The department of Geotechnical Engineering which is regarded as the sole department of its type in Kurdistan Region in particular and in Iraq in general, my colleagues and I are trying very hard to raise the standard of teaching at this department to be compatible with high ranking universities.
Geotechnical engineering is a branch of engineering dealing with the analysis, design and construction of foundations, slopes, retaining structures and other systems that are made of or are supported by soil or rock. It is concerned with the engineering properties of earth materials.
Geotechnical engineers investigate the soil and bedrock below a site to confirm their engineering properties as they will relate to the proposed construction. They determine and design the type of foundations and pavements required for the intended man-made structures to be built. This includes such structures as high-rise buildings, bridges, highways, dams, other hydraulic structures and tunnels but also include smaller structures such as a single family home built on a steep hillside. The foundations built for above-ground structures include shallow foundations (footings), deep foundations (driven piles and drilled piers), and retaining walls. Dams and embankments are structures built of soil or rock; tunnels are structures built through soil or rock. Geotechnical engineers also assess the risk to humans, property and the environment from natural hazards such as earthquakes, landslides, debris flows, and rock falls (all involving natural materials). In addition to that, they investigate and assess the possibility of rock and mineral exploitation.
The Geotechnical Engineering Department at Faculty of Engineering was established in the end of 2004. In all Iraqi universities, geotechnical engineering is a part of post graduate study within the civil engineering department. At Koya University for the first time it became a part of undergraduate study. Because of the intensive construction program of Kurdistan Region Government (KRG) in the field of infrastructure, roads, tunnels, dams, heavy constructions, mineral exploration and many foundations engineering problem in Kurdistan Region, the geotechnical engineer was very much in demand.
The Mission of the Department of Geotechnical Engineering is to educate our students to prepare for careers in which they can contribute positively to the design, construction, maintenance and advancement of geotechnical engineering-based systems critical to the quality of life in a changing Kurdistan and world. We do this by providing students with the skills and tools necessary to understand the physical world, to apply this understanding to current and future needs of society and to responsibly and ethically address the impacts that engineered systems can have on a community and its environment. As part of this process, the Department's faculty and students will advance the state of knowledge of the discipline through researches, publications and relevant services to the profession and community.
The main mission of the department is to provide education of high scientific and technical quality in Geotechnical Engineering and to be prepared for conducting scientific research at a high international standard in this field in the future. The objectives of the bachelor program are to give the students the basic theoretical and practical knowledge that enables them to enter the work market at the academic bachelor level or to undertake a master programmer in the related fields.
- The undergraduate curriculum and other activities prepare graduates to:
Apply mathematics, science and contemporary methods to the formulation and solution of engineering problems.
Specify and conduct standard laboratory analyses, interpret data, formulate recommendations based on test results, and build understanding through experimentation.
Design systems, components and processes that conform to specifications and produce the intended benefits.
An ability to apply the principles of geology, elements of geophysics, geological & engineering field methods and engineering knowledge to find solutions and design for geological engineering problems which include one or more of the following considerations: the distribution of physical and chemical properties of earth materials including surface water and ground water, and the impact of exploration, development and extraction of natural resources and all kind of foundation problems.
Communicate effectively in writing and speech.
Employ interpersonal and social skills required for working on a team, in an organization, and with the general public.
Honor professional ethics.
Respect societal and environmental impacts of engineering.