Fred Baynes - Consultant Engineering Geologist


Engineering geologists have knowledge that is unique to their area of the science of geology.


“The future of engineering geology” was was discussed as Theme 12 of the 10th IAEG Congress. The discusssion was summarised by General Reporters Fred Baynes, Jim Griffiths and Mike Rosenbaum. The General Reporters recommend the following action plan to IAEG:

IAEG must continue with its stewardship role as the international society responsible for the promotion of engineering geology, and endeavor to increase the effectiveness of its activities and those of the IAEG national groups. This will involve the development of a “stewardship template” to be provided by IAEG to the national groups and which could provides guidance on a range of programmes designed to promote engineering geology:

•  Education, training and research -

a) Engineering geologists must establish a genuine (? substantive) research agenda for their subject.

b) Universities must be willing to appoint practitioners as lecturers and avoid restriction to those with a conventional academic track record in publications and qualifications (e.g. PhD).

c) Quaternary geology and geomorphology must be incorporated in engineering geology teaching in a substantive manner.

d) Industry must actively support Masters' degree programmes and research in engineering geology.

e) Industry need to set up clear career paths for engineering geologists with an identified programme of continued professional development (CPD).

•  Professional status – unless Engineering Geologists are recognised as the professional equivalent of Civil Engineers their role will continue to be limited to a junior one equivalent to technician status carrying out essentially routine tasks in a prescribed manner. The status of professional qualifications (Chartership/Registration, European Geologist, Professional Geologist, Registered Geologist, etc.) must be vigorously promoted and the standards required to reach and maintain the relevant designation need to be strenuously upheld.

•  Promotion of IAEG within society and our fellow professionals within geo-engineering – the IAEG provides the international vehicle needed to ensure that the professional status of engineering geologists is established globally. IAEG should also help to establish the codes of good practice that may be needed to ensure the standards of engineering geology are maintained.

The continuing development of technical knowledge through IAEG Technical Commissions is essential, especially with regard to:

•  Site specific engineering geological descriptions (local or project related) of stratigraphy, structure, groundwater, processes, and the related engineering or environmental performance .

•  Universal engineering geological syntheses (applicable throughout the world) of properties, parameters, engineering performance of geological materials or processes, soil/rock/water systems, environmental systems, especially inhomogeneous and/or fractured materials and/or active processes.

•  Investigation and characterization methods , surface and subsurface field techniques especially to investigate and describe spatial variability, capabilities and limitations of investigation techniques.

•  Engineering geological models as representations of site specific and anticipated engineering geological conditions, preparation protocols, metadata requirements, descriptions of geological uncertainty, visualization of models, methods of transforming into ground engineering models, use of models for risk management and geohazard engineering


•  Management and communication of engineering geological information, reporting, engineering geological terminology, defensible reporting standards, codes of practice, communication with end-users, education and training.