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Program in Geological Engineering


Catherine A. Peters

Executive Committee

Michael A. Celia, Civil and Environmental Engineering

John A. Higgins, Geosciences

Satish C. B. Myneni, Geosciences

Catherine A. Peters, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Jean-Hervé Prévost, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Ignacio Rodríguez-Iturbe, Civil and Environmental Engineering

James A. Smith, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Geological engineering is the application of science to problems involving the Earth, its physical environment, earth materials, and natural resources. Geological engineering problems are increasingly important to humankind, and the well-trained Earth scientist-engineer will be uniquely positioned to solve these problems and find the best ways to use the earth's resources while protecting the environment. For example, the geological engineer is involved with exploration and use of Earth's water, energy, and mineral resources, as well as in the acquisition and utilization of the data necessary to shape environmental policy and practice. Princeton's Program in Geological Engineering combines studies in engineering and earth sciences, with focus on applications of geology, geochemistry, and geophysics.

Depending upon the selection of electives, the program prepares students for graduate study or practice in geology, geochemistry, geophysics, oceanography, water resources, engineering and environmental geology, and civil and environmental engineering. The program is a cooperative effort of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Department of Geosciences, and the program committee is drawn from those departments. The student may be a candidate for either the B.S.E. or the A.B. degree.

Students with interests in this interdepartmental approach are encouraged to consult the program director. Further information may be found under the listings of the two departments.

Program of Study

Participants in the program will satisfy the degree requirements for their department as well as the course and independent work requirements for the program. A coherent course of study will be developed in conjunction with the program adviser and the departmental representative and will include geosciences and engineering courses outside the student's department. Specific program requirements are listed below.

Program Requirements

All program students must take:

1. B.S.E. mathematics, physics, and chemistry requirements.

2. Four program-approved courses at or above the 300 level that constitute a coherent sequence (for additional details, see the geosciences and civil and environmental engineering department descriptions). At least two of these courses must be from a department different from that in which the student is concentrating.

3. A two-semester senior thesis on a geological engineering topic approved by the program committee.

To remain a member of the program in good standing, students must maintain at least a B- average in their technical subjects. To be awarded the program certificate upon graduation, students must achieve a minimum grade average of B- in program courses. Program courses may not be taken on a pass/D/fail basis.

Certificate of Proficiency

Students who have met the program requirements will receive a certificate of proficiency upon graduation.


CEE 102A Engineering in the Modern World (also EGR 102A/MAE 102A)   Fall HA

Lectures and readings focus on bridges, railroads, power plants, steamboats, telegraph, highways, automobiles, aircraft, computers, and the microchip. Historical analysis provides a basis for studying societal impact by focusing on scientific, political, ethical, and aesthetic aspects in the evolution of engineering over the past two and a half centuries. The precepts and the papers will focus historically on engineering ideas including the social and political issues raised by these innovations and how they were shaped by society as well as how they helped shape culture. Two lectures, one preceptorial. M. Littman

CEE 102B Engineering in the Modern World (also EGR 102B/MAE 102B)   Fall STL

Lectures and readings focus on bridges, railroads, power plants, steamboats, telegraph, highways, automobiles, aircraft, computers, and the microchip. We study some of the most important engineering innovations since the industrial revolution. The laboratory centers on technical analysis that is the foundation for design of these major innovations. The experiments are modeled after those carried out by the innovators themselves, whose ideas are explored in the light of the social environment within which they worked. Two lectures, one three-hour laboratory. M. Littman

CEE 105 Lab in Conservation of Art (also ART 105/EGR 105)   Not offered this year STL

This course examines how environmental factors (acid, rain, ice, salts, biota) damage sculpture and monuments made of stone and masonry, paintings on wood, and sculptures in bronze. It examines campus buildings that illustrate each type of damage and uses a visit to the Cloisters Museum to learn how those medieval buildings are protected. Lectures on structure and properties of materials and mechanisms of attack. Labs include quantifying water movement through stone, damage from freezing and salts, strength of mortars, protective effects of sealants and consolidants, effect of moisture on wood. Two lectures and one three-hour laboratory. G. Scherer

CEE 205 Mechanics of Solids   Fall STN

This course teaches fundamental principles of solid mechanics. Equilibrium equations, reactions, internal forces, stress, strain, Mohr's circle, and Hooke's law. Analysis of the stress and deformation in simple structural members for safe and stable engineering design. Axial force in bars, torsion in shafts, bending and shearing in beams, stability of elastic columns, strain transformation, stress transformation, circle of Mohr, combined loadings, design project. Two lectures, one class. Prerequisites: MAT 104, PHY 103. S. Adriaenssens

