Engineers working in the field of geotechnics are concerned with the engineering behaviour of raw earth materials. Geotechnical engineers plan, direct and conduct survey work to analyse the likely behaviour of soil and rock when placed under pressure by proposed structures, and design above and below ground foundations. This allows for calculated risks and assessments to be made regarding the potential that natural hazards such as landslides, sinkholes, rockfalls and earthquakes may have on engineering projects. Furthermore, assessment of the ground is important in determining how to best construct a foundation that will uphold an entire project.
Geotechnical engineers would greatly assist in the legal process. By performing detailed soil investigations, geotechnical engineers would be able to inform courts about whether certain environmental oversights were overlooked by certain plans or designs. Furthermore, geotechnical engineers would have a methodological process that ensures that the results they arrive at are thorough and accurate. Failure to adhere to standard procedures set by the industry or as general best practice may result in negligence which could lead to further damage to a property.
Most geotechnical engineers will often have a general civil engineering background. These engineers would then go on to specialise in geotechnical materials by gaining experience through a relevant practice. Our experts would have acquired a high standard of technical and practical experience before gaining their qualifications and credentials as a geotechnical engineer.
The specific specialisation and background needed by your geotechnical engineer will be determined by the matter which requires examination.
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Geotechnical engineers would be able to assess and comment on whether the foundational elements in the ground – which includes the soil and rock beneath certain foundations – was accounted for in the appropriate manner. They would also be able to comment on whether prior assessments followed best practice procedures to elucidate potential negligence or malpractice which may have arisen.Sample Reports
For some fields of expertise we have some sample sections of de-identified reports. Please contact our office if you are interested in a sample.Cost
The overall cost of expert opinion depends on the services required. Some of the key factors that affect the cost of advice include:
- The need for a view or inspection of a location
- The quantity of documentary material to be reviewed
- Whether there are reports of other experts to be reviewed and commented on in detail
- Whether there is a need for conferences with the expert either in person or by telephone/Skype
Geotechnical engineers are able to predict where certain clay soils are more prone to landslides thereby allowing for a better assessment as to whether certain projects are more prone to landslide damage or not.Relevant Cases Peter James Harris and Jane Maree Harris v WaterNSW  NSWCCA 184 (9 August 2021)
This matter was a criminal case which relied on geotechnical engineering reports to determine whether one party had contravened the law by taking water from the Darling River.Cohen v Double Bay Bowling Club (No 2)  NSWSC 872 (20 July 2021)
This case is related to the determination of whether one party contravened their statutory duty to maintain a good support from supporting land. This required assessment of the soil which was done through geotechnical engineering reports.Related Blog Articles
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