Department of Civil Engineering


The Civil Engineering program was established in December 1853 by Supreme Decree and has been taught by the Universidad de Chile ever since. In 1965 the Department of Civil Works was created (a precursor to the present Department of Civil Engineering), which continues to be in charge of the program.

The Department´s objective has always been to educate professionals, develop research and disseminate knowledge that serves to find solutions to real problems in engineering that are relevant to the country. Currently, the DIC trains its students to think creatively and question existing practices. This encourages an entrepreneurial spirit, in turn providing the world with graduates that are well prepared for success in their fields.

Program instruction is divided between three large areas:

  • Structures/ Construction/Geotechnics
  • Water-Resources and Environmental Engineering
  • Transportation Engineering

Since the decade of the 90s, the department has led the creation of Integrated Engineering Laboratories through MECESUP projects. As a result, the laboratories of Fluid Dynamics & Solid, Particulate Media and Structures remained under supervision of the department. This has given way to an experimental style for purposes of training students, further estimulating their creativity for that moment when they need to face the challenges that the discipline imposes.

Staff in charge
Chair Dr. Ricardo Herrera
Vice Chair Dr. Katherine Lizama
Academic Program Coordinator Dr. Juan Felipe Beltrán
Division Leader: Structures and Geotechnics Dr. Leonardo Massone
Division Leader: Water Resources and Environment Dr. Ana Lucía Prieto
Division Leader: Transportation Engineering Dr. Cristián Cortés


The department offers the Bachelor of Science in Engineering, with specialization in Civil Engineering. In addition, Master and PhD/Doctorate level degrees are also offered.

The Study Plan of the program comprises a bachelor degree and a professional licensure stage. The latter is organized around three majors that define the main areas of specialization that the department offers:

  • Hydraulic, Sanitation and Environmental Engineering
  • Structural, Construction and Geotechnical Engineering
  • Transportation Engineering

In the postgraduate area, the DIC offers the following programs:

In addition, the DIC has three teaching laboratories: Solids, Fluid Dynamics, and Experimental Structures.


The Civil Engineering department´s research activity emerges from a search for solutions to problems in engineering that are relevant to the country. But it is also oriented towards solving practical issues: the development of new understanding and knowledge. In the field of applied research, the department has a long trajectory of solid contributions to the development of national engineering in all of its unfolding thematic areas such as: seismic and structural engineering, geotechnics, construction, hydrology and hydraulics, sanitation and environmental engineering, transportation engineering.

One clear policy that has developed within the DIC has to do with the support of experimental character research one that undeniably demands more resources than research that is theoretical or based on numeric modeling. This is evidenced by the financing of support staff for the activities of laboratories within the Department of Civil Engineering and in the financing of the National Network of Accelerographs (Red Nacional de Acelerógrafos - RENADIC, in Spanish) that maintains a register of seismic activity of structures within the country.

Lines of Research
1. Division of Structures, Construction, Geotechnics

  • Structural Analysis (static and dynamic)
  • Structural Design (masonry, steel, concrete)
  • Vulnerability and seismic protection of structures
  • Experimental Analysis (primarily dynamic)
  • Evaluation of seismic danger and risk
  • Regional Geotechnics
  • Seismic Engineering
  • Sustainable construction

2. Division of Water Resources and Environment

  • Analysis and Modeling of Hydrologic Processes
  • Transport Processes in Surface Aquatic Systems
  • Water Quality and Control
  • Management and Analysis of Environmental systems

3. Transportation Division

  • Networks and Movement
  • User and Operator Behavior
  • Location and Soil Use

Extension and outreach

The Department of Civil Engineering outreach is the main mode of contact with the general community and is carried out through distinct mechanisms, such as:

  • Continuing Education: diplomas, courses (in class and distance learning), and talks for professionals.
  • Services: evaluations and studies, tests and trials, technical project audits, surveys of judicial support, etc
  • Participation in professional associations and technical committees: preparation of professional and scientific congresses, development of outreach courses and seminars through various partnerships and participation in procedural committees.

The DIC also possesses a Library of Civil Engineering whose mission is to satisfy information needs of its users, supporting educational research efforts and outreach through specialized information services geared toward the needs and requirements of its academics, researchers, students and staff.

Secretary Marisol Espinoza
 Phones +562 29784376 - +562 26718788
 Address Blanco Encalada 2002, Santiago, Chile