– the anchor for civil engineering design, construction and project implementation
This article, first in the series, intends to introduce readers to a very important subject area in civil engineering. The content will be addressed under the following headings or titles:
- What is Geotechnical Engineering?
- History of Geotechnical Engineering
- Who is a Geotechnical Engineer in Ghana?
- Areas of application
What is Geotechnical Engineering?
One of the better definitions of the subject is extracted from http://www.whatisgeotech.org/. It simply puts “Geotechnical engineering is the science that explains mechanics of soil and rock and its applications to the development of human kind”. This means, any civil engineering infrastructure that is supported by soil or rock is the responsibility of Geotechnical Engineering. Geotech, for short, applies the principles of soil and rock mechanics to investigate subsurface characteristics by providing information such as relevant physical, chemical and mechanical properties, known as geotechnical parameters. Geotechnical engineering determines the type of foundations, earthworks, pavement among others of the artificial structures to be built.
History of Geotechnical Engineering
In ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia and the like, dating back at least 2000BC, soil material was used to build foundation, for irrigation purposes, in control flood and as construction materials. For example, in irrigation works and flood control soil material was used in canals, dykes and dams. Foundation systems became significant as these ancient cities expanded; the ancient Greek constructed pad and raft or mat footings for buildings. Before the 18th century, there was no scientific approach or understanding to design for these activities as the subject area was more of an art based on experience. Just after the 18th century several foundation related problems emerged. For example, the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy alerted Scientists to use scientific approach to investigate the subsurface. The earliest attempts using scientific approach to study soil mechanics was in the area of earth pressure theories for the construction of retaining wall. In 1717 a French royal engineer, Henri Gautier, observed natural slope of different soils and this gave the idea of soil’s angle of repose. In classifying soil a basic approach based on its unit weight, which later not considered as good indicator, was used. In 1773 Charles Coulomb (an army captain, physicist and engineer) applied the principles of mechanics on soils and determined a better approach for earth pressures against military fortifications. In the 19th century another great man, Henry Darcy, developed the Darcy’s law that describes the flow of fluids in porous media and Joseph Boussinesq propounded theories of stress, which are being used to estimating stresses at depth within the ground. William Rankine and Albert Atterberg developed an alternative to the Coulomb’s earth pressure and clay consistency indices for soil classification respectively. In 1885 Osborne Reynolds observed that shearing results in volumetric changes in granular soils. For example, there is dilation for dense, and contraction for loose, coarse grain soil. The 20th century saw the advent of modern geotechnical engineering with Karl Terzaghi as a key pioneer. He developed the principle of effective stress, theories on bearing capacity, and settlement of clay layers due to consolidation. In 1958 critical state soil mechanics emerged with studies on volume change behaviour (dilation, contraction and consolidation) in relationship with shearing behaviour by Wroth, Roscoe and Schofield. In fact critical state soil mechanics has become the backbone for many advanced constitutive models in geotechnical engineering practice.
Who is a Professional Geotechnical Engineer in Ghana?
A Geotechnical engineer is a typical graduate who has completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil/Geological Engineering and with geotech as one of the majors. A good background in geology during the coursework is very important and advantageous. A typical individual with solid background in Engineering Geology could also support geotechnical activities because both subject have large areas of overlap. One can develop capacity in education by obtaining a Master’s Degree in Geotechnical Engineering. To practice, in Ghana, the graduate has to be certified or recognized by a licenced professional body such as the Ghana Institution of Engineering (GhIE). The entry point is a Trainee Professional Engineer and, at least, after 3-years of practice the individual is a qualified candidate to sit for the professional exams. Passing the professional exams qualifies you to practice as a Professional Geotechnical Engineer. In Ghana there is the Geogroup of the Civil Technical Division, which comprises Ghana Geotechnical Society (GGS) and International Geosynthetic Society Ghana Chapter (GhIGS). The group promotes geotechnical and related activities among professionals and students in Ghana.
Areas of Application
Geotechnical engineering is one of the broadest application for civil engineering infrastructure development. The key areas include the following:
- Transportation – geotechnical engineering supports railway and general pavement (road, runway, harbour, waterways etc.) engineering in the areas of design, construction, maintenance, monitoring, and upgrade. Geotechnical aspects of transportation considers the following:
- Earthwork design, construction and quality control.
- The use of non-geomaterial (geotextile, geogrid etc.) in embankment and structural layers of pavement and railway.
