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PhD in Geotechnical Engineering and Geo-Sciences

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Area of knowledge:

CIVIL ENGINEERING

Quality & Excellence Mention:

PhD Program distinguished with the Quality & Excellence Mention of the Spanish Ministry of Education and Science further to its evaluation by the Agència Nacional d'Avaluació de la Qualitat i Acreditació. 2004-2005 Official Announcement.

Quality & Excellence Mention renewed in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009.

Language:

The languages used in the Ph.D. program are Catalan, Spanish and English. You can follow the Ph.D. program and write the Ph.D. thesis in either of these languages.

Coordinator of the PhD program:

EDUARDO ALONSO PÉREZ DE ÁGREDA
Phone: +34 93 401 68 66
eduardo.alonsoarrobaupc.edu

Administrators of the PhD program:

M. Carmen Rodríguez Rodríguez
Phone: +34 93 401 68 66
doctorat.etcgarrobaupc.edu

Associated Master degree:

MASTER DEGREE IN GEOTECHNICAL ENGINEERING AND EARTHQUAKE ENGINEERING, certified by the Catalan Agency for University Quality and verified by the Spanish National Association for Evaluation, Quality and Certification (ANECA).

Background

The Ph.D. Program in Geotechnical Engineering and Geo-Sciences incorporates in a common structure two knowledge areas well-known internationally in the research field. Geotechnical Engineering and Groundwater Engineering (or hydrogeology) The profile of the subjects proposed in both categories or specializations is equivalent to the ones offered in well-known Ph.D. programs all over the world. Applying to a sole Ph.D. program offers an additional advantage to both specializations as they share common subjects, specially at a conceptual level (such as: flow in porous media, transportation, thermal, mechanical, hydraulic and chemical interactions), which is the most appropriate level for a Ph.D.
The subjects and research lines of the teaching staff are reflected onto the Ph.D. Thesis that have been developed throughout the program's history. The university professors in charge of the program are well-known because of their contribution to the development of mathematical and numerical methods in several fields (flow in media with random properties, transportation of pollutants, optimization of resources, constitutive equations of materials, development of advanced calculation programs) and their involvement in European and International projects with regards to many areas of civil engineering during the last 20 years. These projects are a permanent source of new research themes that are offered to the students for the elaboration of their Ph.D. Thesis.
The program has adapted to different Ph.D. regulations, specifically to the Royal Decrees number 778/1998, 55/1998, 56/2005, 189/2007 and 1393/2007.

Justification of the need for the program

Los estudios de Doctorado en Ingeniería del Terreno (que en el caso del Programa de Doctorado de la UPC incluyen Mecánica del Suelo y Geotecnia, Hidrogeología y Geología Aplicada) constituyen un programa clásico y muy activo internacionalmente, dentro del ámbito de la Ingeniería Civil. La investigación en los campos señalados se recoge en no menos de 15-20 revistas internacionales de prestigio y un número muy superior de revistas nacionales y congresos de toda índole.
The Ph.D. in Geotechnical Engineering and Geo-Sciences (which in the UPC includes Soil Mechanics, Geotechnics, Hydrogeology and Applied Geology) is a traditional program, very active internationally within the field of Civil Engineering. The results of the research on the above-fields have been published in more than 15-20 international journals and an even higher number of national journals and congress proceedings.
The demand for the program by potential students has increased progressively for the last 10 years. Recently an acceleration of this demand has been detected, specially regarding South-American students. Applicants usually refer to the renown of the group in charge of the program and mention their publications. The program is based on the research activity sponsored by international, European and national (from the Spanish Ministry and Catalonian Government) projects and different companies, which enables the program to offer their own scholarships. The group of professors in charge of the program are internationally well-known and their scientific contributions are a point of reference in some fields. This fact adds quality to the program above more organizational or in detail considerations.

