B.S. in Geological Engineering
Geological engineering integrates two disciplines: geology and engineering. Geologists study the Earth, its composition and structure, its history, and its past plant and animal life. Engineers apply scientific knowledge and experience to design and analyze systems for the benefit of mankind.
Geological Engineers try to answer questions such as the following:
- What are the soils and rocks, and where are the boundaries?
- Where is the groundwater, how much can be used sustainably, and what steps are required to protect and treat this resource?
- How do the soils and rocks respond to different stimuli (e.g., loading, unloading, exposure, flows of fluids, changes in temperature, disturbance)?
- Why do these materials respond this way?
- How can we beneficially control or modify the response of these materials?
The program educational objectives of the Geological Engineering program are the following:
1) Graduates will utilize their backgrounds in engineering and earth science to provide solutions to engineering problems within the context of the natural world. Areas of geological engineering practice include fluid flow and contaminant transport in the subsurface; geo-mechanics (i.e., the behavior of earth materials), geo-engineering (i.e., design with earth materials); and discovery, development, and utilization of energy resources.
2) As an engineer, the graduate will obtain professional engineer licensure and participate in professional societies and continuing education activities to improve their professional stature.
3) As an academic researcher and teacher, the graduate will expand the knowledge and application of applied earth science and engineering to the betterment of society and will convey this knowledge to his or her students at all levels of their study.
4) Graduates will maintain a professional environment that fosters honesty, integrity, and a strong engineering and work ethic.
The program outcomes that were established based on the program educational objectives, and utilized for assessment since the 2009 academic year, are the following:
a) an ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering
b) an ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data
c) an ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs
d) an ability to function on multi-disciplinary teams
e) an ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems
f) an understanding of professional and ethical responsibility
g) an ability to communicate effectively
h) the broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global and societal context
i) a recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in life-long learning
j) a knowledge of contemporary issues
k) an ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice
Graduates from a Geological Engineering program have the advantage that they can fill two positions at the same time: that of a soil/rock/groundwater Engineer and that of a Geologist. Fields in need of Geological Engineers include:
- slope stability analysis
- seismic risk analysis
- assessment and mitigation of geologic hazards
Development of natural resources
- petroleum exploration & production
- minerals industry
- characterization of groundwater supplies
- contaminant transport investigation
- contaminated subsurface remediation
The curriculum in geological engineering is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET (www.abet.org).
Major Requirement Sheets: