Careers in Geoscience: Engineering Geology
Engineering Geoscientist’s role focusses primarily on the understanding of geological and geotechnical conditions and how they may change in time and space in regard to particular engineering projects such as major construction, infrastructure, mining and resource developments and include ground and slope stabilisation, foundations characterisation and design, interpretive modelling, sourcing of suitable materials, recognition of hazards and risk factors and the forensic investigations after failures. They are specialist geologists dealing in the measurement, assessment and review of soils, water and rocks and the engineering impacts of natural processes or human activities such as construction projects, urban or industrial development, mining and resource developments and the maintenance and monitoring of the outcomes of these projects. They are employed by organisations in many different sectors of industry (particularly construction), government, mining development, oil and gas and others. Their work can be part office and part field and laboratory based, although extensive site is necessary to collect and test sites and drill-hole samples.
Engineering Geoscientists examine the structure, competence and geotechnical aspects of a site and develop a conceptual ground model for the site and assist in designing solutions tailored to the situation. This may involve investigation, analysis and prediction of ground behaviour, water conditions including ground water and will also encompass a risk assessment and mitigation of any hazards, design and supervision of earthworks, specialist ground treatments and foundations including remediation works.
Typical duties include:
- Plan scientific studies, site investigations and field locations including geological observations and mapping, measuring soil and rock integrities and collect samples to complement these activities
- Planning, supervision of drilling programs to test formation and rock competencies and sampling
- Analysing samples, either in the field or in the laboratory
- 2D and 3D modelling of rock integrity data wide variety of data from various sources
- Understanding of licencing, permitting and design and waste management policy and regulations
- Assisting design teams in the overall design of the project
- Stakeholder engagement and reporting to clients, government, local councils and other stakeholders.
The job carries a high level of responsibility, as the employee must ensure the accuracy and integrity of a wide variety of information from different sources and forecasts and have the ability to communicate effectively on risks and hazards. Consequently, training is an important feature of the job.
Typical skills required are:
- Knowledge of a range of sciences and their applications
- Problem solving skills, analytical skills
- Ability to work within a multidisciplinary team of scientists and engineers
- Good organisational skills
- Computer literacy and ability to analyse numerical and graphical data
- Good written and verbal communication skills
- Ability to work in 2D and 3D, spatial skills
- Geological mapping, rock recognition, structure, physical properties of rocks and materials.