimental results will be applied to problems of environmental concern in inland and coastal waters as well as local scale atmospheric environment. The course material will be presented with the support of slides, videos, and virtual laboratory tours and guest speakers.

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 principle of turbulence and density strafed flows.
  • Solve practical deterministic problems of environmental concern in inland and coastal waters.

IWME 502: Engineering Hydrology

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.

IWME 506: Water Infrastructure Capstone

Delivery of major water infrastructure projects from policies to planning and implementation, including schedule, cost, scope, impacts, performance and risk management, indigenous participation and innovative project financing and delivery approaches.

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

  • Understand concepts in social equity as they relate to water infrastructure delivery and policy including the practice of indigenous relations, stakeholder and communication management.
  • Understand and evaluate the economic and financial considerations in water management, including rate options development, societal costs and benefits and commercialization.
  • Understand, implement and evaluate the circular economy for water systems that employ reuse, shared-resources, repair, remanufacturing and recycling to create integrated closed-loop systems, and minimize the use of resources and the production of waste, pollution and carbon emissions.
  • Understand water infrastructure project life cycle phases and activities and apply basic project management tools across the planning, design and implementation phases of water infrastructure delivery including schedule, cost and risk management, site selection, permit management, indigenous partner engagement, stakeholder management, and financing.

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):

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 519: Building Brand with Purpose

This course explores the core principles of branding within the context of social and environmental responsibility including healthcare, sustainability and human rights. Fundamental marketing strategies are reinforced as they relate specifically to: 1) non-profits, 2) social marketing designed to change society’s behaviour and 3) cause-related-marketing within the corporate sector.

BA 563: Decision Making for Managers

This course is designed to make you a better decision maker by helping you understand your weaknesses and build on your strengths in decision-making. This is an integrative course that links material from Economics, Operations, Statistics, Marketing, Psychology, Finance, and Strategy.

*Course offering subject to change.

BAEN 580B: Special Topics in Business: Creative Destruction Lab

The Creative Destruction Lab Venture Program is a 3-credit course in entrepreneurship in which students will work with the Creative Destruction Lab West (CDL-West) team to help emerging technology and science focused start-ups. Students will become familiar with the CDL-West companies and will have the opportunity to support with market analysis, customer development, financial analysis, and other core activities related to building early stage start-ups. Students will be provided with visibility into how venture capitalists and angel investors make investment decisions.

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.

CIVL 415 – Water Resources Engineering
CIVL 521 – Construction Methods and Performance
CIVL 522 – Project and Construction Economics
CHBE 486 – Waste Management for Resources Recovery
CHBE 459 – Chemical and Biological Engineering Economics
CHBE 560 – Biological Engineering
EOSC 429 – Groundwater Contamination
GEOG 412 – Water Management: Theory, Policy, and Practice
MINE 404 – Mine Management
APPP 505 – Analytics and Interpretation for Applied Sciences