CEE 208 Mechanics of Fluids (see MAE 222)

CEE 242 The Experience of Modernity: A Survey of Modern Architecture in the West (see ART 242)

CEE 262A Structures and the Urban Environment (also ARC 262A/EGR 262A/URB 262A/ART 262)   Spring LA

This course focuses on structural engineering as a new art form begun during the Industrial Revolution and flourishing today in long-span bridges, thin shell concrete vaults, and tall buildings. Through laboratory experiments students study the scientific basis for structural performance and thereby connect external forms to the internal forces in the major works of structural engineers. Students examine contemporary exemplars that are essential to the understanding of 21st century structuring of cities with illustrations taken from various cities in the U.S. and abroad. Two lectures, one preceptorial. M. Garlock

CEE 262B Structures and the Urban Environment (also ARC 262B/EGR 262B/URB 262B)   Spring STL

This course focuses on structural engineering as a new art form begun during the Industrial Revolution and flourishing today in long-span bridges, thin shell concrete vaults, and tall buildings. Through laboratory experiments students study the scientific basis for structural performance and thereby connect external forms to the internal forces in the major works of structural engineers. Students examine contemporary exemplars that are essential to the understanding of 21st century structuring of cities with illustrations taken from various cities in the U.S. and abroad. Two lectures, one three-hour laboratory. M. Garlock

CEE 263 Rivers and the Regional Environment   Not offered this year QR

River basins are the fundamental frameworks for examining the natural environment and its interaction with the works of society. These works, exemplified by major dams, are the basis for the agricultural and industrial development of a modern society. The course will explore the history, science, and engineering of water resource development and the design of large-scale structures related to that development. Two lectures, one preceptorial. , J. Smith Staff

CEE 302 Advanced Analysis of Environmental Systems (see ENV 302)

CEE 303 Introduction to Environmental Engineering (also ENV 303/URB 303)   Not offered this year STN

The course introduces the students to the basic chemical and physical processes of relevance in environmental engineering. Mass and energy balance and transport concepts are introduced and the chemical principles governing reaction kinetics and phase partitioning are presented. We then turn our focus to the application of these principles in environmental engineering problems related to water and air pollution. Two 80-minute lectures. Prerequisite: CHM 201 or MAT 104 or instructor's permission. C. Peters

CEE 305 Environmental Fluid Mechanics (also GEO 375/ENE 305)   Not offered this year STN

The course starts by introducing the conservation principles and related concepts used to describe fluids and their behavior. Mass conservation is addressed first, with a focus on its application to pollutant transport problems in environmental media. Momentum conservation, including the effects of buoyancy and earth's rotation, is then presented. Fundamentals of heat transfer are then combined with the first law of thermodynamics to understand the coupling between heat and momentum transport. We then proceed to apply these laws to study air and water flows in various environmental systems, with a focus on the atmospheric boundary layer. E. Bou-Zeid

CEE 306 Hydrology   Spring STN

Analysis of fundamental processes affecting the dynamics of the hydrologic cycle. These include precipitation, evaporation, infiltration, runoff, and groundwater flow. Governing equations will be developed and applications will be considered for a range of hydrologic systems. Concepts and techniques for design of water projects will also be covered. Students will be encouraged to solve problems in Matlab. Prior experience with Matlab is not required. Three lectures. Prerequisite: MAT 201, may be taken concurrently. J. Smith

CEE 307 Water, Energy, and Ecosystems (also EEB 305)   Spring STL

This three-week course, offered as part of a four-course study abroad semester, takes place at Princeton Univeristy's Mpala Research Centre in central Kenya. The course will provide an introduction to the principles of hydrological sciences via the development and application of instrumentation for characterizing surface/subsurface hydrological dynamics in field settings. Lectures and field activities will address the theory of operation, design, and implementation of methods used to quantify hydrological patterns and processes. Prerequisite: MAT 201. K. Caylor

CEE 308 Environmental Engineering Laboratory   Spring STL

Designed to teach experimental measurement techniques in environmental engineering and their interpretations. Analytical techniques to assess biodegradation of wastes, lake eutrophication, non-point source pollution, and transport of contaminants in surface and groundwater, as well as hydrologic measurements to determine river and groundwater discharges, and soil-moisture dynamics in response to precipitation events will be conducted. One three-hour laboratory plus one lecture per week. Prerequisites: CEE 303 and CEE 306 or Permission of Instructor. CEE 306 may be taken concurrently. P. Jaffé

