The Department of Civil Engineering belongs to the School of Engineering and comprises the undergraduate program and a number of postgraduate programs. These include specializations in Construction Management, Geotechnical Engineering in Road and Pavement Construction and Building Construction. It also includes two Masters Programs, one in Civil Engineering and the other in Hydrosystems. The Civil Engineering Department is also involved with the doctoral program in Engineering.
The undergraduate program covers a range of subjects, seeking to develop an engineer with a well-rounded skills base. The subjects include: basic sciences (mathematics, physics and chemistry); basic engineering sciences concerning structures (structural analysis, statics, laboratories, concrete design); soil sciences (mechanics, geology, foundations); surveying and construction (topography, solids mechanics, materials, laboratories, construction processes, planning); water sciences (hydrology, fluids mechanics, laboratories, applied hydraulics, sanitary engineering); transportation engineering; and the community service program. After studying these general areas, students can choose their emphasis areas from: structures (seismic engineering, wood and masonry structures); soil mechanics (rock mechanics, slope stability analysis, geomaterials mechanics); transportation engineering (multimodal transport, airport engineering, port and harbor engineering, infrastructure management); and water resources (river hydraulics, ground water, reservoirs and dams, water distribution systems). Moreover, undergraduate students can take advantage of a wide offer of more than 700 complementary courses from different faculties within the university.
The Department of Civil Engineering offers a graduate program leading to either a Master of Science degree in Civil Engineering or a Master of Science degree in Hydrosystems. Specialty areas in the Masters in Civil Engineering include geotechnical, transportation infrastructure, water resources, structural and construction engineering. The graduate curriculum in Hydrosystems offers courses for engineers and geophysical sciences professionals that develop scientific and technological knowledge in relation to hydrosystems such as basins, rivers, lakes, aquifers, estuaries, coasts, irrigation areas, reservoirs and others.
In terms of research activities, three groups are currently working in connection with the civil engineering department. These include: Ciencia e Ingeniería del Agua y el Ambiente, Cecata, and Estructuras y Construcción. The Ciencias e Ingeniería group (Science and engineering of water and environment), created in 1999, develops projects of basic and applied knowledge in water resources and sanitary and environmental issues. Besides, the Cecata (Centre of Studies in Roads, Transport and Related Areas) group, created in 2001 is engaged in research studies involving infrastructure and transport systems. Finally, the Estructuras y Construcción (Structures and Construction) group, created in 2002, is dedicated to projects investigating seismic vulnerability, structural pathology and construction technologies.
The department of Civil Engineering is involved in developing studies and consultancies, applying their expertise investigations involving civil works, risks and natural threats, studies of environmental engineering and quality control of construction materials and processes.
These tasks can be carried out in the framework of projects of applied investigation, development and innovation as well as in the resolution of problems with private companies. It is also evident in support given to public enterprises, non-governmental organizations, communities or professional associations in areas of management, normalization or research of relevant problems in Colombian civil engineering.
Activities are carried out in the following areas of civil engineering: structures, roads and transport, geotechnical engineering, hydrosciences and environmental engineering, project construction and management, seismic engineering and natural threats.
These tasks rely on the support of the Materials Testing Laboratory.