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Opinion on Masters degree program

Opinion on Masters degree program

Opinion on Masters degree program


I am sure there would be a lot of experts currently working in Geotechnical Engineering. So, I need your advice on deciding which Geotechnical Engineering program is the best for me to pursue my masters degree. I have the choice of pursuing my masters degree in Geotechnical Engineering in the following three universities:

UT Austin

Virginia Tech

University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign

Please give your opinions based on research and job opportunities.

Thanks a lot.

RE: Opinion on Masters degree program

Any research on any subject is a small fraction of what practicing engineers need to know for completing there work. If you open up a geotechnical engineering textbook and read the table of contents you can do research on one of the topics the others are still required to be known by the practicing engineer.

For example if you research the settlement characteristics of a clay, that would only be applicable to that clay at that site and the geotechnical engineer would still need to determine the settlement, shear strength and seismic performance of all the other materials at the site, then come up with a design which may include excavation and/or bringing fill to the site and compacting.

My only other comment is that research is required to advance the state of the practice.

RE: Opinion on Masters degree program

All good choices, can't really go wrong with list. I'm partial to Illinois followed by Virginia Tech.

Mike Lambert

RE: Opinion on Masters degree program

All good, but my order would be:

Illinois-Strong Geotech and Pavements
UTA - Legacy of Lymon Reese

I would probably put Georgia Tech ahead of VT because of the George Sowers legacy and Paul Mayne as professor

RE: Opinion on Masters degree program

Aside from, practicing geotechs, ask your state DOT geotech dep't for possible research topic that might give them some help in their positions. Special construction techniques, such as those to prevent joint faulting might be looked at. I'd look at a topic that gets you out on their jobs. Gives you a leg up when job looking comes up.

RE: Opinion on Masters degree program

They are all outstanding schools.

I'd probably go Illinois, Viginia Tech, UT Austin.

Of course, if I went back to graduate school right now, I would go to UC Davis.

Other great geotechnical schools: UC Berkeley, UCLA, Purdue, Georgia Tech
Honorable mention: NC State, Oregon State

I'm probably missing a few.

RE: Opinion on Masters degree program

And how does one go about ranking the schools? Faculty? Research? Undergrad? Master's programme?

RE: Opinion on Masters degree program

One of the main "tasks" seems in order to be a well known school you have to write a lot. So looking at ASCE, where do the main active members come from now? What do they write about (research, etc.)along their varied knowledge of the field, etc. Take U of Ill. with Peck gone, etc. who is there now and what do they write about if at all? How active are they in ASCE? Edit: I'll add one more comment, a quote from my old boss B.K. Hough. He cautioned that much of what some write about is termed "Diarrhea of the pen". So beware, I guess.

RE: Opinion on Masters degree program

I worked with a guy who had a MSc and PhD from a "respected Uni" in America. He was a nightmare to work with, too focused on the finer details which probably had an impact on 5% of the outcome. Blew every budget that was allocated to a certain task because of this. He belonged in academia not in consulting.

I also worked with a guy who had a 3 year engineering degree, what we would all a Bachelor - Ordinary. He had approx 25 years experience when I worked with him and he was a brilliant engineer. He had a lot of hands on / practical knowledge from working as a piling supervisor, lab technician etc and other jobs.

Where you work and who you work with will have far more of an impact on your career than which University you go to, IMHO

I went back and did a masters a few years ago, what drove me was the location. I could still work while doing it. Not the best way to pick but I applied myself and learned a lot.

PS - OG is diarrhea of the keybored nowadays :)

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