Engineering geology is the application of the geology to engineering study for the purpose of assuring that the geological factors regarding the location, design, construction, operation and maintenance of engineering works are recognized and accounted for and also is the application of the science of geology to the understanding of geologic phenomena and the engineering solution of geologic hazards and other geologic problems for society.
Encompassing engineering, geotechnical work and site investigation, engineering geologists are in demand in the construction, energy and environmental sectors
As an engineering geologist, you are concerned with the detailed technical analysis of earth material and the risk assessment of geological hazards. Your role is to identify and deal with geological factors affecting engineering works.
You'll assess the integrity of soil, rock, groundwater and other natural conditions prior to major construction projects, and advise on procedures required for such developments and the suitability of appropriate construction materials.
You may be involved with analysing sites and designs for environmentally-sensitive developments, such as landfill sites. By monitoring development areas and analysing ground conditions, you ensure that structures can be secure in the short and long term.
The term engineering geologist encompasses a range of roles and can be applied to many different sectors within the industry. It is only after working for a few years, and seeing how each department works, that it may become clear in which area you work.
As an engineering geologist, you'll need to:
consult geological maps and aerial photographs to advise on site selection
assist with the design of built structures, using specialised computer software or calculations
collate data and produce reports
oversee the progress of specific contracts
plan detailed field investigations by drilling and analysing samples of deposits/bedrock
supervise site and ground investigations
visit new project sites
advise on and test a range of construction materials, for example sand, gravel, bricks and clay
make recommendations on the proposed use of a site and provide information
advise on problems such as subsidence
manage staff, including other engineering geologists, geotechnical engineers, consultants and contractors
attend professional conferences and represent the company or organisation at other events.