Samantha Knox - BE(Hons) GradIEAust - 4 years experience
I graduated in 2002 with a BE degree from UNSW, majoring in Geotechnical Engineering. As part of a Co-Op Scholarship I completed placements with Dames & Moore (now URS), North Parkes Mine, Manly Water Research Laboratory and Sydney Water. In 2002 I started work with Sinclair Knight Merz and was involved in geotechnical and contaminated land site investigations and geotechnical design for a number of civil and environmental projects. I was involved in the Sydney Water SewerFix Alliance Project involving the upgrade of over 330 pumping facilities across the Sydney Basin, which included the construction of a new pump station structure and micro-tunnel sewer lines within the footprint of an historical gasworks. In 2004 I joined Parsons Brinckerhoff (PB) in Sydney as a Geotechnical Engineer. I have been involved in the site investigation and geotechnical design of a number of commercial, residential and infrastructure projects. I have been working on the Lane Cove Tunnel (LCT) Project for close to two years. This has included involvement in the design and analysis of the tunnel’s four cut and cover portal structures, the design of the Mid-Tunnel temporary access works and the Ventilation Intake Cavern and Tunnel. I am currently a part of the project’s Construction Phase Service Team overseeing the implementation of our earlier designs, answering site queries and redesign requests.
What attracted me to Geotechnical Engineering?
The typical engineering obsession with building things and digging things up, the “inside outside” mix of the work, the challenge of designing with highly variable soil and rock materials, and the global nature of the work and the potential for travel.
What excites me about Geotechnical Engineering?
Providing input into large infrastructure projects and following these projects through from an undeveloped site right through to a major piece of infrastructure. The satisfaction at seeing our designs constructed. Comparing design predictions and actual behaviour.Being part of a team of motivated people with varying backgrounds, expertise and experiences.
My typical work day or week
Currently my typical day is filled largely with fielding queries from site. These queries can be anything from requests for redesign, varying ground conditions, structure coordination issues, temporary works design etc. and site walk-overs to check the implementation of the design.
The most interesting project I have worked on
The most exciting project has to be the Lane Cove Tunnel. The involvement of the design team in the construction, and the pace of the project mean that dull moments are very few and far between. It’s also quite amazing to walk through a tunnel you have been involved in designing and seeing the translation from a drawing on a piece of paper to the real thing.