Geotechnical engineering is the study of the behaviour of soils under the influence of loading forces and soil-water interactions. This knowledge is applied to the design of foundations, retaining walls, earth dams, clay liners, and geosynthetics for waste containment. The goals of geotechnical engineers could range from the design of foundations and temporary excavation support, through route selection for railways and highways, to the increasingly important areas of landfill disposal of wastes and groundwater contamination. As such, the
Water resources engineering is the quantitative study of the hydrologic cycle -- the distribution and circulation of water linking the earth's atmosphere, land and oceans. Surface runoff is measured as the difference between precipitation and abstractions, such as infiltration (which replenishes groundwater flow), surface storage and evaporation. Applications include the management of the urban water supply, the design of urban storm-sewer systems, and flood forecasting. Hydraulic engineering consists of the application of fluid mechanics to
The goal of environmental engineering is to ensure that societal development and the use of water, land and air resources are sustainable. This goal is achieved by managing these resources so that environmental pollution and degradation is minimized.
James A. Nicell, PhD, PEng (Professor)
Department of Civil Engineering and Applied Mechanics
In an attempt to overcome some of the problems associated with traditional chemical and biological waste treatment systems, recent research has focused on the environmental applications of pure enzymes that have been isolated from their parent organisms.