Geotechnical Engineering is an area of civil engineering which primarily deals with the subterranean conditions on which a building, tunnel or structure will be built. A geotechnical engineer is responsible for taking core samples of any soil or rock which a project intends to excavate or build upon. Geotechnical engineering plays a very important role in many industries including construction, mining, tunnelling, the military and petroleum engineering. Before any work is undertaken it is the job of a geotechnical engineer to determine the underlying geology.
Foundations are the most important part of any construction project. Foundations must be designed in such a way that the buildings or bridges they support can withstand the force of nature. Gale force winds and earth tremors can all damage a poorly laid foundation and for this reason, the geotechnical engineers job is a very important one. Tunnelling is one of the major areas where Geotechnical Engineering really comes into its own. Amazing projects such as the channel tunnel and the New York subway system are but two examples of Geotechnical Engineering at its finest. As tunnels and structures grow ever bigger so the challenge rises for geotechnical engineers to constantly develop new techniques in which to provide underground support. For full details of each area of geotechnical engineering, take a look on the civil engineering careers website.
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