Geotechnical engineers are specialists who investigate the strength of the Earth’s ground surface. These experts apply their advanced scientific knowledge and skills to evaluate the formation of the Earth’s sub-soil. They assess how the sub-soil reacts under the influence of various loading forces and whether there are any deformation properties. They even have to evaluate the impact which geological formations might have on various construction projects. Then, they can determine whether it is safe to build residential apartments, commercial buildings, industrial complexes, or roadways on the top of this soil.
Reddy Kancharla is a civil engineer and geotechnical consultant from New York City. He has over 25 years of valuable industry-based experience in the areas of geotechnical consultation, construction quality control, and civil construction. He even has a thorough understanding of key engineering theories and practical solutions to resolving critical problems within the construction industry. Throughout his career, he has had important executive positions in the city’s top QC/QA construction companies. He is the brainchild behind the construction of many important landmark buildings in New York. These include USTA National Tennis Center, Giants/Jets Stadium, Second Avenue subway, Goldman Sachs’ High-rise building, the terminals of JFK Airport, and Park Avenue viaduct rehabilitation.
According to him, geotechnical engineers play a critical role in the construction industry. These experts are responsible for assessing whether a particular site is suitable for constructing various housing or commercial building projects. To do so, they thoroughly evaluate its sub-surface’s soil conditions and underlying rock formations. This enables them to assess the stability of the site to safely support the buildings’ foundations. They even examine the likely impact of various environmental hazards on the site and the buildings’ foundations. These include adverse weather conditions, flash floods, landslides, or unpredictable seismic activities resulting in earthquakes. On the basis of their inspection, geotechnical engineers can inform the builders on the design of the earthwork to undertake.
Duties of geotechnical engineers
The vital functions which experienced geotechnical engineers perform in the construction industry include:
- Collect sub-soil samples from particular construction sites using test pits or bores,
- Analyze the sub-soils stress-bearing potential and stability,
- Scrutinize the data from sub-surface investigation tests using the latest computer applications,
- Highlight possible safety risks likely to occur during the construction phase of the projects,
- Assist in the earthworks to ensure the foundations are suitable to prevailing ground conditions, and
- Hold meetings with clients to evaluate the progress of the construction work.
In his opinion, geotechnical engineers have a challenging and financially-rewarding job profile. These specialists spend most of the time-traveling extensively to various construction sites and research laboratories to conduct analytic tests. In doing so, they have to maintain stringent deadlines when conveying their inspection reports to their clients. The experts need to exhibit certain natural traits to be successful in this branch of engineering. They should be inquisitive, capable of operating complex software applications and keep abreast of the latest safety regulations in the construction industry. This enables them to make great strides in their career and become successful in all the projects they undertake.