Geotechnical Engineering

The recent concerns for energy and the environment have led to increased activity in the field of Geotechnical Engineering. The practice of Geotechnical Engineering requires a knowledge of geology, soil and rock mechanics, and experience. Geotechnical Engineering at the University of British Columbia focuses on soil mechanics, which concerns the engineering behavior of soil and its application to the design and performance of earth and earth-supported structures. These studies involve the measurement of stress-strain, strength and permeability properties of soil and the development of theories based on these measured properties to predict the response of structures to static and dynamic loading. Environmental Geotechnics emphasizes the geotechnical and environmental aspects of contaminant management, by considering the characteristics of contaminants and the problems encountered in designing and constructing facilities to manage or contain them. Although geotechnical engineers involved in waste management issues must be increasingly aware of the inter-disciplinary nature of their undertakings, an understanding of soil behaviour, waste characteristics and contaminant-soil interaction is a basic building block for more specialized studies.

Geotechnical courses in Civil Engineering at the graduate level are largely in soil mechanics, though students are encouraged to take courses in engineering geology and rock mechanics from other departments.

Programs Offered:

 MEng, MASc, PhD

Total Credit Requirements:

credits 

MEng: Core courses: 1
Elective courses (minimum): 29
Total (minimum):

30

MASc: Core courses: 1
Elective courses (minimum): 17
MASc thesis: 12

Total (minimum):

30

PhD1: Core courses: 1
Elective courses (minimum): 29
PhD thesis: 0

Total (minimum):

30

1Note:for the PhD degree, credits shown are for all coursework beyond the Bachelor’s degree level; up to 18 credits of coursework exemptions may be approved for courses taken through a Master's degree.  

General Coursework Requirements

Coursework requirements fall into two categories:

  • Core course requirements are specific courses or combinations of courses that must be taken in the manner specified.
  • Elective course requirements. The remaining course credit requirements may be met by selecting courses from a list of Approved Elective Courses, from additional courses contributing to the core course requirement, or by securing Specialty Advisor / Supervisor approval for other courses.

Please see the MEng / MASc / PhD requirements pages as appropriate for the associated coursework regulations. These include the need for the Coursework Plan to be approved by the Research Supervisor or Specialty Advisor prior to registering in courses, specific registration / attendance requirements re. CIVL 597, requirements for the approval of transfer credits for the MEng or MASc programs or of credit exemptions for the PhD program.

Specialization Coursework Requirements (MEng, MASc and PhD)

Core course requirements

CIVL 597-007 – Graduate Seminar (Geotechnical)

 

Elective course requirements

Electives may be taken from the List of Approved Electives below, or other courses may be taken with approval of the supervisor.


 

Approved Elective Courses

Credits 

Term

CIVL 504

Seismicity and Seismic Design Parameters

2

2

CIVL 505

Seismic Response of Structures

3

2

CIVL 507

Dynamics of Structures I

3

1

CIVL 518

Reliability and Structural Safety

3

1

CIVL 520

Construction Planning and Control

3

1

CIVL 537

Computational Mechanics I

3

1

CIVL 574

Experimental Soil Mechanics

3

2

CIVL 575

Constitutive Models for Soil

2

1

CIVL 579

Geosynthetics

2

1

CIVL 580

Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering

3

1

CIVL 581

Soil Dynamics for Design Practice

3

2

EOSC 529

Advanced Geotechnics

3

N/A1

2EOSC 532

Field Laboratory in Groundwater Hydrology

3

2

EOSC 533

Advanced Groundwater Hydrology

3

1

2EOSC 534

Geological Engineering: Soils and Weak Rocks

3

2

EOSC 535

Transport Processes in Porous Media

3

N/A

2EOSC 536

Advanced Rock Engineering

3

1

EOSC 547

Tunneling and Underground Engineering

3

N/A

MECH 561

Linear Elasticity

3

1

MINE 505

Advanced Topics in Rock Engineering

3

1

MINE 590L

Mined Material Physical Characterization & Behaviour

3

1

Approved Undergraduate Electives:

 

 

CIVL 408

Geo-Environmental Engineering

3

2

CIVL 410

Foundation Engineering I

3

1

CIVL 411

Foundation Engineering II

3

2

CIVL 413

Design of Earth Dams and Containment Structures

3

2

CIVL 417

Coastal Engineering

3

2

EOSC 330

Principles of Geomorphology

3

1

EOSC 350

Env., Geotechnical, and Exploration Geophysics I

3

1

IGEN 450

Pipeline Engineering

3

2

MINE 403

Rock Mechanics Design

3

1

MINE 480

Mine Waste Management 

2

2

 

1N/A – not offered in 2019/20.

2Credit will only be granted for one of EOSC 428 / 532, one of EOSC 434 / 534, and one of EOSC 433 / 536.