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Julius Alex Fernando


Ecological Engineering
Ecology is the study of the interactions between organisms and their
environment and others. Derived from the Greek word oikos and logos. Ecology
defined as the study of both the interaction between living things and the
interaction between living things and their environment. The term ecology was
first proposed by Ernst Haeckel (1834-1914). In ecology, living being studied as a
single unit or system with its environment. Ecology is also referred to as the
relationships of organisms or groups of organisms to their environment or the
science of the interrelationships between living organisms and their environment
(Odum, 1996) The study of household living things. Knowledge about the
interrelationships between living things with each other and with inanimate
objects around


engineering is





integrating ecology and engineering, concerned with the design, monitoring, and
construction of ecosystems. According to Mitsch (1996) "the design of sustainable
ecosystems intends to integrate human society with its natural environment for the
benefit of both Ecological engineering emerged as a new idea in the early 1960s,
but its definition has taken several decades to refine, its implementation is still
undergoing adjustment, and its broader recognition as a new paradigm is
relatively recent. Ecological engineering was introduced by Howard Odum and
others as utilizing natural energy sources as the predominant input to manipulate
and control environmental systems. Mitsch and Jorgensen wrote that ecological
engineering is designing societal services such that they benefit society and
nature, and later noted the design should be systems based, sustainable, and
integrate society with its natural environment. Odum emphasized that selforganizational properties were a central feature to ecological engineering.
Mitsch and Jrgensen were the first to define ecological engineering and
provide ecological engineering principles. Later they refined the definition and
increased the number of principles.They defined and characterized ecological
engineering in a 1989 book and clarified it further in their 2004 book (see

Julius Alex Fernando


Literature). They suggest the goal of ecological engineering is: a) the restoration
of ecosystems that have been substantially disturbed by human activities such as
environmental pollution or land disturbance, and b) the development of new
sustainable ecosystems that have both human and ecological values
This engineering discipline combines basic and applied science from
engineering, ecology, economics, and natural sciences for the restoration and
construction of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. The field of ecological
engineering is increasing in breadth and depth as more opportunities to design and
use ecosystems as interfaces between technology and environment are explored.
Implementation of ecological engineering has focused on the creation or
restoration of ecosystems, from degraded wetlands to multi-celled tubs and
greenhouses that integrate microbial, fish, and plant services to process human
wastewater into products such as fertilizers, flowers, and drinking water.
Potential applications of ecological engineering in cities have included the
field of landscape architecture, urban planning, and urban horticulture, which can
be synthesized into urban stormwater management. Potential applications of
ecological engineering in rural landscapes have included wetland treatmentand
community reforestation through traditional ecological knowledge.[
Ecological engineering design will follow a cycle similar to engineering
design - problem formulation (goal), problem analysis (constraints), alternative
solutions search, decision among alternatives, and specification of a complete
solution. Elements that distinguish ecological engineering design are elaborated
by many authors, however a singular approach is still absent. Typically, the design
goal involves protecting an at-risk ecosystem, restoring a degraded ecosystem, or
creating a new sustainable ecosystem to satisfy needs of nature and society