CEE 311 Global Air Pollution (also CHM 311/GEO 311/ENE 311)   Fall

The chemical and physical processes involved in the transformation, transport, sources, and sinks of air pollutants on local to global scales. Topics include photochemical smog, particulate matter, greenhouse gases, and stratospheric ozone depletion. Students will have the unique opportunity to analyze chemical and physical data acquired in real-time from the NSF Gulfstream-V research aircraft as it probes the atmosphere from the Earth's surface to the lower stratosphere over a latitudinal range from the Arctic to the Antarctic. A wide range of environments will be studied, from very clean, remote portions of the globe to urban megacities. M. Zondlo

CEE 312 Statics of Structures   Spring STN

Presents the fundamental principles of structural analysis, determination of internal forces, and deflections under the static load conditions, and introduces the bending theory of plane beams and the basic energy theorems. The theory of the first order will be developed for continuous girders, frames, arches, suspension bridges, and trusses, including both statically determinate and indeterminate structures. Basic principles for construction of influence lines and determination of extreme influences will be presented. Two lectures, one preceptorial. Prerequisite: CEE 205. B. Glisic

CEE 323 Modern Solid Mechanics (see MAE 223)

CEE 334 Global Environmental Issues (also WWS 452/ENV 334/ENE 334)   Spring STN

This course examines a set of global environmental issues including population growth, ozone layer depletion, climate change, air pollution, the environmental consequences of energy supply and demand decisions and sustainable development. It provides an overview of the scientific basis for these problems and examines past, present and possible future policy responses. Individual projects, presentations, and problem sets are included. Prerequisites: AP Chemistry, CHM 201, or permission of instructor. D. Mauzerall

CEE 350 Introduction to Differential Equations (see APC 350)

CEE 360 Physics of Earth, the Habitable Planet (see GEO 361)

CEE 361 Matrix Structural Analysis and Introduction to Finite-Element Methods (also MAE 325)   Fall QR

Basic concepts of matrix structural analysis. Direct stiffness method. Axial force member. Beam bending member. Formation of element stiffness matrix. Assembling of global stiffness matrix. Introduction of boundary conditions. Solution of linear algebraic equations. Special analysis procedures. The finite-element method. Introduction and basic formulation, heat diffusion, plain stress and plain strain elasticity problems. Plate bending problems. The use and implementation of structural analysis and finite element computer codes using MATLAB is emphasized throughout the course. Prerequisite: CEE 205/MAE 223 or permission of instructor. J. Prévost

CEE 362 Structural Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering   Not offered this year STN

Analysis of forces and deformations in structures under dynamic loads. Idealization as discrete parameter systems. Single and multiple degrees of freedom. Response analysis under free vibration, harmonic, impulsive and random dynamic loads. Time and frequency domains. Earthquake phenomena from the engineering point of view. Seismic waves and power spectra. Measurement of strong ground motion. The concepts of response spectra, structural response to earthquakes, design criteria, and seismic safety. Prerequisite: 361 or instructor Staff

CEE 364 Materials in Civil Engineering (also ARC 364)   Spring STL

Lectures on structure and properties of building materials including concrete (conventional and low CO2), steel, asphalt and wood; fracture mechanics; strength testing; mechanisms of deterioration (corrosion; freeze-thaw cycles, pollution). Labs on brittle fracture, heat treatment of steel, strength of concrete, mechanical properties of wood. Prerequisites: CEE 205 C. White, G. Scherer

CEE 365 Soil Mechanics   Not offered this year

General introduction to physical and engineering properties of soils. Soil classification and identification methods. Soil exploration, sampling, and in situ testing techniques. Permeability, seepage, and consolidation phenomena. Bearing capacity, equations, stress distributions and settlements. Slope stability and lateral pressures. Prerequisite: CEE 205 or permission of instructor. J. Prévost

CEE 366 Design of Reinforced Concrete Structures   Fall STN

Materials in reinforced concrete. Flexural analysis and design of beams. Shear and diagonal tension in beams. Short columns. Frames. Serviceability. Bond, anchorage, and development length. Slabs. Special topics. Introduction to design of steel structures. Two 90-minute lectures. Prerequisite: CEE 205. M. Garlock

CEE 370 Sedimentology (see GEO 370)

CEE 375 Independent Study   Fall

Independent Study in the student's area of interest. The work must be conducted under the supervision of a faculty member and must result in a final paper. Permission of advisor and instructor are required. Open to sophomores and juniors. Must fill out Independent Study form. C. Peters

CEE 376 Independent Study   Spring

Independent research in the student's area of interest. The work must be conducted under the supervision of a faculty member, and must result in a final paper. Students must obtain prior approval of a faculty member to serve as research advisor, and Hand in to E-211 E-Quad the Independent Research Proposal Project form signed by your advisor & the dept rep. Open to sophomores and juniors. C. Peters

