Abstract

The formation and success of the Engineering Group of the Geological Society is a symptom of the ever-increasing influence of geology on civil engineering which has become evident in recent years. This liaison between civil engineers and geologists is important, but it is in its early stages, and there are still problems in the training, the status and the duties of the engineering geologist which remain to be solved. Their solution is an urgent matter, for universities are now starting courses in 'engineering geology', and there is a danger that some may produce graduates who are neither fully competent engineers nor fully competent geologists.

In the near future the Group will hold a conference devoted to this question, but in the meantime I should like to express my own views, if for no better reason than that they may lead you to think about it and be ready to take part in such a discussion.

We all know that William Smith was a civil engineer, but the fact remains that until comparatively recently geology has not played an important part in civil engineering practice. This is obvious from an examination of the published literature. It is true that early in the 19th century engineers who were then chiefly concerned with the construction of canals, roads and the early railways, paid a good deal of attention to geology, as can be seen by looking through old volumes of the Annales des Fonts et Chaussées, and to a lesser degree, the Proceedings

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