GeoRox - A Proud History
Help us record the history of Geological Engineering at UBC. If you have any submissions or would like to add to the highlights below, please contact us.
The Early Years - 1915-1950:
The provincial government passes the "University Act" into law leading to the creation of UBC.
Reginald W. Brock, a Geological Engineer, is named as one of the first four professors selected by UBC President F.F. Westbrook to form the nucleus of the staff of the new university. Brock is also named the first Dean of Applied Science although his career is interrupted by war service (1914-1919).
The Geological Engineering program is resumed after Dean Brock returns from service. The program is created to address the needs of the mineral industry, emphasising mining and petroleum geology. Administration of the program falls on the Department of Geology within the Faculty of Arts & Science.
Frustration with the centrally located Fairview site leads student protests and the "Great Trek". UBC begins the move to the present-day Point Grey campus.
Victor Dolmage, considered the first engineering geologist in BC, begins teaching in the Geological Engineering program on a part time basis. Victor was a hardrock mining geologist for the GSC (Chief of the BC division from 1922-1929), who started his involvement in Geological Engineering by carrying out geological mapping of the tunnel on Mission Mountain as part of the first Bridge River Project for the BC Electric Railway Company. He later went on to provide geological input for a large number of BC engineering projects including the Cleveland dam, First Narrows pressure tunnel for the Greater Vancouver Water and Sewage Board, Wahleach power project, Cheakamus power project, Kemano Tunnel and W.A.C. Bennett dam.
Momentum - 1950-1970:
Henry Gunning, head of the Department of Geology and Geography, becomes the fourth Dean of Applied Science.
An engineering geology specialization was initiated within the Geological Engineering Program, partially at the insistence of Henry Gunning (Dean of Applied Science). Bill Mathews recounting the beginning of engineering geology at UBC: "...a demand has arisen for geologists trained in interpreting the rocks and soil in the vicinity of major construction projects in terms of potential hazards, problems of construction, and sources of raw materials. The geological engineer, soundly trained in both geology and engineering fundamentals, is the man, we believe, best qualified to work closely with the civil engineer responsible for the execution of this work".
Geological Engineering and Mining Enginering briefly merge.
The Geological Engineering program moves with the Department of Geology to the newly created Faculty of Science while remaining an Applied Science program.