Aim

The aim of the program is to provide a top-level research formation in the fields of soil and rock mechanics, hydrogeology and geological engineering. Furthermore, the activities included in the program (courses, research work and seminars) supply updated information on the current scientific level and technological achievements. Once the students complete the Ph.D. program in Geotechnical Engineering and Geo-Sciences (both the learning and research periods), they will be able:

  • To demonstrate a systematic comprehension of the field of study (in soil and rock mechanics, hydrogeology or geological engineering), and their mastering of the research abilities and methods with regards to that field.
  • To demonstrate their capabilities to conceive, design, develop and adopt a fundamental research process with academic seriousness.
  • To contribute with an original research that widens the knowledge by means of a considerable corpus and deserves its publication at a national or international level.
  • To critically analyze, evaluate and synthesize new and complex ideas.
  • To communicate with their colleagues and the academic community, in particular, and with the society, in general, about their field of knowledge.
  • To encourage, at an academic and professional level, the technological, social or cultural advances within a society that is based on knowledge.

The acquisition of these capabilities during the learning period is evaluated by passing the different subjects of the Ph.D. program. During the research period these capabilities will be evaluated by means of public lectures in seminars or congresses within the area of expertise of the Ph.D. student.

Admittance to the Ph.D. program:

General requirements:

http://doctorat.upc.edu/new-students/access-requeriments

Specific requirements

Engineers and university graduates, preferably from Civil Engineering, Geological Engineering or Architecture studies. More than a postgraduate course in Civil Engineering, Earth Sciences or other related fields. Other curricula or learning profiles will be evaluated by the program's Committee.


Additional training
Based on the degree and knowledge required to gain access to the program, as well as to the aim of the thesis, the Academic Committee could demand for students to attend specific additional training, which can either involve research or transversal training, but which will never be equal or surpass 60 ECTS credits.

Pre-enrollment

Given that admittance is limited, it is necessary to pre-enroll in the program. This can be done on-line by filling up a form with all the personal details. The applicants having pre-enrolled will receive information on whether they have been accepted before the end of July.

Student welcome:

The head of the program will interview the doctorates and, depending on their interests, will assign them a director adequate to the subject of study. The director establishes a registration schedule for each student, individually, as well as the specialty depending on their background and interests, and a follow up not only of the learning period but also of the research phase. The staff from the secretariat of the department will welcome the new doctorates, help them with the registration and give them all the information on the services and resources available at the university and the department for the development of their Ph.D. studies. UPC organises at the beginning of each academic year the Orientation Week for new foreign students. The Orientation Week offers activities to familiarise students with UPC and Catalonian society.

Credit recognition policy:

The academic committee of the Ph.D. program determines the potential credit recognition from the student's original degree, taking into account the rules established by the university in this respect.

Complementary training of activities specifically designed for UPC's M.Sc. programs:

Besides the professors that habitually collaborate with the program, several professor from internationally well-known universities visit our department every year to give intensive seminars on topics of public interest within the Ph.D. program. Courses financed by the mobility fund of the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation.

Complementary training of additional activities during the research phase:

Seminars and activities to introduce students into bibliographical research taught by the staff from the university library.
Public lectures in seminars and congresses from the area of expertise of the Ph.D. program.

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Regulations for the elaboration, processing and evaluation of the Ph.D. thesis proposal

Calls

Each year there are two calls: the first one being in January-February and the second one in June-July. The precise dates are published in this web at the events section.

Requirements

Students seeking to apply for one of this calls must inform the Secretariat of the Department, once they have been authorized by their tutor. In case of confirmation, students should present 3 copies of the Ph.D. thesis proposal yo the Secretariat of the Department.

The proposal should include the following:

 

  • FRONT PAGE:
    • Name of the Ph.D. student
    • Title
    • Director and speaker (if the director is from outside the UPC)
  • CONTENTS (the document should not exceed 40 pages):
    • Abstract
    • Aim
    • Overview
    • Work plan and estimated schedule
    • References
    • Publications in the field of study (if any)
Language

The proposal and dissertation can be delivered in Catalan, Spanish or English.

Dissertation

Students should present the proposal orally and publicly in less than 20 minutes. Then the Examiners panel will ask the proper questions and comments and will mark the proposal from 0 to 10, being NON SATISFACTORY from 0 to 4 and SATISFACTORY from 5 to 10.
The presentation, discussion and assessment of the student proposal will be of 30 to 40 minutes.


