Engineering Geologist

An honours year in Earth Sciences gave Berrick Fitzsimons the right kind of experience to be employed by Beca Group Ltd once he finished his study.

Earth Science study Berrick Fitzsimmons works with supervisor from the School of Environment
Berrick Fitzsimons and professional teaching fellow Nick Richards from the School of Environment.

Key facts

Career: Engineering geologist
Programme: Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Earth Sciences

“I chose honours in Earth Sciences because it provided me with a good spread of courses to enhance my skill set.

“I was lucky enough to land a summer internship with my current employer Beca Group Limited prior to commencing my honours year. I now work in their Geotechnical Engineering section as an Engineering Geologist.

“In this role, much of my time is spent in the field undertaking site investigations. This involves logging and testing of soil and rock, and mapping geological features and hazards such as landslides.

“The remainder of my time is spent in the office preparing, analysing and communicating my findings to engineers, informing their designs for bridges to airport runways. Recently, I have also
been designing smaller structures such as retaining walls and sea walls.

“Most engineering consultancies who employ graduates are looking for at least one year of postgraduate study because the skills we learn are more applicable, meaning we require less training to get up to speed.”

“One of the best parts about the programme was the variation of courses on offer and the differing topics they covered. I also really enjoyed the practical aspects of the programme, especially the field trips.

“I use many of the skills gained from my qualification on a regular basis. Some of these include soil and rock logging, geological and geomorphological mapping, photo interpretation, map making, modelling, and report writing.”