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What is the role of a geotechnical engineer?

Geotechnical engineers are responsible for the planning and design of various structures. A geotechnical engineer has many roles and responsibilities, some that go beyond construction.  Read below to find out the roles of a geotechnical engineer:

Investigation

It is the role of a geotechnical engineer to investigate the subsurface of the area that is intended for the project. The engineer will be responsible for multiple tasks, the first of which is collecting samples of soil and determining the stress-bearing capability of the ground of the proposed site.

Safety tests

The geotechnical engineer is also responsible for conducting tests relating to the safety of the location. They will have to look at potential issues such as erosion, slope, settlement and other factors that could jeopardise the stability of the structure once it is in place.

Analysis

The results of the investigation and tests are analysed with the relevant software. They should have a decent understanding of the data and should be capable of modelling future conditions. Once the analysis has been conducted, the geotechnical engineer may be required to assist with the project by developing foundations and earthworks that are suitable for the site.

Progress meetings

The role of the geotechnical engineer extends beyond the construction site. They are responsible for keeping the clients informed and should be aware of the client’s needs. The geotechnical engineer should frequently meet with clients to explain  the ongoing construction and if they are on track with the work according to time constraints, as well as the budget.

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