Engineering Technical
Director
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Steve Matthews

Job title: Technical Director / Engineering Geologist; also Chief Geologist Royal Engineers (British Army) as part-time reservist.

What are your qualifications?

BSc Combined Honours Geology and Computing (Sunderland) ; MSc Engineering Geology (Leeds)

What exactly does an Engineering Geologist do?

Investigation, analysis and prediction of ground behaviour in the context of civil engineering, development, mineral extraction, water development, ground/water/groundwater interfaces or similar. Risk assessment and mitigation of existing natural and manmade geohazards including abandoned mine workings and contaminated land. Design and supervision of earthworks, excavations, specialist ground treatments and deep foundations.

What sort of organisation do you work for?

A specialist mining and minerals consultancy (full time) and the Royal Engineers (British Army) part time.

Do you travel within the UK or overseas very much?

Yes, but less so at the moment as I work for a specialist consultancy who are regionally based.

Apart from formal qualifications, what other skills or characteristics do you need?

Adaptability, initiative and an enquiring mind. Engineering Geologists who work in the field need to be physically and mentally robust. You also need to get along with all kinds of people - you might be presenting to an audience of academics one day and working with a crew of labourers the next.

What do you enjoy about your job?

Working outdoors, travelling, and the constant variety of challenges.

What advice or information do you wish you’d had before starting this career?

Nothing really, although at the time I was starting out the occupation of ‘Engineering Geologist’ was poorly promoted (if at all) and it would have been nice to know a bit more about the academic requirements and career options available before I started. I seem to remember that Geology was, at the time, seen largely as an academic pursuit by the secondary school teachers who were advising us on our career options.