I’m a geotechnical engineer with about 13 years of experience in industry in Alberta and BC. After completing a couple degrees at the University of Alberta, I got into the business just as the oil boom was starting to take off, and enjoyed almost a decade of interesting and challenging work in Edmonton. I spent my time on projects in and around the oilsands, mostly looking after a handful of tailings dams. A few years ago I decided to try some work that wasn’t so directly for the “bad guys,” and I’m now working on designing a large hydroelectric dam. My job is always challenging, but still has aspects that remind me of playing in a sandbox or filling up a sketchbook.
The first part of my presentation will outline what type of work a geotechnical engineer would do, as it’s not a profession that a lot of people have firsthand experience with. The second part will present a sort of ‘case study’ – how a number of different professions fit together on a project like the Site C Dam, and where geotechnical engineering fits into the bigger picture.