Geological Engineer Spotlight

This job is where earth meets concrete and steel. Geological Engineers help colleagues safely and sustainably carve out access roads, sculpt landscapes to cradle tailings or reservoirs, weave pipelines through soil and rock and tame the turf to hold well sites and plants.

What a typical day looks like:

Geological Engineers work with the earth and the elements. They deal with the uncertainty that comes with the vast and complex subterranean world. They specify the needed ground support systems, processes and equipment for safe, economical and environmentally sound resource extraction or underground construction activities.

In order to keep things safe, these engineers will gather technical mapping data and use it to help make decisions about what products, equipment and processes should be used based on site conditions and structure foundations. They may also design, implement and coordinate mine safety programs such as monitoring for gas, slope instability or groundwater infiltration.

Geological Engineers often have training and experience in another engineering profession, such as civil, structural or construction engineering, and build on it with geological training. They typically work in an office setting, though they may also spend some time in the field, taking samples, scouting locations or monitoring project construction. Typically employed in the exploration and production (E&P), oil sands, oil and gas services and pipeline sectors of the oil and gas industry, they will be in constant communication with other team members explaining complex problems.

The kinds of problems Geological Engineers solve at work:

Geological Engineers tackle difficult problems regarding safely moving earth, soil, and rock to make way for oil and gas operations and pipelines. Their challenge is dealing with uncertainty and no amount of expertise can eliminate that entirely; however, their training and experience allow them to work around potential issues and make sure that structures won’t cave in, collapse or cause safety hazards.

Skills used most on the job:

These individuals are independent, analytical and detail-oriented. They have a deep knowledge of engineering, technology, physics, and design. They also use their attention to detail and critical thinking to monitor operations and make adjustments as needed.

Geological Engineers use their understanding of the earth and elements to plan safe and sustainable structures in the oil and gas industry.

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