Image of Jack Johnson smiling at the camera.

Jack Johnson

Jack Johnson is an Engineering Geology MSc student, at the School of Earth and Environment.

Having worked in the ground engineering industry for around four years before starting the course, Jack  realised that he would like to develop his theoretical knowledge around Engineering Geology and explore some of the areas that he hadn’t yet had chance to learn about in depth.

The University is well regarded and has excellent links to industry, so it was my first choice.

Jack Johnson

Field trips

Aside from increasing Jack’s general understanding around ground engineering and getting to dive into interesting course work and projects, the highlight of Jack’s studies has been visiting Athens and the surrounding area on a field trip in April.

“The fieldtrip was well paced with plenty of interesting visits to active construction sites, including Corinth Canal and seeing a TBM being set-up to construct a new line for Athen’s metro system. There was also plenty of time to enjoy the weather in between site visits!”

Engineering Geology MSc students on a field trip to Athens.


“Being able to see and walk inside a TBM in Athens was a great experience, and one that I might never have again! This along with many other experiences on the field trip to Greece were some of the most exciting projects to be able witness in person.”

Engineering Geology MSc students inside a TBM on a field trip to Athens.


Developing industry links

Being able to work with and learn from lecturers who are incredibly knowledgeable and have real world experience has been another highlight for Jack.

“The links with industry partners on the course meant that many guest lecturers were invited to hold talks on current projects in the UK and abroad which was great to see, and we had the opportunity to interact with them in a meaningful way.”

Contributing to a sustainable future

“The course has a strong emphasis on sustainability and has opened my eyes to the different ways that engineering geologists can contribute to a more sustainable future.”

Engineering Geology MSc students on a coastal field trip.


Jack found that many of the thesis projects that were on offer this year centred on sustainability and sustainable practice in engineering geology.

“A few examples include assessing the potential of peridotite to sequester carbon in Saudi Arabia, assessing how to reduce the operational carbon of a ground investigation contractor, and my project which is assessing the potential for harnessing low carbon geothermal energy in Ilkley.”

There are many ways engineering geologists can contribute to a sustainable future and efficient use of resources, which is critical in order to preserve our environment for future generations.

The content of the course will put anyone who applies themselves in a good position to tackle the issues that will determine the state of our planet in the future.

Jack Johnson

Jack’s thesis project

Jack has really enjoyed working on his thesis project. He is assessing the amount of recoverable heat within a potential geothermal reservoir at Ilkely.

“The project is allowing me to pull together knowledge picked up from taught content across different modules, and hopefully produce some meaningful results which may lead to further research or implementation further down the line.”

Building a conceptual ground model for a bridge crossing

Another of Jack’s favourite projects was building a conceptual ground model for a bridge crossing in the Ground Investigation & Characterisation module.

“We used real world data to construct cross sections and a model individually, which was then combined and presented as a group, highlighting geohazards and making recommendations on design.”

Future ambitions

Jack has enjoyed learning about geothermal systems and would like work on those kind of projects in future as he believes the potential is massive in the UK and the rest of the world.

In the short-mid-term he is planning on moving to Australia to work as a geotechnical engineer and take in all the experiences that has to offer.

“Above all else I would like to continue learning and taking in all the knowledge I can from people smarter than me! The links between the university and industry partners have allowed me to connect with experts in the industry.”

Having the opportunity to work on projects using real world data and develop critical assessment of findings was very beneficial to Jack, and something that was really pushed for on the course.


I would recommend the course to anyone that wants to pursue a career in Engineering Geology. The benefits of investing in yourself are immense and will put you in a good position moving forward.

Jack Johnson

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