Geotechnical Engineering, also known as Geotech, is a branch of civil engineering that deals with the behaviour of soil, rocks, and earth materials. The geotechnical community is very close-knit, with a range of educated personnel running the industry and providing specialised services & highly technical information. However, there is a general lack of geotechnical awareness in the construction industry, whether it is for the people looking to join the industry or the basic knowledge about the various roles and positions offered in the geotechnical field. In this article, we learn more about the geotechnical industry, its interesting challenges, and the first-hand experience by Jorge Martínez, Europe Business Development Manager from Encardio-rite, the leading company for geotechnical sensors and instrumentation.
Jorge Martínez is a Spanish Geologist with 18 years of international experience. He became a part of Encardio-rite in September 2020 and is currently a member of the international business development team. His role at Encardio-rite includes looking after the customer, identifying and analyzing business opportunities, and defining local strategies.
Talking about his first geotechnical monitoring job, he remembered the time he was working in Madrid on a tunnel project where he found himself alone without any supervisor with just a month of experience to his name. The only thing that allowed him to keep the process going was his dedication and the inability to give up. “Of course, there were challenges. I probably freaked out several times a day, but then I realized everything was working.”, says Martínez, fondly remembering his days. Addressing the magnitude of responsibility associated with the job, he emphasized the importance of asking for help whenever needed from the people above you. You learn a lot when you take up a challenge.
Apart from the list of responsibilities, the geotechnical and monitoring industry offers a wide range of experience. Jorge explains how working in a dam project in Bolivia is very different from working in a mine in South Africa or a Metro Tunnel in Spain. There is never time to be bored, and the best part; you get the opportunity to travel to many different places in the world!
Jorge never thought he would be a part of a High-tech business. However, he fell in love with the industry with his first monitoring job. The idea that you are helping to keep people safe really adds to job satisfaction. Martínez does not shy away to discuss the challenges that come with the industry – the work can be demanding, and the responsibility is overwhelming, and it is not a usual 9-5 job. Sometimes urgent work comes up on-site, and your customer needs a solution. There is no option to postpone the work. On the other hand, it can be very quiet and relaxing when the phone doesn’t ring at all!
Furthermore, you can find various profiles that fit in this industry including geologists and engineers, installation experts, monitoring managers, IT and telecom engineers, data analysts, monitoring technicians, surveyors, etc.
The geotechnical industry is very active in terms of technology. There is a constant emergence of some new technology and application in the field, while some other classical systems were left aside. Many myths surround the industry with the first one being that monitoring and instrumentation is just a waste of time and money. However, the truth as portrayed by Jorge Martínez is that assuring the safety of people and structure is the ideal way to save money and time, making the project more profitable in the end. It is one of the biggest challenges of the industry – making people understand that Instrumentation and Monitoring is not a waste but an investment.
| Also Read: Geotechnical Instrumentation & Monitoring: Services & Types |
Talking about his experience at Encardio-rite, Martínez terms it as enriching – both from the personal and professional side. His role demands him to interact with people from 8-9 different nationalities. He does not recommend Encardio-rite for people who are not keen to grow, make their own decisions, suggest new ideas or get involved in new developments.
Encardio believes in feedback and improvement, and incorporating different and diverse points of view. All the ideas are very welcome and appreciated. Moreover, the Direction Team at Encardio-rite is constantly urging us to bond and work as a solid team, especially since we all live in different countries.
Continuing to speak about his learning, Martínez emphasised the importance of having a team with diverse experience and professional profiles. “All these experiences put together to offer us the choice to find innovative solutions for all types of problems that our customers might face.”
Not only when it comes to professional work, but Encardio-rite also takes a step towards sustainable efforts by deploying a rainwater harvesting system in the company premises or installing solar panels to provide clean energy to the manufacturing facilities.
Apart from having a work culture that drives through encouragement, inclusivity, and diversity, Encardio-rite also respects and understands the personal issues, and makes an effort needed to balance work and personal life.
The Worldwide Geotechnical Instrumentation and Monitoring Industry is Expected to Reach $4.2 Billion by 2026. Discussing and sharing first-hand experience helps a multitude of people to decide their career course. It also assists in understanding the importance of monitoring and instrumentation for the safety of people.