BSc. Of Geophysical Engineering

Our geophysics program is unique in Azerbaijan. We offer unrivaled courses, which are structured according to the Strasbourg University’s program and cover practical applications of the curriculum. 

Geophysical Engineering is the scientific method of locating and extracting different natural resources from the earth, including ores, minerals, precious gems, water, or gases. Geophysical Engineers utilize their extensive knowledge of the earth to identify sites that may contain special mineral or stone deposits that could be of interest to mining companies and other corporations. They then plan how the resources will be drawn out of the earth in the most efficient and environmentally friendly manner. In addition, a Geophysical Engineer may improve upon the current extraction methods used in operating mines.  

What are my professional opportunities? 

Most Geophysical Engineers work in remote areas that could be utilized for mines or are currently being mined. This may require extensive travel and longer work hours for some. However, occasionally a mine will be located near a large city. Geophysical engineers with more experience may be managing operations from an office environment, which typically involves extensive communication with others via email and phone. Most work for private engineering firms, while others work for metal ore mining and coal mining companies. Geophysical engineers can work for architectural and engineering companies, private extraction and mining, for governmental projects or proceed into academia world as professors.  

To give you a better idea of what Geophysics is and how you can benefit professionally from your undergraduate diploma, we have talked to the Geophysics program coordinator (responsible) at UFAZ, Dr Alessia Maggi - the seismology professor from the University of Strasbourg. Dr Maggi regularly comes to UFAZ to teach the Introductory class to Geophysics to our students. She is also a Responsable for the Double BSc in Earth-Sciences and Physics at EOST (School and Observatory of Earth Sciences (EOST). She gave an insightful interview to our PR department about the very definition of Geophysics and shared some career tips with us.

Highlighst from the interview with Professor Alessia Maggi:

  • About academic background

I am a Seismologist. I work in the University of Strasbourg. Before studying seismology, I studied physics and astrophysics. Then I did a PhD in seismology – all this at Cambridge University. Then I went to Strasbourg University the first time for post-doctoral study, then to California for another two years and then I got my position in Strasbourg University.

Geophysics is a branch of geosciences and all geosciences try to study the Earth.We use methods mostly from Physics to actually see what’s happening underground.

Before you build a building – you need to know what kind of rock is there. Before you dig a tunnel – you need to know what kind of rock is there. So this program enables students to be experts in any of these fields.

  • About career planning

There are many companies who need to know what is happening in the sub-surface to be able to do the job. You have petrol companies, and all those companies who do services for these companies – all the companies that do the exploration, that look at what the soil is like where an extraction company wants to build the platform.

Then you have all the companies who are looking for water, mining companies and geothermal companies. Insurance companies too. More and more insurance claims are coming from risks, which are tied to the earthquakes – they can be earthquake risks, volcanic risks, and landslide risks. For this, you really need to know someone who has a big background in all of these fields. This is one of the things that we give here to the students who do geoscience program.

  • About students and teaching methods

One thing that students do here a lot – is ask questions. What I will really take back home is that this is so important. Another thing that students do here is if I give material, they will read it before the class and then come to class. We can then talk about the material. This is something called an inverse class, which always existed in the United States, but not so much in France, but here its fantastic… Students very often ask about careers and its good for them and good for me as it helps me when I teach – explain why it would be useful in the future for their careers.

  • About the scarcity of time and study techniques

Take advantage of the teachers who are here when they are here. If they give the material – read it in advance and ask all the questions that you have. Prepare before the class and be very present during the class, ask the questions during the class and keep working on the problems. Try to think – what is the image I have to keep in mind to really understand what is happening. And when you understand – everything is easy.