Overview : Geotechnical and Earth Resources Engineering (GTE)

Field Profile

Beside the traditional areas of foundation engineering, earth structures, underground excavations, land subsidence, and landslide mitigations, geotechnical engineers and researchers are increasingly involved in new and dynamic areas of ground improvement, geosynthetic engineering, land reclamation, lightweight materials, forensic engineering, effective recycling of waste materials, and various analytical techniques.

Furthermore, geotechnical engineers are increasingly challenged to solve environmental problems related to the reduction of construction wastes, provision of efficient waste disposal facilities, clean-up of contaminated sites as well as geological-related hazards such as landslides and erosion as well as onshore and offshore exploration.

In accommodating these requirements, the courses in the field have been enhanced to equip geotechnical engineers not only with traditional knowledge of soil mechanics and geology but also with skills in geosynthethics, soil/ground improvement, hydrogeology, geochemistry, biological processes, petroleum engineering, resource exploration, geophysics, and numerical modeling/analysis.

Areas of Specialization

Geotechnical Engineering offers three (3) areas of specialization, Engineering and Applied Geology, Geoenvironmental Engineering, and Soil Engineering. Other than these specializations, the field provides an interdisciplinary area of study on Geosystem Exploration and Petroleum Geoengineering.

Engineering and Applied Geology provides a sound knowledge of geological principles, rock mechanics and geophysical techniques and their applications to civil engineering work, mineral and energy exploration and development, land subsidence, and natural hazard mitigation. Current researches in EAG span the areas of engineering geology, site investigation and terrain evaluation, rock mechanics, applied geophysics, airphoto interpretation, rock slope engineering, underground excavations and tunneling, and analytical geomechanics.

Soil Engineering exposes students to the behavior of soils as well as rocks and the use of geosynthetics for civil engineering and geoenvironmental applications, ground improvement, utilization of lightweight and waste materials, resource development, and man-made hazard mitigation. Researches in SOE relate to critical state theories in soil mechanics; soft ground improvement and construction techniques; soil dynamics earthquake engineering; earth reinforcement and earth retaining structures; pavement design and construction; risk analyses and probabilistic methods, numerical methods and computer-aided design; geosynthetic engineering; and lightweight materials.

The area of specialization in Geoenvironmental Engineering provides coursework and research in contaminated industrial site clean-up operations, geotechnics of landfills and liner systems, and georisk engineering. Researches in GEE cover regulatory requirements, waste characteristics, sources of ground contamination, classification of organic and inorganic compounds, hydrogeological characteristics of the ground, mass transport in saturated and unsaturated media, and contaminant transport and transport modeling.

While Geosystem Exploration and Petroleum Geoengineering trains specialists in activities related to geosystem exploration and development (e.g. geological, geophysical, mining, and infrastructure development). The field offers geoscience and geotechnical engineering courses for both onshore and offshore exploration and development. Researches in GEPG focus on exploration of mineral resources, engineering geophysics, nearshore reclamation, offshore constructions, petroleum facility development, site investigation and testing such as oil tank foundation, and gas pipeline construction.

Preferred Background

Master Program:

Undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering, Geology, Geotechnical Engineering, Mining, Geophysics, Petroleum Engineering; other disciplines are considered on a case-to-case basis

Doctoral Program:

Master degree in Engineering Geology, Geotechnical Engineering, Geoenvironmental Engineering, Geophysics, Petroleum Engineering, and Mining.