Graduate Certificate in Geomechanics/Rock Mechanics

Graduate Certificate in Geomechanics/Rock Mechanics

Whether you’re currently working in a mining or geological engineering industry and are seeking to develop specialized skills in rock mass behavior and properties; would like to make a career change; or just have an interest in the field; the online Graduate Certificate in Geomechanics/Rock Mechanics is an ideal solution. The program, offered entirely online, provides in-depth insight into geological engineering and mining principles shaped and taught by experts in the industry and leading faculty.

As a student, you’ll examine the core technical and scientific principles that guide safe, geotechnical design and evaluation, gaining the competencies needed to navigate the excavation process. You’ll closely explore aspects of underground construction and stability analysis, learning to harvest raw materials while eliminating the hazards of subterranean ventures. Additionally, you’ll have the opportunity to pursue an elective course in the area of study that interests you most, with topics ranging from mine ventilation and soil assessment to earth pressure theories.

The program is shaped by industry leaders to offer a relevant, rigorous exploration of advanced concepts in geological engineering. The curriculum is presented through interactive learning materials and projects, which makes the program a convenient means of professional development for those working full-time.

Should you decide to pursue the Master of Engineering in Mining and Geological Engineering after graduation, or are completing both programs concurrently, all 15 units taken in this certificate program can be transferred.


Prerequisite Courses: 1 unit each

Students who have not previously completed coursework in Calculus, Statistics, and Strengths and Materials may be required to complete prerequisite work. These courses will be part of the student’s study plan and are available online through the Mining Department. They will be counted toward the 15 total required units.

Required Courses (12 units)

Methods of excavation of rock in surface and underground mines and construction, ranging from the empiricism of conventional blasting practice to the application of the fundamental mechanics of rock fracture. Graduate-level requirements include a research project. Course Requisites: Knowledge of rock mechanics or consent of instructor.
Mechanical behavior of rock and rock masses; response to load changes: deformations, failure, discontinuity slip; in situational stress state; rock testing; geomechanical classifications; engineering applications: slopes, pillars, tunnels, dam foundations; reinforcement design. Graduate-level requirements include either a research project or a research paper at the discretion of the instructor.
Geomechanical aspects of underground excavation in rock. Empirical and mechanistic stability evaluation and design. Graduate-level requirements include an independent design/analysis project. Course Requisites: Knowledge of geomechanics or consent of instructor.
Fracture mechanics theory applied to the deformation and failure of rock; numerical techniques; micromechanical damage models; flow through fractures; the mechanics of faulting and earthquake rupture.

Elective Courses (3 units)

You can also choose an elective course with the approval of the program advisor. Examples of electives include:

Tailings Storage Facility design (operation) is a multidisciplinary enterprise which requires broad background knowledge in many diverse fields: geotechnical engineering, mining engineering and mineral processing engineering. The responsibility for tailings disposal operation is usually given to mill superintendent or metallurgical engineer, and mining engineers are sometimes confronted with the problems of embankment slope stability and seepage. Thus, it is required for mine operator/engineers to have (preparatory) background knowledge related with Tailings Storage Facility design and operation. This course provides a link between the various technical disciplines. The course includes engineering behavior of tailings, various tailings disposal methods, impoundment water control, and embankment slope stability/seepage analysis using the computational modeling software. Graduate level students will have additional assignments and projects (presentations and technical reports) assigned.
Determination of quality and quantity of respirable air in mining operations. Thermodynamics of mine ventilation and design of ventilation systems. Governing regulations and environmental consideration. Computer Applications, Laboratory work and Intensive Field Trip. Graduate-level requirements include two additional homework assignments, an individual project to complete and additional questions on exams.
The project or independent study must be appropriate to the student’s plan of study, and is subject to the approval, in advance, by the student’s advisory committee.

Course substitutions or changes in electives are allowed with the approval of the program advisor.

Read more about admissions information for our graduate certificate programs.

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