Undergraduate Program

A Mines geology student sitting on rocks

The Department of Geology and Geological Engineering offers a Bachelor of Science degree in Geological Engineering.

Geological Engineers deal with a wide variety of the resource and environmental problems that come with accommodating more and more people on a finite planet. Foundations for building, roads and other structures must be properly evaluated and stabilized; contaminated sites and ground-water must be accurately characterized before cleanup can be accomplished; water supplies must be located, developed and protected; and new mineral and energy resources must be located and developed in an environmentally sound manner. Geological Engineers are the professionals trained to meet these challenges.

Undergraduate students follow five general career paths

  • Geological Engineering/Geotechnics: Careers in site investigation, design and stabilization of foundations; site characterization, design, construction and remediation of waste disposal sites or contaminated sites; and assessment of geologic hazards.
  • Hydrology: Careers in assessment and remediation of groundwater and surface water contamination, design of groundwater control facilities and exploration for and development of water supplies.
  • Energy Exploration and Development: The location of oil, gas and coal and their efficient extraction.
  • Mineral Exploration and Development: The search for and development of natural deposits of metals, industrial materials and rock aggregate.
  • Geological Science: Graduates of this track have become experts in global climate change, the early history of the Earth, planetary science, and simulation of sedimentary rock sequences, to name a few.

At all levels the GE program emphasizes laboratory and field experience. All courses have a laboratory session and after the junior year students participate in a field course, which is six weeks of geologic mapping and direct observation. The course involves considerable time outdoors in the mountains and canyons of southwestern Colorado and Utah.

The Bachelor of Science in Geological Engineering curriculum provides a strong basis in geological science and traditional engineering along with specialized upper level instruction in integrated applications to real problems. The program is accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology and students have the background to take the Engineer in Training Exam and to become registered Professional Engineers.

Field Trip Documents

All three documents (Field Trip Policy, Student Health Form and Travel Waiver and Release of Liability) should be submitted to the Geology & Geological Engineering Department.

If an incident occurs, please submit the incident report document.

Advising Flowcharts and Checklists

 

Free Engineering Electives for Specific Specialties

Students in the Environmental, Engineering Geology and Geotechnics, and Ground-Water Engineering Concentration may further specialize by utilizing their free elective courses to emphasize a specific specialty. Suggested courses are presented below and should be selected in consultation with the student’s advisor. The emphasis area is an informal designation only and it will not appear on the transcript.

Engineering Geology and Geotechnics Emphasis

CEEN415 FOUNDATION ENGINEERING 3.0
GEGN475 APPLICATIONS OF GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEMS 3.0
EBGN321 ENGINEERING ECONOMICS 3.0
GEGN399 INDEPENDENT STUDY IN ENGINEERING GEOLOGY OR ENGINEERING HYDROGEOLOGY 1-6
GEGN499 INDEPENDENT STUDY IN ENGINEERING GEOLOGY OR ENGINEERING HYDROGEOLOGY 1-6
GEGN307 PETROLOGY 3.0
GEOL321 MINERALOGY AND MINERAL CHARACTERIZATION 3.0
CSCI261 PROGRAMMING CONCEPTS 3.0
MNGN404 TUNNELING 3.0
MNGN408 UNDERGROUND DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION 2.0
MNGN410 EXCAVATION PROJECT MANAGEMENT 2.0
MNGN445/545 ROCK SLOPE ENGINEERING 3.0


Water Engineering Emphasis

CEEN301 FUNDAMENTALS OF ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING: WATER 3.0
CEEN302 FUNDAMENTALS OF ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING: AIR AND WASTE MANAGEMENT 3.0
CEEN461 FUNDAMENTALS OF ECOLOGY 3.0
CEEN470 WATER AND WASTEWATER TREATMENT PROCESSES 3.0
CEEN471 WATER AND WASTEWATER TREATMENT SYSTEMS ANALYSIS AND DESIGN 3.0
CEEN475 SITE REMEDIATION ENGINEERING 3.0
CEEN480 CHEMICAL FATE AND TRANSPORT IN THE ENVIRONMENT 3.0
CSCI260 FORTRAN PROGRAMMING 2.0
CSCI261 PROGRAMMING CONCEPTS 3.0
EBGN321 ENGINEERING ECONOMICS 3.0
CHGN403 INTRODUCTION TO ENVIRONMENTAL CHEMISTRY 3.0
CEEN492 ENVIRONMENTAL LAW 3.0
GEGN475 APPLICATIONS OF GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEMS 3.0
GEGN481 ANALYTICAL HYDROLOGY 3.0
GEGN483 MATHEMATICAL MODELING OF GROUNDWATER SYSTEMS 3.0
GEGN499 INDEPENDENT STUDY IN ENGINEERING GEOLOGY OR ENGINEERING HYDROGEOLOGY 1-6
GEOL321 MINERALOGY AND MINERAL CHARACTERIZATION 3.0
HASS487 ENVIRONMENTAL POLITICS AND POLICY 3.0
HASS488 GLOBAL WATER POLITICS AND POLICY 3.0
MATH332 LINEAR ALGEBRA 3.0
MEGN451 FLUID MECHANICS II – AERODYNAMICS 3.0

