Framing the Naming: Why it matters we are now the Department of Civil & Mineral Engineering

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Change showcases significant growth, spirit of inclusion, collaboration and diversity that exists within the Department

The University of Toronto’s Executive Committee of Governing Council recently approved a new name for the Department of Civil & Mineral Engineering, an update that reflects the Department’s strong community and the breadth of knowledge and expertise of its members.

“This important change captures and communicates the true make-up of our vibrant community,” Professor Brent Sleep, Chair, Department of Civil & Mineral Engineering. “Our new name reflects all of our offerings and the strategic vision for our Department. We are leaders in education and research in systems-based approaches to developing sustainable solutions for the global community across the spectrum from mineral engineering to urban infrastructure.”

The new name was arrived at through an extensive collaborative consultation process, with input and valued opinions from department stakeholders. While the name change does not alter departmental structure or programs, it creates exciting opportunities to strengthen connections among the Department’s entire undergraduate community, solidify ties with all alumni and deepen existing connections to industry and employers.

“The Department’s new name reflects how engineering is practiced in the 21st century,” said Dr. Paul Cadario (CivE 7T3) and Adjunct Professor. “Since the two disciplines have major real-world synergies, bringing Canada’s two premier programs closer together will help students better steward the economic, social and environmental impact of the projects they will work on as engineers.”

The change recognizes the natural integration and continuum from mineral engineering to civil engineering. Mineral engineers provide the raw materials for civil infrastructure and both have strengths in geotechnical engineering, geomechanics, and earth systems — whether the application is subway tunnels, embankments, or surface and underground mines. Sustainability, protection of the environment, and social responsibility are central tenets of both disciplines.

The Lassonde Mineral Engineering Program came under the umbrella of the Department of Civil Engineering in 2005 to better allocate administrative support and resources. Since then, the links between the civil and mineral engineering disciplines have grown stronger. This name change further solidifies that vital connection and enables growing collaborations across the Department.

“A name change recognizes how important all members of this community are to the Department and to the Faculty; all Mineral Engineering and Civil Engineering students, alumni, professors and staff are a part of this great Department and we all stand together,” said Valeria Baranova, a fourth-year students in the Lassonde Mineral Engineering Program.

A brief history on Civil, Mining, Geological and Mineral Engineering

1861 – first diploma in Civil Engineering granted to C.F. Robertson


1870 – Academic Calendar states that studies for a diploma in Civil Engineering must include courses in Mineralogy and Geology


1878 – Mining made its first appearance as “Assaying and Applied Geology”


1885 – first BASc in Civil Engineering granted to J.L.Morris


1892 – Mining Engineering established as a program of study


1920 – U of T establishes a site on Gull Lake for Survey Camp, a course held annually in the summer to instruct and provide field experience to Mining and Civil Engineering students


1937 – Mining Geology added as a program


1953 – Mining Geology program changed to Applied Geology program


1965 – Mining Engineering and Applied Geology programs merge to form Geological Engineering, with many courses overlapping with the Department of Geology


1973 – Division of Geological Engineering and Applied Earth Science established


1975 – Program changed to Geological Engineering and Applied Earth Science


1983 – Program changed back to Geological Engineering


1989 – Canadian Mining Hall of Fame established on the first floor of the Mining Building


1991 – Program changed to Geological and Mineral Engineering


1996 – Landmark gift of $4 million from Dr. Pierre Lassonde revolutionized the study of Mineral Engineering at U of T


1999 – Program changed to Mineral Engineering


2001 – Program changed to Lassonde Mineral Engineering


2005 – Division of Mineral Engineering merged into the Department of Civil Engineering


2018 – Name changed to Department of Civil & Mineral Engineering

See the U of T Engineering News announcement.