- Site investigation of pavement and railway carriageways including immediate environs.
- Improvement and use of marginal geomaterial (soil and rock) for such construction.
- Deep & Shallow foundation – the geotechnical engineering focus is to design, install and testing of piles under different loading conditions. Also the design of pad, strip and mat or raft footing (shallow) are subset of geotechnical engineering.
- Landslide – here the geotechnical capability is to design slopes that is stable against such occurrence. In addition, it assesses risk of such environment before the general land-use.
- Earthquake – geotechnical engineering assesses the risk of a subject site and characterizes it in line with earthquake including its rippling effects such a liquefaction. The assessment aids in the choice for site locations and type of infrastructure to implement including general spatial planning. In addition, it will provide an input for structural design and general costing for projects. There is also the support for the development of seismic codes.
- Underground infrastructure – underground infrastructures include tunnels, subways, pipelines, underground highway, and waste storage among others. Geotechnical engineering assess the sites for such infrastructural needs and provides geotechnical parameters for design and construction. For example, it provides anticipation for underground challenges during construction.
To be continued……
About the writer: The writer is Ing. Joseph K. Oddei, a Fellow of the Ghana Institution of Engineering and Chairman for the Civil Technical Division. He is the Secretary of the Ghana Geotechnical Society and deeply involved in geosynthetic issues. He holds a BSc (Hon) degree in Geological Engineering and an MPhil in Geotechnical Engineering from KNUST with over 17-yrs of professional practice.
(Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled. All applicants will be contacted. )
JLN-B360 Joint Venture is a construction firm that has been awarded a USAID Project for implementation in Liberia. The Firm is urgently seeking to hire a Quality Control Engineers (QCE) to form part of the Team immediately. This will be a 6 months contract with approved 6 months terms renewals not to exceed a total of two years with three months probationary period.
Vacancy Title: Quality Control Engineer
Vacancy Type: 6 months Contract with possibility of three additional 6-months extensions based on performance (not to exceed two years)
Location: Monrovia – Liberia
Report: Report directly to Chief of Party (COP)
Supervisory Role: Supervise the Quality Control Team
The Quality Control Engineer (QCE) will serve as the senior quality control personal on the project. He/she shall implement the project Quality Control Plan and make recommendations on issues of compliance, re-works and non-conforming work items. The Quality Control Engineer (QCE) shall also manage the implementation of the EMMP for all the projects as assigned. The primary responsibilities are aimed at providing overall leadership, supervision and direction of the process leading to the project quality control and environmental compliance. All Reports and work results are directly submitted to JLN-B360. The QCE shall also execute other responsibilities as assigned by the COP.
DETAIL JOB RESPONSIBILITIES
Responsibilities/Duties of QCE Consultant
- The QCE will establish and maintain an effective quality control (QC) system in compliance JLN-B360’s requirement as per USAID’s contract
- He/She will develop quality control systems that consist of plans, procedures, and organization necessary to produce an end product that complies with USAID’s contract requirements.
- He/She will develop QC system that covers all construction operations, both onsite and offsite, and be key to the proposed construction sequence.
- The QCE must work in close collaboration with other Environmental Consultants contracted by JLN-B360.
- Must use the EMMP to maintain the environmental plan for the quality assurance/quality control required by USAID
- Must integrate all EMMPs approved by USAID into the work plan implementation that will include any activities needed to minimize potential adverse impacts to the environment.
- Must supervise the implementation of the EMMP on all sites by sub-contractors
- He/She shall submit a Quality Control Plan no later than 15 days before the start of construction activity on a specific project in requirements of USAID’s Contract.
- The QCE shall inspect all construction sites as specified in his/hers monthly work plan that shall be approved by the CEO.
- He/She will develop a QC Plan or upgrade the existing to cover all construction operations, both onsite and offsite, including work by subcontractors, fabricators, suppliers, and purchasing agents. The QCP shall include a description of the quality control organization, including a chart showing lines of authority within QC staff independent of construction superintendents or clerk of works.
- He/She will develop a QCP or upgrade the existing that includes quality control tracking forms, recommended tests and degree of tolerance acceptable for deviations. The QCP shall indicate how work issues related to non-conforming work items and re-works will be managed.
