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Syllabus for

Academic year
BOM060 - Environmental risk assessment in engineering
Syllabus adopted 2011-02-21 by Head of Programme (or corresponding)
Owner: MPTSE
7,5 Credits
Grading: TH - Five, Four, Three, Not passed
Education cycle: Second-cycle
Major subject: Energy and Environmental Systems and Technology, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Teaching language: English
Open for exchange students
Block schedule: D
Maximum participants: 50

Course module   Credit distribution   Examination dates
Sp1 Sp2 Sp3 Sp4 Summer course No Sp
0107 Examination 7,5 c Grading: TH   7,5 c   11 Mar 2014 pm V,  15 Jan 2014 pm V,  22 Aug 2014 am V

In programs

MPTSE INDUSTRIAL ECOLOGY, MSC PROGR, Year 1 (compulsory elective)


Professor  Sverker Molander


For single subject courses within Chalmers programmes the same eligibility requirements apply, as to the programme(s) that the course is part of.

Course specific prerequisites

The specific requirements for the course include basic courses in mathematics and/or statistics equivalent to 15 ECTS credits, applied environmental sciences and/or sustainable development 7,5 ECTS credits, and admitted to masters programmes Environmental Measurements and Assessments or Geo and Water Engineering at Chalmers


The course gives initially an overview of soil and water contamination issues as a background and motivation of the rationale using risk assessment as a basis for decisions regarding protective and remedial actions. The course focuses on risk assessment on soil and water contamination with the application of specific tools for identifying, estimating and evaluating environmental risks.

Learning outcomes (after completion of the course the student should be able to)

  • Explain the motivation and background for performing environmental risk assessments

  • Describe and apply the framework and procedures of environmental risk assessment with specific regard to
    - its basic principles, definitions and procedure (hazard identification, risk estimation, risk evaluation, risk reduction, risk communication, relations to decision-making and risk management)
    - differences and similarities of human health risk and ecological risk assessment
    - basic principles of monetary risk valuation

  • Apply basic statistical skills to risk assessment, such as
    - confidence intervals and percentiles
    - Monte Carlo simulations

  • Construct natural science models for contaminant transport processes, exposure and effects including skills of basic conceptual modeling of cause-effect chains

  • Perform simple contaminant transport, exposure and effect modeling

  • Apply the following associated terminology in conceptual models:
    - sources
    - stressors
    - pathways and transport processes (advection, dispersion, diffusion, leaching)
    - different endpoints and associated basic biological terminology
    - determination of effects using test system


The course is structured around a set if initial lectures with adjoining exercises that will illustrate important aspects. Literature seminars will bring up important issues from the vast scientific literature related to risk assessment. Project work will lead students to a deeper understanding of specific parts of the risk assessment field.


The course will comprise of lectures, exercises and a group project.


Burgman, M. Risks and Decisions for Conservation and Environmental Management, Cambridge University Press



Examination will be in the form of a written examination and assessment of exercises and group project.

Page manager Published: Thu 03 Nov 2022.