Traced back to the municipal engineering program set up in 1928, the discipline of Environmental Science and Engineering (ESE) of Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) has so far fostered a number of outstanding alumni such as Gu Kangle, Ven Te Chow, Gu Xiasheng, Hu Jiajun, Xu Xiaobai, etc. In September 1999, a school was officially established for this branch, namely the School of Environmental Science and Engineering (SESE). The first three years of the 21st century have witnessed the great progress achieved by SESE as it was approved to establish environmental engineering doctorate program in 2001, environmental engineering master program in 2002, and the first-level discipline doctoral program of ESE in 2003. After two decades of rapid growth on the basis of other disciplines of SJTU like engineering, management, and medicine, SESE has developed its own superiority in the domestic environmental science, and has acquired marvelous influence in the worldwide field of environmental science and engineering. The discipline of Environment and Ecology was ranked among the top 1% globally since 2011. The discipline of Environmental Science has been ranked among the top 100 (from 51 to 100) by QS since 2012.

At present, SESE has not only built up an excellent faculty team and has been nurturing numerous students to be talents skilled at environmental science research and engineering, but also has formed 8 characteristic research areas, namely water pollution control and reclamation, air pollution control and regional air quality modeling, solid waste treatment and resource recovery, soil and ground-water contamination reclamation, environmental functional materials, resource and environmental management and climate change mitigation, clean and renewable energy, and bio-toxicology and environmental health. In 2019, SESE has published 212 SCI papers in many leading journals, including Science, Nature, Environmental Science & Technology,Journal of Hazardous Material, Water Research, Applied Energy, etc. Moreover, SESE provides powerful support in terms of intelligence and talents for prominent national strategies and local environment protection as many pieces of its advice have been adopted by the government.