The QCP shall also include the following:
- submittal procedures,
- control, verification, and acceptance testing procedures
- reporting procedures, including proposed reporting formats
- site coordination and meeting schedules
- site filing and recording of daily and weekly work plans and reports
- Provide a daily site report for all construction sites
- Provide a weekly site report for all project
- Provide a monthly site report for all project
- Reviewing quality specifications and technical design documents to provide timely and meaningful feedback for quality assurance
- Create detailed, comprehensive and well-structured test plans and test cases of materials samples provided by contractor and defining corrective actions.
- Estimate, prioritize, plan and coordinate quality testing activities for all materials used on the USAID project
- Take care of all QA/QC documents of the entire project including certificates, calibration, test results, inspection requests, non-compliance reports and site instruction/observations, permanent materials delivered and other QA/QC documents.
- Develop method statement for the activity including risk assessment and job safety environmental analysis and Inspection Test Plan and Checklist based on specifications of the project.
- Carry out Internal Audits at the sites as scheduled in the QC Plan
- The minimum qualifications include an Advance Degree or Master of Science in Construction/Project management, Civil Engineering or related fields of engineering. A Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering/Architecture/Construction Technology.
- Work experience as Quality Control Engineer (QCE) or an equivalent position managing similar development programs in African or equivalent environment and international (USAID, UN, World Bank, etc.) experience a plus.
- At least Ten (10) years of progressively responsible work experience in construction quality control and supervision with demonstrated strong management and coordinating skills.
- At least three (4) of the ten (10) years including progressively responsible supervisory work experience.
- Demonstrated skills in building construction technology, ICT skills especially as pertain to spread sheets, word, project and relative applications for engineering and construction of civil works.
- Fluent in English.
HOW TO SUBMIT PROPOSAL
Please submit your RESUME/CURRICULUM VITAE to firstname.lastname@example.org by email: REFERENCE “QCE Position” and a Cover Letter by December 6, 2017. Female Engineers are encouraged to apply. All applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled.
The Crown University College (CUC) has expressed interest in securing seasoned members from Ghana Institution of Engineers (GhIE) as lecturers for their “Ghana TVET Vouchers Project” in the following areas of expertise:
- Auto Mechanical Engineering (Full and Part-Time Lecturers)
- Electronic Engineering (Full and Part-Time Lecturers)
- Welding and Fabrication (Full and Part-Time Lecturers)
- Garment & Textiles (Full and Part-Time Lecturers)
- Cosmetology (Full and Part-Time Lecturers)
The requested minimum qualification is Advance Craft or Full Technician Certificates (FTC)
All the programmes above are Fully Sponsored and TUITION FREE for students or learners who are enrolled and/or may enrol.
CERTIFICATION: certificates for the Voucher Project are awarded by the Ghana Education Service Technical Examination Unit. Duration of the programmes is six (6) months. Qualifications to be awarded on completion of any of the accredited Voucher programmes is CERTIFICATE.
ACCREDITATION: the programmes are fully accredited by COTVET and sponsored by the “Ghana TVET Voucher Project partners.
ADMISSION: Admission is open to all Ghanaian students who may want to access this opportunity. Interested applicants can purchase application forms at all regional post offices and the Engineering Council.
Interested members should forward their CVs to email@example.com
Employment Type & Location
Full-Time, Nuclear Safety Assessment Centre, Nuclear Power Institute, Ghana Atomic Energy Commission, Kwabenya, Accra.
The Nuclear Power Institute (NPI) is one of theinstitutes of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC), the main institution of the commission that deals with the development of the relevant infrastructure needed for the development of Ghana’s nuclear power programme. The Institute serves at the technical wing of the Ghana Nuclear Power Programme Organization (GNPPO) and is made of up five centres.
The Nuclear Safety Assessment Centre (NSAC) deals with all matters related to Siting and Environmental studies related to the Ghana nuclear power programme. In addition, the centre is responsible for emergency preparedness and nuclear safety, security and safeguard aspects of the programme. The Centre is currently looking to employ the services of a Geotechnical/Geological Earthquake Engineer to joinits team. The expected individual should be a team player and should have a good understanding of earthquake engineering, with a strong background in engineering geology. The individual should have a strong analytical background and should be conversant with engineering programming. An understanding of Probabilistic Seismic Hazard Assessment (PSHA) will be a big plus. In addition, prior experience working in a nuclear or other safety-related organization would be an added benefit.
