Phosphorus is an essential element required for agriculture. Current practices include "one-way" use of phosphorus: that is mining; production of fertilizer; land application; and ultimately loss to aquatic sediments. Once in the aquatic environment, phosphorus stimulates eutrophication resulting in the "death" of water bodies. With financial support from a People, Prosperity, and Planet program grant of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, an interdisciplinary team of faculty at the University of Cincinnati used phosphorus recovery from sewage and re-utilization as a struvite fertilizer as the context for a year-long course of study integrating graduate and undergraduate students in Environmental Engineering and Science as well as Environmental Studies. This presentation will highlight the original course format, results of student assessment from the 2004-2005 academic year, modifications incorporated for the 2005-2006 academic year, and the subsequent findings of student perceptions and learning. The challenge of integrating across two colleges within a comprehensive university system will be discussed, and our approaches for meeting the learning needs and course expectations of a diverse student population will be included.

Meeting Name

113th Annual ASEE Conference and Exposition (2006: Jun. 18-21, Chicago, IL)


Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering


Dassault Systemes; HP; Lockheed Martin; IBM; Microsoft

Keywords and Phrases

Aquatic environment; Land application; Phosphorus recovery; Water bodies; Environmental protection; Eutrophication; Metal recovery; Phosphorus; Sustainable development; Teaching; Wastewater

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version

Final Version

File Type





© 2006 American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jun 2006