Forest engineering is a hybrid of engineering, forestry, and management. It requires people who can combine skills to solve engineering problems in the natural environment, with a focus on balancing economic, societal, and environmental requirements.
Forest engineers construct and evaluate the operational systems that make the forest industry ‘work’. This can include:
- designing and building new roads
- developing or modifying forestry equipment
- planning harvest operations
- optimising transport logistics
- integrating new technologies
- supervising employees and contractors
- ensuring safety standards are maintained.
Forest engineers work with public and governmental agencies. They look after the environment, and may steer projects through the resource consent process. Forest engineering graduates know the forest environment and forest products and processes, and they provide the essential link between the forest and the final product.
- The Forest Engineering programme at UC is the only one of its kind in Australasia.
- Studying Forest Engineering includes courses and expertise taught through the School of Forestry | Te Kura Ngahere and the Department of Civil and Natural Resources Engineering.
- There is a real focus on 'hands-on' engineering practices, with many field trips to expose students to real-world engineering problems and opportunities.
- See the Engineering subject page for many other reasons why UC's College of Engineering | Te Rāngai Pūkaha is a world-class destination for engineering studies.
UC offers Forest Engineering as a discipline within the Bachelor of Engineering with Honours.
Intermediate Year (first year)
The first year of the Bachelor of Engineering with Honours is called the Engineering Intermediate Year. For Forest Engineering students, this is made up of:
Five compulsory courses taken by all Engineering students:
- ENGR 100 Engineering Academic Skills (0 points, no fees)
- ENGR 101 Foundations of Engineering
- EMTH 118 Engineering Mathematics 1A
- EMTH 119 Engineering Mathematics 1B
- PHYS 101 Engineering Physics A: Mechanics, Waves, Electromagnetism and Thermal Physics
Plus courses specific to Forest Engineering:
- CHEM 111 Chemical Principles and Processes
- EMTH 171 Mathematical Modelling and Computation
- ENGR 102 Engineering Mechanics
In addition you must complete one other 100-level optional course. Check with the College of Engineering | Te Rāngai Pūkaha Student Advisor for suggested options.
The Professional Years (2nd–4th years)
Once you have completed the Engineering Intermediate Year and successfully applied for entry into Forest Engineering, you will study that discipline within the three professional years.
First Professional Year
- FORE 199 Workshop Training Course (0 points, no fees)
- ENGR 200 Engineering Work Experience (0 points, no fees)
- EMTH 210 Engineering Mathematics 2
- ENCN 213 Design Studio 1
- ENCN 221 Engineering Materials
- ENCN 231 Solid Mechanics
- ENCN 253 Soil Mechanics
- ENFO 204 Forest Measurement
- FORE 205 Introduction to Forest Engineering
- FORE 215 Introduction to Forest Economics
Second Professional Year
- ENCN 305 Programming, Statistics and Optimization
- ENCN 353 Geotechnical Engineering
- ENCN 371 Project and Infrastructure Management
- ENFO 327 Wood Science
- FORE 316 Forest Management
- FORE 342 Geospatial Science in Forest Monitoring and Management
- ENNR 320 Integrated Catchment Analysis or ENCI 335 Structural Analysis and Systems 1
An external field camp also forms part of the Second Professional Year's programme.
There is also an opportunity to go on an 8–12 months exchange to specialise in solid wood processing at either the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, or the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Virginia, USA. No tuition fees beyond the usual UC fees are due.
Third Professional Year
- ENFO 499 Industry Field Programme (0 points, no fees)
- ENFO 410 Forest Engineering Research
- FORE 422 Forest Harvest Planning
- FORE 423 Forest Transportation and Road Design
Plus four courses chosen from:
- ENCN 415 Pavement Engineering
- ENCN 452 Advanced Geotechnical Engineering
- ENGE 412 Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering
- ENGR 403 Fire Engineering
- ENNR 423 Sustainable Energy Systems
- FORE 426 Forest Products Marketing and International Trade
- FORE 435 Forest Economics 2
- FORE 443 Biosecurity Risk Management
- Any approved 400-level Engineering course
Forest engineers have a wide skillset that provides work opportunities both at home and abroad. Graduates can take up employment in the forest industry, but because of the multidisciplinary nature of forest engineering, job opportunities are also available in areas including general engineering consultancy, local and regional councils, government agencies, resource management, and research.
Careers in these organisations are challenging, creative, stimulating, and offer great scope for advancement.
Find out more about what you can do with a degree in Forest Engineering.
See the School's website for up-to-date location details.
College of Engineering | Te Rāngai Pūkaha
University of Canterbury | Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha
Private Bag 4800
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