The position would require the individual to lead the geology and seismology work task of the GNPPO, and would require that the individual coordinate with personnel from various local and international institutions including the Geological Survey Department of Ghana. Both local and internationally based Ghanaian applicants are encouraged to apply.
Masters in Geotechnical, Geological, Earthquake Engineering or Engineering Seismology.
Three years minimum post-qualification experience
How to Apply
To be considered for this position, please submit a CV with a cover letter to the following email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Applicants whose applications are selected to move forward may be asked to buy, complete and submit an application form with other relevant documents.
Job title Workshop Manager Reports to General Manager
- Routine servicing, maintenance repairs and refurbishment of heavy duty trucks and Earth Moving Equipment, involving documentations and filing of reports on all Job Orders carried out.
- Direct teams to have completed jobs quality tested to verify the resolving of outstanding issues and pass for collection by customers.
- Direct closely technicians/Mechanics on diagnosis/troubleshooting to isolate and solve problems.
- Implement rules , regulations, safety standards and new processes as assigned by technical manager
- Design and lead periodic training for your department ; On-the –Job Training to upgrade individual teams’ technical competencies
Duties and responsibilities
- Inspect job card to understand customer complaint
- Oversee the allocation of job to the relevant team/technician
- brief the Supervisors/technicians on what to do
- monitor work of the team ensuring adherence to your instructions
- enforcing attendance rules
- based on the job card information check availability of required parts with the warehouse
- Information on expensive repairs by way of service quotes, should be informed to the Customer Service for the written approval from the customer before start of job
- Liaise with the parts department in terms of parts requirements and supply
- Direct safety critical repairs as required, and advise service administration
- Production of productivity report daily
- Co-ordinate resources and liaises with the parts department and order processing department and/or other external contractors to ensure works are delivered on time and according to the company’s quality and safety standards.
- Lead an efficient and effective workshop ensuring good workflow management, and providing scheduled reports to management.
- Responsible for the requisitioning of materials, fixings and fastenings and machine tools to ensure the smooth progression of the workshop.
- Manage yearly workshop budget; investigating any possible discrepancies.
- Guarantee cost-effective use of materials and equipment in the workshop including lubricants and oils
- Responsible for major components change, service or maintenance of clients trucks across the country.
- Be responsible for any communication from and to the workshop
- Handling and taking accountability of warranty parts for the department with suppliers.
Communication with Line Manager
- Any overdue work should be reported
- Root cause analysis report should be done on all product failures
- Brief line management on any Return Jobs
- Communicate on competency gaps/training required to line manager for training
This job requires a person to work outdoors from time to time and also involves on a rotational basis weekend work. Where it becomes necessary, work is carried out on customer’s site which sometimes would require regular travel outside the location of work.
The job is physically demanding, where the incumbent is required to stand for extended periods of time, lift heavy objects on a regular basis, do repetitive tasks with few breaks, and so forth.
- Minimum Bachelor's or Higher degree in Mechanical Engineering
- Minimum 15years of progressive experience handling responsibilities in the heavy duty trucks maintenance & repairs sector preferable automobile maintenance and repairs, well-honed leadership and management experience; with the ability to motivate a workshop team in a multicultural workshop environment.
- Affiliation to a professional body (engineering) local/foreign
- Knowledge of, HSEQ (Health, Safety, Environment and Quality) standards within the workshop area and industrial management practices.
- A very good knowledge of the Hydraulics, Pneumatics systems as well as the schematics.
- A problem solving attitude is essential to make sure to understand and finally satisfy individual customer needs and requirements.
- A good interpersonal skill set is required. The Workshop Supervisor has to be a self-motivated character, open minded thinker, strong team worker, detail oriented character and good communicator. A quality, accuracy and productivity focused mindset is required, too.
- Agile, responsive working style and the ability to work under time pressure. Proven record of ability to manage time and work to strict deadlines. Willingness to perform from time to time trouble shooting actions to satisfy customer’s request.
- Ability to recognize and handle conflicts and resolve differences of opinion within the workshop.
- A demonstrable understanding of all relevant laws, rules and regulations governing the area of the workshop and workshop safety in Ghana( Shops and Factories Act)
- Excellent knowledge of MS Windows and MS-Office software, experiences in Autowares or similar ERP would be preferred.
- Fluently written and spoken English.
- Other characteristics such as personal characteristics
- Professional Certifications
- Valid Driver’s License
Please send all applications to email@example.com