Regulations for the elaboration, processing and evaluation of the Ph.D. thesis

The regulation applied to all aspects and procedures related with Ph.D. studies, from the student admission to the Ph.D. defense process ans issuing of the Ph.D. degree and any other documentation can be found in the following links:

 

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Quality guarantee system of the program

The academic commission of the Ph.D. program is responsible for guaranteeing the quality of all the activities related to the program, not only administrative but also academic. The quality guarantee system of the program is based on the following systems and mechanisms:

Student opinion polls

Satisfaction surveys are periodically handed out to Ph.D. students and the proper continuous improvement measures are accordingly taken.

Student assessment and monitoring

The tutor assigned to the student is responsible for the continuous assessment of his/her progress. During the research phase, the evaluation and tutoring report are the tools that allow establishing the progress of the thesis. These tools will lead to encouraging the strong points and detecting the weak points or shortages and thus stablish the proper corrective measures.

Student information system

The UPC has tools and specific units to inform and help Ph.D. students. The Students Mobility Officeblank_page offers information on mobility programs, agreements with well-known universities and grants and gives support to international students with administrative procedures. the Doctoral Schoolblank_page provides students with information and documentation resources regarding Ph.D. studies. The Department's web site also informs about activities of interest to students, including a link to the e-secretaryblank_page. The Digital Libraryblank_page of the UPC is an open window to well-known journals, data bases and quality rates of the scientific production that helps students with their research work and with the election of the most adequate media of distribution of the articles that could derive from their thesis.

Analysis an decision-making systems

The Ph.D. Commission is in charge of monitoring and analyzing the documentation and information extracted from the quality guarantee systems, as well as their control mechanisms. The Commission implements potential improvements in the unit responsible for the program and informs the rest of the units involved.

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UPC staff

Teaching staff:

All the professors connected to the Ph.D. program have experience teaching and lead a reliable research activity.


  • ALONSO PEREZ DE AGREDA, EDUARDO
  • AYORA IBAÑEZ, CARLOS
  • CANAS TORRES, JOSE ANTONIO
  • CANDELA GARCIA, JOSE IGNACIO
  • CANDELA LLEDO, LUCILA
  • CAROL VILARASAU, IGNACIO
  • CARRERA RAMIREZ, JESUS
  • COROMINAS DULCET, JORDI
  • CUSTODIO GIMENA, EMILIO
  • GENS SOLE, ANTONIO
  • GILI RIPOLL, JOSEP A.
  • HURLIMANN ZIEGLER, MARCEL
  • LEDESMA VILLALBA, ALBERTO
  • LLORET MORANCHO, ANTONIO
  • LOPEZ GARELLO, CARLOS MARIA
  • MOYA SANCHEZ, JOSE
  • OLIVELLA PASTALLE, SEBASTIÀ
  • PRAT CATALAN, PERE
  • PUJADES BENEIT, LUIS G.
  • ROMERO MORALES, ENRIQUE
  • SAALTINK, MAARTEN W.
  • SANCHEZ VILA, XAVIER
  • VAUNAT, JEAN
  • VAZQUEZ SUÑE, ENRIC
Support staff:

Laboratory technicians to support the research phase of the Ph.D. thesis:


  • ALVAREZ MUÑOZ, JOSE
  • CLAPES BOIXADER, JAIME
  • LOZANO AMBRÓS, VÍCTOR
  • MARIN SIERRA, JOSÉ
  • PEREZ REVILLA, TOMÁS

High-level technician in computer sciences to support computing servers, software, hardware and computer applications.


  • MARQUES MARQUES, ALBERT

Technical translator Spanish/Catalan <-> English for thesis, presentations, reports and articles:


  • OBRADOR GIL, M MAR

Administrative support:


  • RODRIGUEZ RODRIGUEZ, M CARMEN
  • RUBIO PEÑAS, OSCAR

Resources, equipment and services

  • Access to the UPC teaching virtual environment: ATENEA
  • Teaching rooms equipped with video projector, PC and Internet.
  • Computer equipment and rooms at the Department of Geotechnical Engineering and the School of Civil Engineering of Barcelona (ETSECCPB). Generally used software and computing software specific for the Ph.D. program.
  • Services and facilities of the UPC Library.
  • 4x4 vehicle property of the department for field work.
  • Depending on availability, students may have access to a WI-FI working space within the department.
  • Free WI-FI access throughout the UPC campus.
  • Laboratories within the department for teaching and research purposes.
last modified : September 2016
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