William Beohm - BE(Hons) - 3 years experience
I graduated with a Bachelor of (Civil) Engineering from Griffith University, Gold Coast Campus in 2000. Between 2000 and 2002 I worked as a farm labourer and on residential construction sites, and part time for a small civil engineering consultancy in Lismore, designing on-site waste water disposal systems. In October 2002 I joined Coffey Geosciences P/L working as a lab technician in their Alstonville laboratory, NSW. In January 2003 I moved to Brisbane to work with Coffey Geosciences as a Geotechnical Engineer, and in November 2005 I joined Parsons Brinkerhoff as a Geotechnical Engineer.
What attracted me to Geotechnical Engineering?
With a rural background I was naturally interested in soils from an agricultural point of view and could see the engineering side of soils associated with farm infrastructure. I grew up around the construction industry, my father is a builder, and was inspired by large scale projects, large earth moving machinery, and the smarts that are involved to make the projects a success. I enjoy working in and with the environment and am keen to help reduce any negative environmental impacts of the construction industry.
What excites me about Geotechnical Engineering?
I like being involved in the dynamic engineering interface during the initial site investigations and then going back again to target critical project information. I love being able to produce the geotechnical engineering excellence that successful projects are built upon.
My typical work day or week
Planning and organisation of site investigations and testing to meet project requirements, utilising available field resources, field work supervision primarily on drilling rigs and construction sites, site investigation reporting, and geotechnical engineering design calculations and assessments. I am onsite approximately 40% of the time, usually on coastal, rural and mine sites. The office work includes the using of software programs, spreadsheets and templates to produce reports and the handling of invoices.
The most interesting project I have worked on
Agnes Waters Desalination Project. The local council wanted to source water from the ocean by filtering it through sand and then pumping it to a desalination plant to remove the salt. My roles included drilling through the sand dunes on Chinaman’s beach with a small track mounted rig, offshore geo probing to assess the feasibility of offshore intake and outlet pipes, and hydrological assessment of the area by sampling water from monitoring bores. We had to hire a research vessel with a water jet probe to feel down about 4m into the seabed floor and retrieve samples, and we used a “Thundercat” surf vessel to investigate the surf / wave zone over an offshore rock shelf.