Sanitary engineer as a professional Integrating the public health and environmental health area.
The profession of sanitary engineers has traditionally been established mainly in the Southern and Southeastern Europe. A sanitary engineer is a common term in the area of former Yugoslavia to denote experts who have the basic knowledge of engineering and health sciences. In Slovenia, a sanitary engineer is primarily a health-care professional who works in the field of public and environmental health along with other professional profiles. Sanitary engineers, however, possess specific knowledge and skills for solving hygienic, technical and ecological problems indoors and outdoors. They are especially trained to deal with hygiene problems in facilities, processes and activities that are important for maintaining a healthy living environment. They have medical background knowledge but often apply engineering approach in solving situations identified as harmful to human health. Their knowledge encompasses not only technical aspects of a given environmental problem but also ecological and health aspects. They use multidisciplinary approach to identify environmental problems and to assess environmental health hazards and the risks to environment and human health. They search solutions to reduce the adverse effects of the environmental pollution. Their expertise qualifies them to work in the field of safety and quality of food, drinking water and other goods used by general public; environmental quality management and control; epidemiology; occupational safety; food and environmental control; independent management of enterprises and institutions in the field of public and environmental health; research and teaching in environmental and public health.
The profession of a sanitary engineer in Slovenia was initially founded on the WHO guidelines, but during the last decades it further evolved into an important professional profile integrating the public health and environmental health area.