[AHS] [Arts] [Eng] [ES] [IS] [Math] [Sci] [Inter] [Calendar Top] [UW Home]

Geological Engineering

Geological Engineering is an interdisciplinary program involving the Faculties of Engineering and Science and, in particular, the Departments of Civil Engineering and Earth Sciences. The program is administered by the Geological Engineering Board which consists of faculty from both departments.

Geological Engineers study the origins and properties of earth materials, and learn how to predict the behaviour of these materials. This information is used to design structures in or on soil and rock, design mineral extraction processes in mining and petroleum engineering, explore for and protect groundwater sources, plan and design transportation routes, and so on.

Employment opportunities for Geological Engineers are available in the areas of petroleum geology and engineering, mining geology and mine design, building construction, water supply, geophysics, surveying, highway and airport construction, hydrology, coastal engineering and granular materials supply. Geological Engineering graduates with strength in the geotechnical area find their employment activities most closely associated with public works such as site investigation and design studies for tunnels, roads, railroads, air-strips, shorelines, ports, underground storage, and waste disposal facilities. An increasing amount of activity lies in groundwater studies and environmental impact studies, including hydrologic and geotechnical investigations associated with mining development, geomechanical aspects of petroleum recovery, both conventional and unconventional such as tar sands development and in-situ heavy oil extraction.

The demand for the expertise offered by geological engineers is expanding into many of the resource-development areas that will probably continue to play a major role in the Canadian economy for many decades. Also, the geological engineer is in increasing demand for works of a civil nature, such as tunnels, dams, landfills, and aspects of environmental engineering.


Faculty Options

Complete details of designated Options available to engineering students are provided in this Calendar in the Engineering section entitled "Complementary Studies Requirements, Options and Electives". Students who satisfy the Option requirements will have the appropriate designation shown on their transcript.


Geological Engineering with an Option in Water Resources (WRO)

This is a designated Engineering Faculty Option available through Civil Engineering. Students interested in the Option should see the Co-ordinator for approval and the complete list of approved courses. The Option is described earlier in this chapter within the "Complementary Studies Requirements, Options and Electives" section.


Geological Engineering with an Option in Management Sciences

This Option provides an understanding of the issues, concepts and techniques related to the management of technology. This Option consists of a sequence of seven courses. Students interested in this Option should see the Co-ordinator for approval.


Geological Engineering with an Option in Environmental Engineering (EEO)

This Option is for students who wish to pursue their education with an emphasis on environmental concerns, assessment of the environmental impact of new or existing products or processes, methods for solving problems resulting from pollution in the air, in the water, or in the earth, and on the management of resources in order to minimize pollution in the environment. This is a Faculty Option and includes course material related to all of the disciplines but applied specifically to environmental concerns. The Option is described earlier in this chapter within the "Complementary Studies Requirements, Options and Electives for Engineering Students" section.


Academic Program

Term 1A (Fall)
MATH 115 Linear Algebra for Engineering (formerly MATH 114)
MATH 117 Calculus 1 (for Engineering)
CH E 102 Chemistry for Engineers
PHYS 115 Mechanics
GEN E 165 Introduction to Methods of Civil Engineering
GEN E 170 Engineering Graphics

Term 1B (Spring)
MATH 118 Calculus 2 (for Engineering Students)
PHYS 125 Physics for Engineers
GEN E 121 Digital Computation
GEN E 123 Electrical Engineering
GEO E 126 Geological Engineering Concepts
CIV E 127 Statics
CIV E 291 Survey Camp

Term 2A (Winter)
EARTH 221 Geochemistry 1
CIV E 204 Mechanics of Solids 1
CIV E 221 Advanced Calculus
CIV E 224 Probability and Statistics
CIV E 292 Engineering Economics
GEO E 298 Seminar
Complementary Studies Elective

Term 2B (Fall)
CIV E 222 Differential Equations
CIV E 280 Fluid Mechanics and Thermal Sciences
EARTH 231 Mineralogy
EARTH 235 Stratigraphy
EARTH 260 Applied Geophysics 1
GEO E 299 Seminar
Complementary Studies Elective

Term 3A (Spring)
CIV E 300 Civil Engineering Project 1
CIV E 353 Geotechnical Engineering 1
CIV E 375 Water Quality Engineering (WRO)
EARTH 232 Petrography
EARTH 238 Introductory Structural Geology
EARTH 390 Methods in Geological Mapping*
GEO E 398 Seminar
Complementary Studies Elective

Term 3B (Winter)
EARTH 438 Engineering Geology
EARTH 333 Introductory Sedimentology
EARTH 390 Methods in Geological Mapping*
CIV E 354 Geotechnical Engineering 2
GEO E 399 Seminar

Two technical electives from:
CIV E 381 Hydraulics (WRO)
EARTH 370 Earth Resources
EARTH 358 Environmental Geology for Earth Scientists
ENV E 320 Environmental Resource Management (EEO)

Term 4A (Fall)
EARTH 456 Groundwater Modelling
EARTH 458 Physical Hydrogeology
EARTH 490 Field Course (before term)
GEO E 400 Geological Engineering Thesis 1
GEO E 498 Seminar
Complementary Studies Elective

Technical elective from:
EARTH 331 Igneous Petrology
EARTH 342 Applied Geomorphology
EARTH 359 Flow Through Porous Media
EARTH 421 Geochemistry 2
EARTH 440 Quaternary Geology
EARTH 470 Metallic Mineral Deposits
CIV E 472 Waste Water Treatment
CIV E 486 Hydrology (WRO)

Term 4B (Winter)
CIV E 491 Engineering Law
EARTH 437 Rock Mechanics
GEO E 401 Geological Engineering Thesis 2
GEO E 499 Seminar

Two technical electives from:
EARTH 427 Crustal Evolution
EARTH 433 Applied Sedimentology
EARTH 435 Advanced Structural Geology
EARTH 459 Chemical Hydrogeology (WRO)
EARTH 460 Applied Geophysics 2
ENV E 420 Modelling of the Environment (EEO)
CIV E 422 Finite Element Analysis
CIV E 454 Geotechnical Engineering 3
CIV E 473 Contaminant Transport
CIV E 493 Engineering in the Canadian North
CH E 514 Fundamentals of Petroleum Production
CH E 552 Extractive Metallurgy

* Earth 390 P Methods in Geological Mapping, is offered the last 2 weeks in April. It may be taken before the 3A term, or after the 3B term.


  1. The availability of some elective courses is contingent upon sufficient demand, scheduling constraints, and teaching resources.
  2. Each proposed program of studies should be reviewed by the faculty advisor to ensure that it (a) satisfies prescribed minimum requirements with respect to Mathematics, Science, Engineering Science, Engineering Design and Complementary Studies, and (b) satisfies prerequisite requirements.
  3. Each approved program of studies must include at least three EARTH technical electives and two CIV E technical electives from 3B on.
  4. It is recommended that EARTH 342 or 440 be taken before graduation.
  5. WRO refers to Water Resources Option
    EEO refers to Environmental Engineering Option

[AHS] [Arts] [Eng] [ES] [IS] [Math] [Sci] [Inter] [Calendar Top] [UW Home]