The Department of Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology was established at I.I. Mechnikov Odessa National University in 1955. The main problem under study was elaboration of evaluation methods for transformation of water reservoir margins based on the investigation of Kakhovski reservoir, created in 1955. The research was supervised by professor L. Rosovsky. In 1959 a research laboratory dealing with the problems of the sea coast, reservoirs and mountain slopes was created according to the Decree of the Ukrainian government. The scope of investigated problems expanded embracing stability of the sea coast and reservoir margins, landslide transformation of the coastline and the mountain slope stability. The problem of declivity stability was also thoroughly examined. The basic methods of forecasting geological processes were reflected in L. Rosovsky's theory of geological similarity, applied by V. Voskoboinikov and I. Kryzhanovskaya to transformation of margins of water reservoirs - "The Album of Natural Analogues". Eventually the laboratory and the Chair resorted to the methods of modeling active deformation and stability of rock massives.
At present the staff of the Chair carries out research in two directions which are complement to each other: stochastic and determinative modeling. The method of general alternative, offered by L. Rosovsky and V. Voskoboinikov, makes the basis for stochastic approach and the theory of geodynamic field and electrical-geodynamic analogy created by academician I. Zelinsky lies in the basis of determinative modeling.
The staff of the Chair includes several Doctors of Geology: I. Zelinsky, E. Konikov, I. Nasyrev, E. Cherkez.
Since foundation the academic and teaching staff has developed the theory of geological similarity and natural modeling, the theory of geodynamic field, accepted as the basis for forecasting the transformation of water reservoirs margins, evaluation and forecasting stability of landslide slopes. As a result the textbooks "Engineering and geological forecasting and modeling" (1975, 1988), "Geomechanics" (1998) were published. These works make up the basis for modeling engineering geological processes and their developments under changing geological and technical conditions.
The staff of the Chair took an active part in designing and the General scheme of actions to prevent landslides and preserve coastline of the Black Sea in Ukraine, designing the scheme of water level depression in Odessa, formulating recommendations for operating water reservoirs. The methods for calculating stability of landslide slopes and the results of modeling have been implemented at constructing the Odessa antilandslide facilities, the Odessa ammonia plant in Grigorievka and other facilities in Russia, Georgia, Bulgaria and other countries. Three professors of the Chair (I. Zelinsky, A. Khanonkin, E. Cherkez) were awarded the State prize of Ukraine in the field of Science and Technology (1996) for the book "Regularities of Upper Earth Technosphere Deformation Defined by Theory and Experiment". Professors L. Rosovsky and V. Voskoboinikov were the leaders of the school engaged in coast and reservoir studies. Nowadays this trend is being elaborated under the guidance of professor E. Konnikov. Engineering geodynamics school is headed by State prize winners professors I. Zelinsky and E. Cherkez. Environmental geology studies was guided by professor I. Nosyrev. Associate professor M. Rotar is actively working on environmental hydrogeology with further forecasting medical and geological anomaly.