Geological Engineering

Geological Engineering Program

General Office: Head Hall, Room H-124
Mailing Address:

Dr. Won Taek Oh, P.Eng
Director, Geological Engineering Program
Department of Civil Engineering
University of New Brunswick
P.O. Box 4400, Fredericton, NB
Canada, E3B 5A3

Phone: (506) 452-6237
Fax:  (506) 453-3568
Website: //

General Information

Geological Engineers play key roles in the exploration, protection, and responsible development of Earth’s water, natural, and energy resources. They also ensure that structures such as bridges, dams and buildings are designed for long term stability and safety, taking geological conditions and hazards into account. The profession is distinct amongst engineering disciplines for the opportunities it affords for travel and work in the natural environment, and for the atmosphere of adventure and discovery that accompanies geological exploration at all scales.

Geological engineers require skills and tools to “see” beneath the surface and predict the behaviour of highly variable earth materials. To this end, they draw on the field methods, powers of observation, analytical techniques, and remote sensing tools employed by geoscientists, and incorporate engineering approaches to materials testing, modelling, structural design and risk assessment. They must integrate a wide variety of data with knowledge of geological and geotechnical processes in order to make informed recommendations and decisions. As team players, frequently working with geologists or civil engineers, geological engineers also require good communication and people skills.

Examples of engineering works with significant geological engineering components include mines, dams, bridges, building foundations, highways, slope stabilization projects, landfill and wastewater treatment sites, waterways and port facilities. Geological engineers also conduct environmental impact assessments, develop and protect groundwater resources, and remediate contaminated sites. In the oil and gas and mining industries, they are responsible for locating and evaluating resources hidden far below the Earth’s surface and for developing  natural and energy resources efficiently and responsibly.


The Geological Engineering Program is delivered jointly by the Department of Civil Engineering and the Department of Earth Sciences at UNB. The program provides education in the basic sciences and engineering principles required for the profession as well as exposure to important aspects of oral and written communications, engineering design, economics, law, and professional practice. Skills in field work and team work are developed through two geoscientific field schools and through a capstone team design project. Students may tailor their program of study through the choice of technical and complementary electives. For example, students interested in the geoenvironmental, geotechnical, or natural and energy resources fields can choose electives to further their understanding of those topics. Graduates of this program will have fulfilled the academic requirements for registration in Canadian associations of professional engineers. With appropriate course selection, graduates of the program may also be eligble to register as professional geoscientists.

The Geological Engineering BScE degree program entails 160 credit hours in classes plus an additional 10 credit hours taken in the form of two field camps that are held in the spring or late summer outside the normal teaching terms. All courses in the program must be passed with a C or better. The program is intended for completion within eight terms. Students should pay special attention to the course sequences and prerequisites when selecting their courses for any term. Some upper year courses are offered in alternate years. Advice concerning the course selection and sequencing should be sought from the Director of the Geological Engineering Program.

Core (157 ch)

Through the core of the undergraduate program, students are given a firm base in all aspects of Geological Engineering. The core courses required of all Geological Engineering students are shown below.

CE 1023 Statics for Engineers
CE 2023 Mechanics of Materials
CE 2113 Soil Mechanics I
CE 2703 Introduction to Fluid Mechanics
CE 2913 Numerical Problem Solving
CE 2973 Civil Engineering Design I
CE 3123 Foundations I
CE 3603 Construction Engineering I
CE 3713 Hydraulics & Hydrology
CE 3963 Engineering Economy
CHEM 1982 General Applied Chemistry
CHEM 1987 General Applied Chemistry Lab
CS 1003 Programming and Problem Solving for Engineers
ECON 1073 Economics for Engineers
ENGG 1001 Engineering Practice Lecture Series
ENGG 1003 Engineering Technical Communications
ENGG 1015 Introduction to Engineering Design and Problem Solving
ENGG 4013 Law and Ethics for Engineers
ESCI 1001 The Earth: Its Origin, Evolution and Age
ESCI 2131 Earth and Planetary Materials
ESCI 2142 Mineralogy and Petrology
ESCI 2211 Sedimentology I: Process, Product and Stratigraphy
ESCI 2321 Structural Geology I
ESCI 2602 Principles of Geochemistry
ESCI 2703 Field School
ESCI 3322 Structural Geology II
ESCI 3411 Rock Mechanics
ESCI 3631 Geochemistry of Natural Waters
ESCI 3703 Field of School or ESCI 3713 Geoenvironmental Field School
ESCI 4512 Applied Geophysics II
GE 1026 Geology Lab for Geological Engineers
GE 2022 Engineering Geology
GE 4981 Site Investigation
GE 4993 Senior Team Design
GE 5753 Engineering Hydrogeology
GGE 1001 Introduction to Geodesy & Geomatics
MATH 1003 Introduction to Calculus I
MATH 1013 Introduction to Calculus II
MATH 1503 Introduction to Linear Algebra
MATH 2513 Multivariable Calculus for Engineers
PHYS 1081 Foundations of Physics for Engineers
STAT 2593 Probability and Statistics for Engineers

Technical Electives (7 ch)

Suggested technical electives are listed below. Other courses may be acceptable subject to the approval of the GE Program Director.

CE 3403 Environmental Engineering
CE 5132 Foundation Engineering II
CE 5163 Advanced Soil Mechanics
CE 5212 Pavement Design I
CE 5421 Water Quality and Treatment
CE 5432 Wastewater Treatment and Pollution Control
CE 5623 Project Management
ESCI 3482 Mineral Resources, Economics and Environment
ESCI 3492 Petroleum Geoscience, Carbon Cycle & the Environment
ESCI 4412 Applied Rock Mechanics (O)
ESCI 4452 Environmental Impact Assessment
ESCI 4461 Economic Geology I
ESCI 4501 Applied Geophysics I
ESCI 4401 Applied Glacial Geology
GGE 3342 Remote Sensing

Complementary Studies Electives (6 ch)

A complete Geological Engineering program requires 6 credit hours of complimentary studies electives. Course selections are subject to Program Director's approval, and also must meet the Faculty of Engineering General Regulations for Complementary Studies requirements. At least one course must be designated as having a substatianl wrtiting component, indicated by a [W] in the calendar description. At least one of the electives must be chosen from one of the following disciplines; Anthropology, Classics, Literature, History, Philosophy, Political Science, and Sociology.