Structural engineers are concerned with the conception, analysis, design and construction of components or assemblies to resist loads arising from internal and external forces. Solid mechanics is the study of the distribution of stresses that a given load produces when applied to a solid element, and the calculation of the resulting strains, given the characteristics of the materials that make up that element.
Transportation has always played an essential role in the development of society, originally with regard to trade routes and harbours, but more recently with regard to land- and air-based systems as well. It is the transportation engineer's responsibility to plan, design, build, operate and maintain these systems of transport, in such a way as to provide for the safe, efficient and convenient movement of people and goods.
Although the Department is not divided formally into sections, the fields of study and research can be grouped into four main areas: environmental engineering and water resources management, fluid mechanics and hydraulic engineering, geotechnical and geoenvironmental engineering, as well as structural engineering and construction materials. Selected courses are also available in the area of transportation engineering. Descriptions of the topics of research and facilities in the four major areas are presented under each section:
Considerable freedom exists for students to influence the nature of their program of study in the civil engineering program. All principal subjects of civil engineering are taught at McGill University but students may choose to concentrate in any one of the following areas through the selection of suitable complementary courses: