Geological engineering jobs

Geological engineering integrates two disciplines, geology and engineering. Geologists study the Earth and its composition and structure, and engineers apply scientific knowledge and experience to practical ends, such as the design and construction of facilities. Geological engineers identify and try to solve problems which involve rock, soil and groundwater, and design structures on and below the ground, using the principles of earth science and engineering.

Geological engineers may have the opportunity to work with other professionals including environmental scientists and geologists on solving land degradation; with mining engineers in designing open pit and underground mines; or with civil engineers in the design and construction of better transport links.

Geological engineering

Geological engineering includes aspects of civil, mining, petroleum, and environmental engineering.

Civil engineering

Before major construction projects begin, a geological engineer assesses the integrity of rock, soil, groundwater and other natural conditions and also advises on the suitability of appropriate construction materials. This role is similar to that of a civil engineer as they too are involved with the design, development and construction of new projects. A geological engineer assures the stability of rock and soil foundations, ensuring that they can withstand earthquakes and landslides for structures such as:

  • Tunnels
  • Slopes
  • Dams
  • Roads
  • Bridges
  • Skyscrapers

Mining engineering

The roles of mining engineers and geological engineers are similar as they are both responsible for the safety of pits and mining facilities, ensuring that they are guarded against earthquake damage and environmental risks. Mining companies rely on geological engineers to explore the earth enabling them to extract metals and minerals such as:

  • Potash
  • Coal
  • Uranium
  • Gold

Petroleum engineering

In the energy industry, geological engineers are employed to assist with the exploration and production process involving natural resources such as:

  • Oil
  • Natural gas
  • Tar sands
  • Oil shale

A geological engineer would also be responsible for determining the suitability of locations for new power plants and pipelines, they do this by applying geological data, techniques and principles to the study of rock, soil and ground water.

Environmental engineering

The environmental engineering discipline involves the management of detrimental effects of human activity on the environment. Similarly, geological engineers also have an interest in limiting environmental damage. They find better ways to build and manage waste disposal sites by understanding how pollutants travel through the ground. Geological engineers also manage groundwater and surface water resources to guarantee the safety and health of the public.

Careers in geological engineering

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