CEE 417 Environmental Microbiology (see GEO 417)

CEE 423 Dynamic Meteorology (see GEO 423)

CEE 424 Introductory Seismology (see GEO 424)

CEE 455 Mid-Infrared Technologies for Health and the Environment (see ELE 455)

CEE 460 Risk Analysis   Spring QR

Fundamentals of probabilistic risk analysis. Stochastic modeling of hazards. Estimation of extremes. Vulnerability modeling of natural and built environment. Evaluation of failure chances and consequences. Reliability analysis. Decision analysis and risk management. Case studies involving natural hazards, including earthquakes, extreme wind, rainfall flooding, storm surge, hurricanes, and climate change, and their induced damage and economic losses. Not open to freshmen. Prerequisites: Basic probability and statistics course. N. Lin

CEE 461 Design of Large-Scale Structures: Buildings   Spring STN

This course will focus on the structural design of buildings and is open to students of engineering and of architecture who meet the prerequisites. The course will culminate in a major building design project incorporating knowledge and skills acquired in earlier course work. Structural design is considered from concept development to the completion of detailed design while incorporating appropriate engineering standards and multiple realistic constraints. Not Open to Freshmen. Prerequisites: both CEE 312 and CEE 366, or permission from the instructor. Staff

CEE 462 Design of Large-Scale Structures: Bridges   Not offered this year STN

The design of bridges is considered from the conceptual phase up to the final design phase. The following issues are addressed in this course: types of bridges, design codes, computer modeling of bridges, seismic analysis and design, seismic retrofit design, inspection, maintenance and rehabilitation of bridges, movable bridges, bridge aerodynamics, organization of a typical engineering firm, marketing for engineering work. Several computer codes are used in this course. Prerequisite: CEE 366 or CEE 361, or instructor's permission. Staff

CEE 463 A Social and Multi-Dimensional Exploration of Structures   Fall

The class has pedagogical objectives related to the spatial relations of dimensions and time (sustainability and society).It develops the students' skills in drawing, model making, writing, oral communication, and advanced engineering analysis.The course is focused on a study of one theme that changes every year. Two three-hour studios per week with lectures included.Prerequisites: both CEE205 and CEE312 M. Garlock, I. Payá-Zaforteza

CEE 471 Introduction to Water Pollution Technology (also GEO 471/URB 471)   Fall STN

An introduction to the science and engineering of water quality management and pollution control in natural systems; fundamentals of biological and chemical transformations in natural waters; identification of sources of pollution; water and wastewater treatment methods; fundamentals of water quality modeling.Two 90-minute lectures and field trips.Open to Juniors and Seniors Only. Prerequisites: Student should have some background in chemistry and an interest in water pollution problems. P. Jaffé

CEE 472 Hydrometeorology and Remote Sensing   Not offered this year STN

The structure and evolution of precipitation systems are examined, including the dynamical and microphysical processes that control the spatial and temporal distribution of precipitation. The fundamentals of remote sensing of aerosols, clouds and precipitation are introduced. Related topics in hydrology and hydraulics are covered. Three lectures. Prerequisite: instructor's permission. J. Smith

CEE 474 Special Topics in Civil and Environmental Engineering (also ENV 474)   Not offered this year STN

This class is an introduction to physical computing using the Arduino platform, with the goal of developing environmental sensors that talk to the internet over cellular networks. You will learn to develop computer code and wire electronics, as well as learn the nuts and bolts of the internet, including linux utilities, mysql, python, and sms. Not Open to Freshmen. K. Caylor

CEE 477 Engineering Design for Sustainable Development (also ENE 477)   Fall STN

Students will design several features of a LEED-certified building project. Features that will be considered include ground source heat pumps; ventilation; photovoltaics (PV); insulation; glazing; green materials; and storm water management systems, including a green roof, porous parking lots, and the gray water usage. Ventilation will be designed considering the potential for vapor emissions from building materials. Energy software will be used to determine the carbon footprint of alternative designs. Two 90-minute lectures. Prerequisite: CEE 303 or equivalent with instructor's permission. Open to Seniors and Graduate students only. R. Harris

CEE 478 Senior Thesis   Fall, Spring

A formal report on research involving analysis, synthesis, and design, directed toward improved understanding and resolution of a significant problem in civil and environmental engineering. The research is conducted under the supervision of a faculty member, and the thesis is defended by the student at a public examination before a faculty committee. The senior thesis is equivalent to a year-long study and is recorded as a double course in the spring. C. Peters