Based in our Christchurch office, Andreas Giannakogiorgos is a Senior Principal Geotechnical Engineer, with more than 23 years’ experience in consulting for commercial and residential buildings, and civil infrastructure in project, business and team management.
Andreas has delivered projects in New Zealand, Australia, USA, Mexico, Indonesia, Myanmar, India, Samoa, UK, Cyprus, and Greece. He holds a Masters in Soil Mechanics & Engineering Seismology from the Imperial College in London, and a Bachelor of Geology from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece. Having led more than 100 projects locally and internationally, Andreas collaborates with our geotechnical, engineering and technology teams to provide our clients with best-in-class technological solutions and services. We talked with Andreas about how his work delivers clients and their projects the solutions and science that meets the challenges.
As a Senior Principal and Geotechnical Engineer, what are some of the key aspects of your role?
For me the most important role I have is making sure that we are providing clients with the technical outputs that provide the best possible option for them. As an engineer you really need to understand the ground conditions, getting to know the client, needs and what they really want to get out of their projects.
What would you identify as one of the most challenging aspects of your role?
Practising Geotechnical Engineering in New Zealand’s highly seismic environment is challenging and incredibly interesting from a technical perspective. In my work I focus on simplicity over (unnecessary) sophistication, whilst also capturing the key aspects of the problem.
What do you enjoy most about working with our people and clients?
I am so fortunate that what I do for work, is a genuine passion of mine. The variety of projects I have been privileged to work with over the years has challenged me, not just in the technical aspect, but also improved aspects of my communication and project management approach. The ability and opportunity to isolate the fundamental aspects of a wider, and rather complicated, interactive mechanical behaviour, and then breaking down to simple terms and presenting it to our clients and a non-technical audience is what I really strive to achieve.
But overall, the aspect I enjoy the most is sharing with my colleagues and clients what I have learnt over the years. It is great to be able to pass on my learnings to others.
“Andreas’ appointment is testament to his technical excellence in geotechnical engineering, managing risk, and developing people. His focus on supporting research to further understand our most challenging environments is representative of Tetra Tech’s commitment to Leading with Science® to find solutions for our clients.” – Alice Chaplin General Manager Tetra Tech Coffey New Zealand.
How does your work benefit our clients?
Along with all areas of Geotechnical Engineering, Tetra Tech Coffey are well regarded in performing independent expert witness services. Many of our Senior Geotechnical Engineers in New Zealand, and Australia are frequently called on by clients to be an independent expert witness or perform forensic geotechnical engineering in legal projects. More and more frequently I am being called on to perform these services for clients, and this work has not only seen me travel all over New Zealand but has taken me overseas to Indonesia and Mexico.
I am excited that I bring this skill set to our team and can help our clients with this level of expertise.
What has been a career highlight for you?
As a Geotechnical expert in 2019 I visited the areas affected by the 2018 Sulawesi Earthquake, in Palu, Indonesia. The primary objectives were to collect data that may be used to understand the sequence of events and general failure mechanisms resulting in these large landslides and ground movements. It was also to provide general geotechnical recommendations for the seismic strengthening and seismic retrofit of public schools and healthcare/hospital buildings.
This provided an invaluable, but humbling learning experience, as it allowed key geotechnical/geological features to be observed and provided an opportunity for valuable technical discussions and further understanding on the nature, extent, and damaging mechanism.
I am really proud to have been called up to help and contribute to my field through this research work.
At Tetra Tech Coffey we are excited to have Andreas on our team, bringing a wealth of experience to help our clients and their challenges.
Connect with Andreas at Andreas.Giannakogiorgos@tetratech.com