Engineers Australia

AGS Geology for Engineers Course

This course has been postponed and is scheduled for November 2022

Please contact the AGS secretary Peter Robinson via if you wish to be placed on a waiting list and notified if a position becomes available.

Who should attend

The course is designed for geotechnical engineers involved in civil and mining projects who have limited geological backgrounds.

Aims of the course

The aim of this course is to give students the knowledge, skills and experience to allow them to successfully apply geological principles and skills in their day-to-day work in the geotechnical industry. The course will also provide a framework for students to keep learning about total geology principles so that they can make better engineering judgements and decisions in the future.

The course is focused around the development of engineering ground models, which are an essential element of any successful geotechnical design. The course will cover the importance of a sound understanding of the origin and nature of soil and rock materials and their defects so that geotechnical conditions and hazards can be anticipated and communicated to other members of project teams.

Teaching is based largely around guided field exercises within an engineering context, supported by class exercises and case histories. The exercises will take full advantage of the very broad range geological conditions exposed in the Adelaide area, which include very soft recently deposited soils; ancient sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic rocks; tectonic deformation and glacial erosion.

Students who complete the course will enhance the knowledge and skills they need to undertake core geotechnical engineering tasks, including geotechnical desk top studies and geotechnical interpretive reporting. Some of the key learning outcomes are:

  • How to interpret geological maps for engineering purposes.
  • How to use aerial imagery to classify terrain and identify geotechnical significant features.
  • How to employ structure contour techniques to predict sub-surface conditions.
  • How to use stereographic projection techniques to understand rock slope stability.
  • How to recognise, measure and record geotechnically significant features on-site.
  • How to build and develop ground models to communicate interpreted geotechnical conditions, hazards and uncertainty.
  • To appreciate the engineering impact of the processes of formation of soil and rock masses.
  • To understand the variability which results from the processes of formation and the limitations they impose on field descriptions, sampling, testing and subsequent analysis.
  • How to communicate more successfully with other geotechnical professionals, designers and constructors involved in ground engineering projects.


The course is approved by the Australian Geomechanics Society and recognized by Engineers Australia as equivalent to 80 hours of CPD.


Engineering geologists Fred Baynes, Mark Eggers, Phil Flentje, Anthony Bowden and Ian Shipway will present the course on behalf of the Australian Geomechanics Society. They bring to the course more than 150 years of combined experience in the observation, recording, interpretation and presentation of geological data in the field and in communicating the information in drawings and reports to designers and constructors of civil and mining works in Australia and overseas.

Course Fee

Fees will not be refundable if a participant is unable to attend. However, a nominated person may attend in your place. If at any time the course is cancelled, fees will be refunded in full.

Cancellation Policy

Fees will not be refundable if a participant is unable to attend. However, a nominated person may attend in your place. If at any time the course is cancelled, fees will be refunded in full.


The course will be limited to a maximum of 24 students. Places will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis upon receipt of payment.


It is preferred to have the students and teachers staying at the same hotel close to the University of Adelaide. The University of Adelaide is on North Terrace (northern edge of the city)

An announcement regarding the selection of preferred accommodation and associated costs will be emailed to all registered participants and posted on the website as they are confirmed. It will be your responsibility then to book and pay for your accommodation.

Enquiries & Registration

To enquire about the course, and confirm it is likely to be suitable, please contact Anthony Bowden by phone on +61 418 411 749.

After speaking with Anthony, register for the course using the attached form and email it to Peter Robinson via