WHAT IS A GEOTECHNICAL ENGINEER (PART 2)?

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So, do I need a do-over from Part 1?   In Part 1, I said that geotechnical engineering consists of two parts:  foundation engineering and soil mechanics.  This left out the rock mechanics people, and often in a mining company, rock mechanics staff are referred to as geotechnical engineers.

Sometimes soil mechanics and rock mechanics are lumped together and called “geomechanics”. 

I consulted several of my geotechnical engineering textbooks.  None of them had chapters on rock mechanics.  One of the texts had the term “rock mechanics” on page one, but not elsewhere. 

It’s not unusual for a master’s program in geotechnical engineering to include a class on rock mechanics.  The two topics are not all that different.  Twin sons of different mothers. 

I started out my career in rock mechanics before moving over to soil mechanics, so I’m not trying to take sides.  What do you think?  Would you place rock mechanics practitioners into the crucible of geotechnical engineering?  If so, why?  I’d love to hear what you have to say. 

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