Nick Poriters - BE(Env) BSc - 2 years experience
I studied Environmental Engineering at the University of New South Wales. I completed a major in Geotechnical Engineering, and a Science degree in Marine Biology. Since graduation in 2003 I have been working as a Geotechnical Engineer at Golder Associates.
What attracted me to Geotechnical Engineering?
I became interested in Geotechnical engineering in my 3rd year of engineering studies. The theoretical side of geotechnical engineering was particularly interesting. It's a field of engineering where you can actually engineer the ground or soil to meet a particular requirement with a tangible outcome. There are generally no right or wrong answers, just solutions which present more feasible, safer outcomes.
What excites me about Geotechnical Engineering?
The idea that one day you might be working on a commercial building site in Sydney and the next day drilling at a river crossing in far north Queensland. Geotechnical engineering is a real hands on experience and as a graduate geotechnical engineer you will gain a lot of hands on experience.
My typical work day or week
There isn't a typical day as everyday is different. I’ve spent weeks managing a site investigation project for the Pacific Highway on the far north coast of NSW, supervised rigs drilling for mine shafts near Mt Kembla, and have worked on several projects in the Blue and Snowy Mountains. I’ve also been to New Caledonia twice with a few more trips lined up in 2006. There are also periods of weeks where I am in the office every day too, writing reports and planning for upcoming field work projects. I am currently preparing comments regarding a slope failure on a road project based on field studies we performed to identify a possible failure mechanism, have to install inclinometers to monitor rock movements for a cutting widening, and have been doing site investigations for two site redevelopments.
The most interesting project I have worked on
The most exciting project I’ve worked on was at a proposed nickel mine in New Caledonia. I spent two months there with a team of engineers and geologists from our company doing a variety of site investigation work. The language barrier, site conditions, climate, isolation and living conditions (mine camp) really draws on your resourcefulness. It was a great learning and team building experience that I’ll never forget.