Name: Neil Yeandle
Occupation: principal geotechnical engineer and managing director, Yeandle Geotechnical
Route to the job: I studied civil engineering at Plymouth Polytechnic and during my year out I worked for the SWRCU (M5 construction) and Exploration Associates (EA), which I rejoined after graduating in 1977.During my six years at EA I gained a broad range of experience including major site investigations, slope stability, foundations and earthworks.In 1983 I joined Geotechnics and in 1984 I became chartered (MICE) as a geotechnical specialist.In 1988 I set up and managed Geotechnics' Exeter office, returning to my West Country roots.In 1993 I co-founded Yeandle Whittaker Partnership, consulting geotechnical engineers and hydrogeologists and site investigation specialists, which became Yeandle Geotechnical in 1999 and incorporated in 2001.
Typical day: I wish I had one, as it would make life much easier! Between myself and three geotechnical engineers there are 40-50 projects live at any one time so management skills are continually tested.Regular in-house project meetings help ensure deadlines are met and clients satisfied.As well as project management and reporting, there are always proposals and costings to deal with and site visits and meetings to attend.Business development and marketing are largely my responsibility.
Highs and lows: Our working environment in Devon is important to me and my staff.Small projects where individuals are grateful for specific professional advice are particularly rewarding.This is often the case in the West Country where unstable coastal cliffs and soil slopes can, and often do, affect individual members of the public.Lows - paying the taxman and clients ignoring advice.
Ambitions: To continue our established geotechnical and environmental investigation/consultancy business in the West Country, and to grow as the economic climate dictates.
Providing an efficient/cost effective service to our numerous clients is essential, and the key is maintaining a strong team of professional engineers and geologists familiar with regional conditions.
Advice: I would suggest to all aspiring geotechnical engineers that they need a basic understanding of soil/structure interaction.Whenever they are logging trial pits or looking at borehole samples, try to envisage what is proposed, how can it be constructed and how the ground will react.
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