A geotechnical engineer is someone who studied geotechnical engineering, a branch of civil engineering that focuses on the analysis, design, and construction of structures that use the soil as supports. The scope of geotechnical engineering ranges from the analytical and numerical inquiry of geotechnical problems. The data obtained from the analyzed samples is useful for the creation of 2D and 3D models for research, experiments, and design. Geotechnical engineers have a vital role to play in engineering projects that a civil engineer would do, whether built in the land or on the ground. They also have the necessary skills to assess hazards that natural disasters can bring like earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, rock falls, liquefaction, sinkholes, etc.
A geotechnical engineer is concerned with how earth materials behave against nature. These engineers are not only essential in civil engineering, but they can also employ their skills for the military, petroleum, mining, and any other related engineering construction that is built either in the land or on the ground. They use the principles of soil and rock mechanics to inspect underground conditions and materials, determining the critical physical, mechanical, and chemical properties of such specimens. They also evaluate the stability of slopes and human-made deposits.
The Back River Wastewater Treatment Plant in Baltimore, Maryland, USA, is one of the notable wonders of a geotechnical engineer. It is a water treatment plant that allows wastewater to enter the plant solely through the means of gravity. This water treatment plant is an example of what a geotechnical engineer can do. A geotechnical engineer determines the surface and subsurface conditions of the site and then develops recommendations for the supports of the structures for the proposed construction. This wonder of geotechnical engineering in Baltimore serves around 1.3M residents and occupies a 466-acre site, with a 35ft elevation, which is responsible for the gravitational flow of wastewater.
Where Can A Geotechnical Engineer Find Jobs?
A geotechnical engineer has a wide array of skills in their arsenal that are useful in different fields. Geotechnical engineers can find work in such organizations:
- Universities and colleges
- Government-led projects
- Oil and gas exploration
- Research organizations
- Real estate development companies
- Electrical utility companies
Geotechnical engineers spend most of their working days either on the field or in analysis laboratories. This job forces you to travel a lot and follow strict deadlines. A geotechnical engineer should be self-motivated and dedicated to fulfilling their commitments in providing the best type of service they can offer.