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Geotechnical Engineering

Description

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

geotechnical engineer is involved in field and laboratory investigations to determine the engineering properties of site soils and other geomaterials and their subsequent use in the analytical study of the problem at hand. Recent computational and computer advances are extending our ability to predict the behaviour of soil and soil-water systems under a wide variety of conditions. In recent years, the activities of geotechnical engineers have also involved geoenvironmental engineering. Geoenvironmental engineers design strategies for the clean-up of contaminated soils and groundwater and develop management systems for contaminated sites.

Employment opportunities include geotechnical and engineering consultants, public utilities, governmental agencies, environmental agencies, specialized contractors and resource industry companies.

Recommended courses

In order to achieve a specialization in the area of Geotechnical Engineering at the undergraduate level, the following courses are:

  • Strongly recommended:
    CIVE 416 Geotechnical Engineering 3 Credits
      Offered in the:
    • Fall
    • Winter
    • Summer


    CIVE 451 Geoenvironmental Engineering 3 Credits
      Offered in the:
    • Fall
    • Winter
    • Summer

  • Recommended:
    EPSC 549 Hydrogeology 3 Credits
      Offered in the:
    • Fall
    • Winter
    • Summer


    CIVE 446 Construction Engineering 3 Credits
      Offered in the:
    • Fall
    • Winter
    • Summer


    CIVE 584 Groundwater Engineering 3 Credits
      Offered in the:
    • Fall
    • Winter
    • Summer


    MIME 322 Rock Fragmentation 3 Credits
      Offered in the:
    • Fall
    • Winter
    • Summer


    MIME 520 Stability of Rock Slopes 3 Credits
      Offered in the:
    • Fall
    • Winter
    • Summer