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Faculty of Engineering
UNB Fredericton

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Geological engineering

At the University of New Brunswick (UNB) this program is delivered collaboratively by the Department of Civil Engineering and the Department of Earth Sciences.

Geological engineers play key roles in the exploration, protection, and responsible development of Earth’s natural resources. They also ensure that structures such as bridges, dams and buildings are designed for long-term stability and safety, taking current and future geologic conditions and hazards into account.

Working for the planet

Geological engineers are often involved from the early stages of projects because of the important role they play in site investigation, and the characterization of geological materials. Geological engineers require knowledge of field investigation methods, testing of material properties, and the analysis of complex processes involving natural and human factors. Example applications of these skills include:

  • geotechnical investigation and design in rock and soil (for example: stable openings for mines and tunnels; foundations for dams, bridges, and buildings; safe slopes for highway embankments; liners to prevent contamination at waste disposal facilities)
  • sustainable water supply development, protection, and treatment
  • environmental audits, environmental impact assessments, water and soil quality monitoring programs, and the investigation and design of remediation systems for contaminated sites
  • exploration for mineral and energy resources, including the efficient, and socially and environmentally responsible, development of those resources

UNB's geological program addresses these needs through a broad curriculum of science, engineering, mathematics, economics, humanities, communications, and design, in addition to hands-on laboratory courses and field schools that take advantage of New Brunswick's geological diversity. Technical elective courses allow students to gain extra knowledge in areas such as geotechnical engineering, geoenvironmental engineering, or mineral and energy resource development.

Graduates of the program are highly sought after and are employed in the public and private sectors (for example engineering consulting firms). Graduates of the UNB 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 eligible to register as professional geoscientists.