 

Suggested Geologic Science and Engineering Electives (Exploration Track)

CEEN 312 Soil Mechanics
CEEN 312 Soil Mechanics Lab
CEEN 415 Foundation Engineering
GEGN 473 Site Investigation
GEGN 466 Groundwater Engineering
GEGN 483 Mathematical Modeling of Groundwater Systems
GEGN 475/575 Applications of GIS
GEGN 503 Integrated Exploration & Dev
GEGN 582 Integrated Surface Water Hydrology
GEOL 410 Planetary GE
GEOL 440 Plate Tectonics
GEOL 551 Applied Petroleum Engineering
GEOL 552 Unconventional Petroleum Systems
GEOL 560 Imperial Barrel AAPG Competition
GEOL 585 Application of Seismic Geomorphology
GEOL 645 Volcanology
GPGN 432 Formation Evaluation
MNGN 312 Surface Mine Design
MNGN 314 Underground Mine Design
MNGN 321 Introduction to Rock Mechanics
MNGN 407 Rock Fragmentation
MNGN 421 Design of Underground Excavations
MNGN 445 Open Slope Design
PEGN 308 Reservoir Rock Properties
PEGN 311 Drilling Engineering
PEGN 414 Well Test Analysis & Design
PEGN 419 Well Log Analysis & Formation Evaluation
PEGN 423 Petroleum Reservoir Engineering I
PEGN 424 Petroleum Reservoir Engineering II
PEGN 426 Well Completions and Stimulation
PEGN 428 Adv. Drilling Engineering
Accreditation

The Geological Engineering program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, https://www.abet.org, under the General Criteria and the Geological Engineering and Similarly Named Engineering Programs Program Criteria.

The enrollment and graduation data for the Geological Engineering program and other Mines programs can be found on the homepage of the Mines Office of Institutional Research.

ABET Objectives and Outcomes

Program Educational Objectives

Program educational objectives are broad statements that describe what graduates are expected to attain within a few years of graduation. Graduates from the Department of Geology and Geological Engineering will:

  1. Demonstrate a high level of technical competence
  2. Demonstrate prowess in written, oral and graphical communication
  3. Experience good teamwork and leadership practices

Student Outcomes

Student outcomes describe what students are expected to know and be able to do by the time of graduation.  Students finishing a program in Geological Engineering will be able to:

1. An ability to identify, formulate, and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science, and mathematics
2. An ability to apply engineering design to produce solutions that meet specified needs with consideration of public health, safety, and welfare, as well as global, cultural, social, environmental, and economic factors
3. An ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences
4. An ability to recognize ethical and professional responsibilities in engineering situations and make informed judgments, which must consider the impact of engineering solutions in global, economic, environmental, and societal contexts
5. An ability to function effectively on a team whose members together provide leadership, create a collaborative and inclusive environment, establish goals, plan tasks, and meet objectives
6. An ability to develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data, and use engineering judgment to draw conclusions
7. An ability to acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies
 
More specifically, each outcome relates to Performance Indicators as follows:
 
1. Solve Complex Problems
   A. Apply tools from this course to solve open-ended or poorly defined problem
   B. Integrate tools from several courses to solve problem
   C. Ability to model a problem from a descriptive statement and identify geological engineering tools to solve the problem
 
2. Design Solutions
   A. Develop a geologic model using data sets of varying sizes
   B. Set up and run a computer model to address a specific problem and to test potential solutions
   C. Ability to recognize potential constraints
   D. Ability to generate conceptual design solutions
 
3. Communicate
   A. Give an effective oral presentation of a complex geological engineering topic and respond to questions at a professional level
   B. Write a report in industry style
 
4. Ethics and Professionalism
   A. Identify ethical aspects of problem statements and proposed solutions
   B. Ability to analyze technology changes and potential consequences
   C. Develop several alternatives to solve a geological engineering problem and provide an evaluation of each
   D. Respond to stakeholder questions about a resource development project in a simulated meeting
 
5. Teamwork
   A. Able to fulfill duties of team roles
   B. Able to communicate effectively in a team
 
6. Develop and Conduct Experiments
   A. Able to design a data collection program to address a geological engineering component of a project
   B. Able to conduct laboratory and computer modeling work expected for geological engineers
   C. Able to compare laboratory and modeling data to theoretical expectations and explain differences
 
7. Teach Yourself New Knowledge
   A. Able to independently find and use technical information
   B. Able to assess and monitor one’s own learning
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