In this episode, we talk to Jared M. Green, PE, D. GE, NOMA, who is the host of one of EMI’s other podcasts, The Geotechnical Engineering Podcast. Jared is also a Vice-President at Langan Engineering, and in this episode, he is going to tell us what he thinks a structural engineer needs to know about a geotechnical engineer.
Here Are Some of the Questions We Ask Jared:
- What do geotechnical engineers do, and in your opinion how does that differ from what structural engineers do?
- If a civil engineer asks you what field you think he or she should specialize in, choosing between a geotechnical and structural engineer, what advice might you offer about each?
- How feasible do you think is it to get a B.S. in one field and then a Masters in the other?
- How important is it to get a geotechnical master’s degree?
- Share with us one secret/tip that you think structural engineers may not know about geotechnical engineering?
- How can structural engineers become more involved, or work more closely with geotechnical engineers?
- In your opinion, what can we expect of geotechnical engineering in the future?
Here Are Some of the Key Points Discussed About What a Geotechnical Engineer Thinks a Structural Engineer Needs to Know:
- Engineers, in general, are problem solvers. The materials that geotechnical engineers work with are soils, bedrock, and groundwater, and how these materials can be best used to securely anchor projects into the planet. There are many kinds of projects and they all need foundations that are secure enough to handle the loads. Structural engineers focus on what is above the ground and geotechnical engineers focus on what is below the ground; but there is a lot of overlap between the two.
- Civil engineers get exposed to many different subsets of civil engineering; but they do not get much exposure to geotechnical or structural engineering exclusively. It makes it difficult for them to decide in which direction to take their careers. They need to think about what they will be physically doing and which materials they will be using in each career path, and then decide what they will be more interested in. Speaking to professionals to find out what each career path entails will make this task a lot easier. Taking classes in both disciplines will also give you a better understanding of them, but it will also benefit you later in your career.
- It is very feasible to get a B.S. in one field and then a Masters in the other, but only if you have taken previous classes in the fields. It ensures you are getting enough information to handle the prerequisites of the student workload. You will need to decide which field is going to be your primary and secondary fields.
- When thinking of getting your master’s degree, you need to look at what you want to do. It is advisable to get your master’s degree if you want to be something like a consultant. There are many things that you learn at the graduate level that you will not learn at the undergraduate level. If you are a geotechnical engineer working in design, analysis, or modeling, you will get to a point in your career when you see the need to go back and get your master’s degree.
- A tip for structural engineers who are having a problem with something on the Geotech Report would be that your geotechnical engineer would not have a problem with you calling him and asking questions. Most geotechnical engineers would like to hear from you and help you to solve any problems that may arise. So, speak up when you have any questions.
- It is crucial to have an open line of communication between the geotechnical engineer and the structural engineer and to make sure that everyone has all the information, and no assumptions are being made.
- There is still a lot that we are learning about geotechnical engineering, how to learn, and how to teach. The way we solve problems and the problems that we have might become more complicated in the future. For geotechnical engineers in practice to implement these changes in the right way, they need to stay connected to the geotechnical engineers researching these areas. Geotechnical engineers also need to ensure that they think of problems that might come about ahead of time, as opposed to only being reactive.
More Details in This Episode…
About Jared M. Green, PE, D. GE, NOMA
Jared, originally from southwest Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, graduated from Syracuse University’s College of Engineering in 2001 with a B.S. in Civil Engineering. He later went on to attain his M.S in Civil Engineering (Geotechnical Focus) from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Campaign in 2002. In 2003, he began working in the New York City office of Langan. He has since become the Principal / Vice President and is one of the owners of this international land development engineering consulting firm.
Jared enjoys mentoring young engineers and first-generation college students. He has been instrumental in increasing the number of pre-college students that are interested in STEAM majors and fields.
The Geotechnical Engineering Podcast
Connect with Jared M. Green, PE, D. GE, NOMA on LinkedIn
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Please leave your comments or questions in the section below on what you think a structural engineer needs to know about a geotechnical engineer.
To your success,
Mathew Picardal, P.E. & Alexis Clark, P.E., M.ASCE
Hosts of The Structural Engineering Podcast