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Internship South Africa, Fall 2002

This site refers to the internship which was done by Armando Swart and Jeroen van Nes. The internship was done in the fifth year at the University for Applied Earth Science in Delft and they specialised themselves in Engineering Geology. An internship to obtain practical experience is required before receiving the masters degree. The internship was done with Bopite Engineering Geologists CC, which is situated in Blue Horizon Bay, Eastern Cape Province, South Africa. Bopite Engineering Geologists CC is a company which occupies itself with medium engineering geological and geotechnical investigations in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa. The company is owned and run by Gavin J. Fisher who is an engineering geologist. The proprietor of the company is Mark Reynolds, a geologist and environmentalist. During the internship a large number of different projects were dealt with including soil profiles, sampling, borehole logging, forensic studies, report writing, etc. These projects can be divided in four groups and are described below.

  Road projects          

Gravel roads deteriorate over time and require therefor maintenance every couple of years. once in a half year a gradingr is used to scrape the sides of the road to sustain a higher elevation of the centre of the road promoting water runoff. This process result in the thinning of ta road. The "road projects" involve locating potential sources of road buildings material with are used to re-surface (rehabilitation) and upgrade. The roads consists of a mixture of a "strong" component, which makes the road resistant against use and weathering, and a binding component. Existing quarries were located and considered for improving the roads. "Road projects" which were worked on during the practical where roads in and around Addo Elephant park (100 north-east from Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape province), multiple roads near Graaf Reinett ( northern Eastern Cape Province) and a road near Kareerdouw (south-western Eastern Cape Province).


  Investigation of existing road in Addo Elephant park  
    Soil profiling:    
  Investigation at Aspen Pharmacy, Port Elizabeth  

Soil profiling was done as a part of several site investigations. The goal for making a soil profile is to become familiar with the subsurface, predict the geotechnical properties of the soil an to be able to predict the soil profiles on places were no trial pit is excavated. The depth of the excavation pits ranged from 1 metres to 8 metres depending on the depth to bedrock, excavator type and the contract with the client. The soil profile was recorded using the MCCSSOO acronym. Samples where taken from each layer encountered at the site and where taken to a soil lab where the soil characteristics were determined including grading curve, clay content, expansive capacity, etc. Several projects where soil profiles were made are: "Aspen Pharmacy project" in Port Elizabeth, "Welfare and community center" in Grahamstow, "Sludge ponds" in Uitenhage and "Stability investigation" in Kenton on Sea.


  Forensic study:          

Most of the damage encountered at houses in, and surrounding the Port Elizabeth area have an engineering geological background. Insurance companies hire an engineering geological consultant before determining if the claim is valid or not. A great part of the work conducted during the internship consisted of forensic studies. These studies were done in order to determine the cause of damage at private properties. Usually the houses were located in Port-Elizabeth or Uitenhage. The houses were visited and normally the home owner showed the damage present. As an independent consultant Bopite Engineering is not aware of the policy held by the insurance company. Therefor the damage is assessed and a report compiled without further knowledge whether the home owner is covered or not.

  Large crack, Uitenhage  
  Determining depth of badrock, Misgund  

After the site investigation for Aspen Pharmacies in Port Elizabeth, which included sampling and soil profiling of the subsurface to provide broad foundation recommendation, additional site investigation was required. Additional site investigation was therefore conducted in the form of boreholes. A water reservoir had to be constructed on the slope at Misgund Depth of the bedrock. A site investigation was undertaken to determine the best location of this reservoir. Due to a construction of a house near the edge of a dune, a slope stability problem was created. A site investigation was undertaken to analyse the dune




Links to Pictures and files

Pictures of South Africa: Blue Horizon Bay, just east of Port Elizabeth, Estern Cape South Africa

Pictures of South Africa: Pictures of my stay in Capetown

Internship-Report: Report containing all the work done during the 4 months lasting internship.


Internship in a Coal mine, Germany 2000

This internship took place in Lohberg-Osterfeld, Dinslaken, Germany from July till August in the year 2000. The underground cool mine was under supervision of the Deutsche Steinkohle (DSK),

The internship can be divided in three activities: The first weeks we were introduced to all the different aspects of the mine, such as the "weatherabteilung". After this introduction some general labour took place near "die streife". In the end, a friend of mine and I did an investigation of the feasability of recycling the equipment in the mine which is normally used behind if the coal recourse in that area is depleted.

More information and photographs are coming.....

Website: Jeroen van Nes, The Netherlands
Update: 30 May 2005