Experiences in Geological Engineering

Geological Engineering limits our 2nd year intake to approximately 40 students per year. This helps to contribute to a close, committed, enthusiastic group of students. The Geological Engineering student club, GeoRox, is one of the most active in Applied Science. They often assume leadership roles on campus, including the Engineering Undergraduate Society and Engineers without Borders. Academically, our students are very strong. They frequently compete for top prizes and recognitions at UBC and nationally, including taking 1st place four years in a row for the Canadian Geotechnical Society's Undergraduate Design Project competition. Outstanding!

We've asked a number of our students and recent graduates to highlight what they've enjoyed about their experiences in Geological Engineering and their careers, and this is what they have to say.




"I would describe myself as a hardworking, involved student who can prioritize and juggle multiple projects. I find Geological Engineering suits my personality because I am outgoing and enjoy the outdoors, I can be detail oriented but I can also step back and look at the bigger picture of a problem. I also really enjoy the sense of community I get from the small group. We take classes with geologists, civil engineers and mining engineers, which leads to a more diverse learning environment. Our clubroom is centrally located and provides a relaxed space to study and socialize. GeoRox is also quite involved in rec sports so on any given day there will be a group of students heading to a game, from dodgeball to soccer or hockey to flag football. Personally, I love Geological Engineering because it provides a challenging type of engineering where every problem is different. The skill set you gain at school is very widely applicable to a variety of industries. I also love how it allows me to get out of the office and into the field."



"I am now a practicing Geological Engineer, working mainly on projects related to mine design for a large engineering consulting company. I am involved in planning and taking part in geotechnical field investigations, data analysis and interpretation, computer modelling, conducting site inspections, and a lot of proposal and technical report writing. In general, I found myself and other Geological Engineering grads were better prepared than other junior engineering grads in my department. Geological Engineering provided me with an understanding of the natural materials found in the earth (rock, soil, groundwater) and how to design and construct infrastructure with these. Geological Engineering is unique because the materials in which we base our designs are highly variable even within a small area, which is not the case in most other engineering disciplines. The courses, the variability in the type of work (e.g. office vs field, working on a variety of different projects), the possibility of travelling with work, and the excellent reputation of the program and professors at UBC are all things I look back on now and truly appreciate."



"I see myself as someone who likes to design, build or fix things (as most engineering students do), but I also enjoy a wide variety of activities, from mountain biking to ice climbing. Like many of my fellow Geological Engineering students, I am passionate about sustainable development and solving problems that achieve this goal. A typical day for me combines school work and classes, but also other activities through the GeoRox club like sports, socializing and going on fields trips. Through the club, 2nd year students get the chance to hang out and work with upper year Geological Engineering students. At the end of the day, there's always room for a game of ping pong as a reward for a hard day's work. I love the sense of community created within the program by involved peers, faculty, and industry mentors."



"Geological Engineering grads are keen, driven and adventurous people, and they have great perspective on the natural world around them. I was attracted to Geological Engineering because it offered an exceptional environment to study practical, meaningful and tangible problems. I now find myself working in a profession where the projects and challenges are broad, creating the opportunity for a dynamic work environment where innovation and continued learning is needed to solve practical solutions to complex problems. On any given day, I can have up to three or four different projects on the go. These can range from investigative studies to more detailed design work. Field work is an essential component of my work. I spend upwards of 20% of my time working in the field. I believe that Geological Engineering is a profession focused on the infrastructure needed to support our society, and allows me to contribute to projects that provide significant value and ongoing beneficial impacts."