Geological engineering comprises a number of engineering specialities such as geotechnical engineering, land remediation, rock mechanics, groundwater hydrology and engineering geology. Responsibilities of the role typically include ensuring geotechnical activities are conducted safely in order to provide a safe working environment for employees and contractors in fitting with company standards and government legislation.
A Geological Engineer is typically interested in technical and engineering work, maths and earth sciences, and is able to identify, analyse and come up with practical, creative solutions. Good oral and written communication skills are also valued.
In the minerals industry, Geological Engineers may perform the following tasks:
- Investigate the engineering feasibility of planned new developments involving soil, rock and groundwater;
- Plan and undertake site investigations for proposed major engineering works such as bridges, dams and tunnels;
- Design measures to correct land contamination and salination;
- Design major structures in rock such as tunnels, basements and shafts;
- Supervise construction and performance of major engineering works involving the ground;
- Work out strategies to control landslides and areas of potential instability;
- Coordinate of multi-disciplinary study teams, and
- Perform computer analyses, use computer databases and generate computer-aided designs.
Senior Geological Engineer: $90,000 - $135,000
Geological Engineer: $75,000 - $125,000
Source: www.hays.com.au (July 2008)
Entry to these occupations is generally through a bachelor degree or higher qualification. In some instances relevant experience, such as Vac Work, is also required. Geologists and Engineers (usually civil or mining) can do postgraduate study to specialise and work as geological/geotechnical engineers. Postgraduate study is often more flexible than undergraduate study to fit in with full time work.