Thursday, 16 February 2012

A Geotechnical Engineer

Geotechnical engineering is the branch of civil engineering concerned with the engineering behavior of earth materials.It is important in civil engineering, but is also used by military, petroleum, mining or any other engineering concerned with construction on or in the ground.A typical geotechnical engineering project begins with a review of project needs to define the required material properties. Then follows a site investigation of soil, rock, fault distribution and bedrock properties on and below an area of interest to determine their engineering properties including how they will interact with, on or in a proposed construction.

To finally be called a qualified Geotechnical Engineer, one should have at least  a bachelor's degree in civil engineering for this occupation. 

Duties encountered basically include the following

  • Geotechnical engineers are usually employed within the area of civil engineering, and they help with the construction of dams, landfills, embankments and tunnels. 
  • Geotechnical engineers specialize in soil evaluation to determine the suitability of a particular area for the purpose of construction
  • Surveying areas for sinkholes or earthquakes, creating computer-generated models, analyzing slope stability and engaging in lab work are some of the tasks that geotechnical engineers perform during a typical work day.
  • He is responsible for guiding the staff members, for any particular project.
Instruments such as inclinometers, piezometers and settlement monitoring devices are some of the tools that geotechnical engineers work with to perform their engineering duties. 
Geotechnical engineers are given the task of inspecting drills before they begin to explore a particular work site to test soil quality. They also are responsible for setting up instruments for the purpose of collecting soil samples. Engineers must be computer literate and have these skills to aid them in their job. For instance, a geotechnical engineer can design models that show the direction of storm water runoff within an area and how an environment will change once a construction project is complete using specialized software.

Where can i work?

Geotechnical engineers work with government, commercial, industrial and private organizations and developers to assist with projects such as highways, bridges, dams, tunnels, tanks, public infrastructure improvement, manufacturing facilities and commercial and residential development. 
Geotechnical engineers aid senior engineers with the development of reports and laboratory data that informs clients about the suitability of a building site. They inform senior management and clients about development costs and make them aware of any potential problems that might occur during the construction process.

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