What is Geological Engineering?
Geological Engineers connect earth sciences with engineering – they apply geosciences, mathematics, computing, physics, and chemistry to solve challenges in fields such as infrastructure engineering and construction, mining and energy resource exploration and development, environmental engineering, forensic engineering, and forestry, amongst others.
Any engineering project that interacts with the Earth or Earth materials in any way requires the input of Geological Engineers. For example, Geological Engineers will conduct geological and geotechnical studies to assess clean-up strategies or the suitability of locations for an array of infrastructure, environmental, mining operations, and energy projects. They will be part of impact studies for facilities and operations that impact the surface environment and subsurface.
Areas of Geological Engineering
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Geological Engineers play a critical role in the site investigations for, the engineering designs of, and the monitoring to confirm Earth System solutions that ultimately improve our quality of life.
Geological Engineers plan, design, and implement geotechnical, geological, geophysical, hydrogeological, and environmental data acquisition from manual ground-based methods, shallow and deep drilling, geochemical sampling, advanced geophysical techniques, and satellite surveys.
The Department of Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering and Queen's offer a wide range of scholarships and bursaries to undergraduate students.
There are many awards available to students applying for undergraduate studies at Queen's. View a complete list of awards and applications on the Queen's University Student Awards website.
There are many named bursaries available to students applying for undergraduate studies at Queen's. View a complete list of bursaries on the Queen's University Student Awards website.
The Work Study Program is intended to supplement the resources of students who have the greatest financial difficulty and the fewest financial options by giving them priority for certain part-time jobs (generally on campus) while they are studying at Queen's.
There are many summer work and research opportunities for undergraduate students in the Department of Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering, in the broader Queen’s community, and in other companies and organizations. Many companies visit our Department and Queen’s throughout the year to recruit students for summer and full-time employment. The Department also organizes opportunities for current students to connect with industry through our GARNET Mentorship Program and other events. Full-time undergraduate students are also invited to apply for NSERC funded Undergraduate Summer Research Assistantships (USRAs) for summer research opportunities with faculty in our department.
The Queen’s Undergraduate Internship Program (QUIP) provides students with a 12-16 month work experience. QUIP internships are paid, professionally supervised, career-related positions designed to offer second or third year students the opportunity to learn about current advances, practices, and technologies in business and industry. Domestic and international opportunities are available for students in the BSc Geological Sciences program.
Due to the longer work term (compared to a 4-month co-op), employers are highly motivated to maximize their time and investment. This means that QUIP students are offered the opportunity to manage more extensive and significant projects. Geological Sciences students who participate in QUIP often return to finish their degree with an employment offer from their Internship employers.
Dynamic Career Opportunities
Our graduates are sought after not only for their deep and broad knowledge base but also for their exceptional field skills and their familiarity with state-of-the-art analysis and design tools and technology. We strongly emphasize interaction and student-faculty dialogue in our courses and departmental affairs. The Queen’s Geological Engineering Degree is very well respected among Canadian and international employers.
Queen’s Geological Engineering grads are employed across Canada and around the world in summer and permanent positions by environmental firms, construction consultants, the oil and gas sector, geophysical investigation teams, the mineral resources and mining industry, government offices, NGOs, and a vast number of related sectors.
A Queen’s Geological Engineering Degree also provides a firm basis on which to enter a wide range of graduate studies and research institutions to undertake more advanced projects and to pursue research careers.
- Plan, develop, and co-ordinate programs of geotechnical, geological, geophysical or hydrogeological data acquisition, analysis, and mapping to assist in the development of engineering, mining, petroleum, groundwater, and waste management projects or for regional development
- Analyze and prepare recommendations and reports for construction or improvements to foundations of civil engineering projects such as rock excavation, pressure grouting, and hydraulic channel erosion control
- Design means to safely excavate and stabilize the surrounding rock and soil in underground excavations and surface construction, in addition to managing water flow within and from these excavations
- Perform a critical role in all aspects of investigation, design, construction, and monitoring for all forms of underground infrastructure including tunnelling, mining, hydropower projects, shafts, deep repositories and caverns for power, storage, industrial activities, and recreation
- Design monitoring systems, analyze ground response (natural and induced) and prepare recommendations and reports on settlement of buildings, stability of slopes and fills, and probable effects of landslides and earthquakes to support construction and civil engineering projects
- Conduct theoretical and applied study of groundwater flow and contamination and develop prescriptions for site selection, treatment, and construction
- Design means to manage and protect groundwater or surface water resources and remediation solutions in the event of contamination
- Plan, develop, co-ordinate, and conduct theoretical and experimental studies in mining exploration, mine evaluation, and feasibility studies relative to the mining industry
- Conduct surveys and studies of ore deposits, ore reserve calculations, and mine design
- Contribute expertise related to mineral resources, geotechnical design, monitoring, and environmental management to a developing or ongoing mining operation
- Design and execute geophysical investigations from surface, in boreholes, or from space to analyze ground conditions, composition, and structure at all scales
- Design, develop, and implement computer applications for geophysics, geochemistry, geology, mapping, and related fields to support other geological engineering work
- Supervise technologists, technicians, and other engineers and scientists
- Move up into management positions where open-ended problem solving skills are essential
- Engineering law or finance careers (with additional training) armed with a firm foundation of open ended decision making, creative thinking, and logic
There are many opportunities in the Geological Engineering program to gain field experience that is essential for Geoengineers.
These opportunities allow students to apply the knowledge and skills acquired in the classroom in a real world setting and help them secure a job during the summer months and after graduation.
Most students gain over 200 hours of experience on various field trips.
Learn more about our field experience.
Hear From Our Students
Check out our student spotlights to see what students past and present have had to say about their experience in Queen's Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering.
You will find that we are a friendly department where you will get to know your classmates and professors well, and have a say in program development.
We take great pride in our strong alumni network of Geological Scientists and Geological Engineers from our Department who work across Canada and around the world in industry, research, and many other careers. Our Department’s Geo-Alumni Resource Network (GARNET) Program connects current students with recent alumni for career mentorship opportunities.
The Geological Engineering Program at Queen’s belongs to the Department of Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering, which is a unique department that offers complimentary programs in both Sciences and Engineering. This is one of our primary strengths that fosters collaboration and interaction between Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering students and faculty.
|Degree:||Bachelor of Applied Science (BASc) - Geological Engineering|
Queen's Geological Engineering offers an exciting career in earth engineering starting with a core program in physics, mechanics, and mathematics combined with geology, geophysics, geochemistry, site investigation, and design applied to geotechnical, geoenvironmental, and resource engineering.
Areas of specialization include geotechnical engineering, geoenvironmental engineering, applied geophysics, and mineral and energy exploration.