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GE Jobfile

Name: Andrew Davis

Age:38

Occupation: senior engineering geologist, Mott MacDonald

Route to the job:

After graduating from Southampton University with a geology degree in 1984, I spent a year pottering about, including working on the SERC-sponsored Selbourne slope stability project, before embarking on the MSc engineering geology course at Leeds University.In 1986 I began working for Coventrybased site investigation contractor Geotechnics and spent five years gaining a valuable background in site investigation.In 1991 I departed for Binnie Consultants in Hong Kong where I spent three very interesting years on a wide range of projects.I returned to the UK in 1994 and started my current job with Mott MacDonald.

Typical day:

I manage geotechnical input on a range of multidisciplinary projects that involve planning, design and site visits in the UK and overseas.These include a reinforced earth road construction project in west London, a site investigation for the Delhi Metro and design input for the Maitreya Buddha project.I also run the Mott MacDonald site investigation framework agreement, acting as an environmental coordinator as part of the company's drive towards environmental accreditation and as a point of contact for internal geotechnical queries.

Highs and lows:

There is an 'anorakish'pleasure in still being involved in geology and getting mucky, albeit less frequently.The opportunity for overseas work, with greater individual responsibility, is also a high, although sometimes only retrospectively.Lows are unrealistic expectations to summarise forests of geotechnical data by lunchtime and the unwillingness of clients to invest time and money in geotechnical input.

Ambitions:

Increasing experience has helped to expand my knowledge and I should like this diversification to continue.Alternatively, by relocating to planet 'wishful thinking'I shall be rewarded for my experience with pots of money and shall retreat to running a smallholding in the West Country.

Advice:

Do not underestimate the value of learning how to describe materials well.This will provide an increased appreciation of their properties and behaviour, and afford a greater ability to visualise materials.Try to be pragmatic and appreciate that your carefully crafted state of the art engineering design may not translate well to imprecise site activities and contractual situations.

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