Roberta Lindbeck - BE(Hons) MEngSc CPEng MIEAust - 10 years experience
After graduation with a Bachelor of Engineering (Civil) from UNSW I joined geotechnical consultants, Douglas Partners Pty Ltd, as a Geotechnical Engineer in 1996 and stayed with DP until 2000. During this time I undertook site investigations, laboratory testing, slope stability modelling, contaminated site assessments, reporting and foundation construction supervision. In 1999, I commenced studying a Masters of Engineering Science (Geotechnical) at UNSW. In 2000, I travelled overseas joining Danish-owned consultants, Carl Bro Pty Ltd, in Dublin, Ireland. For two years I undertook geotechnical studies, transport route selections, tender assessments, site supervision, laboratory test scheduling, and geotechnical reporting. In 2002, I returned to Australia and joined URS Australia Pty Ltd as Senior Geotechnical Engineer. With URS, I have been involved with geotechnical engineering design, site investigation, construction supervision, construction monitoring, earthworks, foundations, slope stability, and retaining structures for mining, landfill, road/rail infrastructure, commercial, recreational and residential projects.
What attracted me to Geotechnical Engineering?
Geotechnical Engineering incorporates the practical parts of civil engineering and construction, with one of my other interests; geology. I wanted a job that was technical and practical; that allowed me to travel and also have job security.
What excites me about Geotechnical Engineering?
I enjoy the puzzle of a site investigation and the challenge of designing solutions to geotechnical problems. I also enjoy working on construction sites, seeing projects being built and enjoying the camaraderie on an active construction site.
My typical work day or week
My typical working week involves site investigation planning, investigation results interpretation, geotechnical/civil design, preparation of construction documentation, project management and contract management for around 5-10 different projects. I work in more of an office-based role nowadays and have taken on a workgroup management role. I still get out to various sites for about 10-20% of my time.
The most interesting project I have worked on
The most interesting project I worked on was a railway embankment failure in Ireland in 2001. The embankment was founded on a peat bog and a failure through the embankment had propagated failure along the peat foundation. There was also a derailed locomotive still on the embankment! I was the first Geotechnical Engineer to assess the amazing failure features in the peat foundation and embankment. We reconstructed the embankment using polystyrene blocks.