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Mining versus Transportation

Mining versus Transportation

Mining versus Transportation

For those civil engineers who have experience working among varies sectors, could you shed some light on the differences between the mining and (linear) transportation sectors? What qualitative factors does the mining industry offer to a civil engineer that transportation does not?


RE: Mining versus Transportation

When I think of my experience with municipal roads, I am reminded of compiling provincial standard drawings and specifications to a bid package. I found calculating storm flows following a manual that hasn't been truly updated in 25 years quite dull, the results must fit a prefabricated size on the table from the specifications.

When I think of my experience with the mining sector, I am reminded of water retention ponds, pump systems and discharge limitations. I found there was a real emphasis of generating real inputs from site specific data rather than picking values from the manuals.

RE: Mining versus Transportation

I've never worked in either field, but from people I know who were in mining, it's totally commodity price driven. If the price of ______ goes up, there's work aplenty. If the price drops, your job is gone.

RE: Mining versus Transportation

I have no experience with mining but as a Structural Engineer who is a client of many Civil Engineers and works very closely with them in the transportation industry I can tell you a few things:

1. On a standard design-bid-build contract the Civil Engineers are the ones that get the large contracts with the government agency and then end up hiring the Surveyor, Geotechnical, Structural, and Electrical Engineer (if they don't already have them in-house). Since they are the prime consultant, they many times get the larger percentage of the design fees.
2. The Civil Engineers in my city are usually the ones with the big fancy offices in the higher priced downtown area.
3. They many times dictate the direction of the project.
4. Their work is not as "technical" as the other disciplines but involves overall management of the project and their sub-consultants work. They are responsible for designing roadways for projected future traffic counts, establishing both vertical and horizontal roadway alignment, permitting, utility layout, hydraulics, traffic signal design, temporary traffic control or construction phasing plans, BMP plans, signage and striping of roadways, and grading plans.

Similar to GeoEnvGuy, there are a lot of "standard" details that get recycled. Especially when it comes to BMP plans but if you are working on a design for something new, there are plenty of unique details to create. With that being said, I do know some Civil Engineers that don't get to do anything real exciting. I wouldn't last long in some of those more passive roles. However, I think you can find this in all facets of Engineering.

RE: Mining versus Transportation

mining industry does not provide a lot of opportunities to a roadway engineer. in general, most of the roads in a mine are not paved and have a very short design life. they may have very little civil engineering involved, they just build it. if you are willing or able to branch out though, there are a lot of opportunities for other types of engineering:

mechanical - piping, pumps, material handling
electrical - high voltage, substations, distribution
chemical - process engineering and maintenance
mining - mine planning and operations
dams and tailings
environmental - water quality, reclamation

contracting is often not design-bid-build, more likely to be CMAR or design-build or EPCM

RE: Mining versus Transportation

I've spent the last 10 years managing the geotechnical program for the third largest transportation network in the US - Virginia! We have funding, I have plenty of latitude to enact change, and I work with interesting colleagues.

I had previously been in consulting. Agency work is just different. That said, it's been fun!

June I'll retire and just so ready. Not that I don't love my career - I'm just ready!


p.s., I did work in a mine 4 decades ago. That was something I never since pursued.

ípapß gordo ainÆt no madre flaca!

RE: Mining versus Transportation

By mining tunelling, do you mean tunelling for material extraction or for roads and such?

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