Civil - Geotechnical and Materials Engineering Specialization

Geotechnical and Materials Engineering Specialization

Geotechnical and materials engineering is literally the underpinning of our daily lives as any civil engineering project will require the earth’s resources with the foundations upon which all civil engineering infrastructures sit on, and building/construction materials needed to build the structures. Job opportunities are board-based and a student will be in high demand to work in the following areas:

  • General (commercial, residential, and highway) contractors
  • Geotechnical and geo-environmental consultants
  • Government agencies and transportation departments (e.g., cities, and state department of transportation)
  • Government and private certified testing agencies
  • Materials testing consulting agencies
  • Procurement and construction firms
  • Producers (e.g., aggregate, cement, and concrete)
  • Universities that perform research
A backhoe in the bottom of a pit of dirt

Geotechnical and materials engineering requires a good background in mathematics, physics, chemistry, and engineering mechanics and a strong fundamental knowledge of the behavior of materials subjected to various kinds of loads (mechanical and environmental). Our curriculum includes fundamentals and applications for analysis, design and construction of various geotechnical and geoenvironmental systems (foundation, retaining wall, slope, roadway, airfield, dam, tunnel, waste disposal facility etc.) and development of materials (cementitious, bituminous, metallic, polymeric, and composites) for civil infrastructures. Besides classroom leaning, students will have ample hands-on opportunities, and will be conducting lab and field tests and site investigations. Below are key courses to prepare students for a geotechnical and materials emphasis:

Core Intro-level Courses:

  • CIVE 334 Introduction to Geotechnical Engineering (4 credits)
  • CIVE 378 Materials of Construction (3 credits)

Design Electives:

  • CIVE 436 Foundation Engineering (3 credits)

Technical Electives:

  • CIVE 434 Soil Mechanics II (3 credits)
  • CIVE 471 Bituminous Materials and Mixtures (3 credits)
  • CIVE 472 Pavement Design and Evaluation (3 credits)

View the Undergraduate Course Catalog