Geotechnical Officer

Pacific Community, Suva, Fiji

Skill Required:, Project/ Programme Management
Preferred Experience: 
3 to 10 Years
Closing Date for Applications: 
22nd May, 2017

Job Description


  • The Pacific Community (SPC) is the principal scientific and technical organisation in the Pacific region, supporting development since 1947.
  • We are an international development organisation owned and governed by our 26 country and territory members.
  • In pursuit of sustainable development to benefit Pacific people, our organisation works across more than 20 sectors.
  • We are known for our knowledge and innovation in such areas as fisheries science, public health surveillance, geoscience, and conservation of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture.

The Geoscience Division 

  • The division has three technical work programmes: Geoscience for Development, Water and Sanitation, and Disaster Reduction. Its services to SPC members include assessments of the potential of ocean and onshore mineral resources, maritime boundary data collection, coastal protection and management, geo-hazard assessment, and technical advice and assistance in the areas of water, waste-water, sanitation, disaster risk management, mapping and surveying (including GIS and remote sensing) and natural resources economics.

The role 

  • The Geotechnical Officer will be responsible for the planning and preparation of geo-surveys, collection of scientific and engineering data, report writing, capacity building initiatives, formulation of project proposals, and providing technical advice to Pacific Island countries and territories (PICTs). The following are the key responsibilities of the role.
  • Plan and coordinate terrestrial and marine geo-surveys
  • Liaise with the geo-survey team members and the technical workshop team in geo-survey planning and preparation
  • Prepare project work plans
  • Liaise with in-country counterparts to organise travel authorisations and survey logistics
  • Ensure that all survey equipment and accessories and software are ready for the survey
  • Assist in the mobilisation and demobilisation of survey equipment
  • Participate in the testing of survey equipment in the relevant marine and/or terrestrial environment prior to the survey.
  • Collection of geological, geophysical, geo-engineering data in terrestrial and marine environments
  • Ensure that survey equipment are used appropriately during the survey
  • Collect terrestrial and marine scientific data and information, using appropriate survey methods and equipment
  • Ensure that quality data are collected, saved and stored appropriately
  • Conduct data analysis, manipulation and interpretation using relevant software
  • Use processed data and information to generate tables, maps and graphics
  • Collect rock material samples when required (i.e. soil, sand, gravel and boulder) for geo-technical testing
  • Use appropriate testing equipment to perform geo-technical tests on rock materials
  • Write and review technical reports.
  • Support the geo-survey and geo-resources sector in capacity building initiatives and in the preparation of project proposals, tender documents and budgets
  • Assist PICTs in capacity building through on the-job training, attachments, training workshops and information sharing
  • In consultation with the geo-survey team members, partners and donors
  • Promote the work of the geo-survey unit to potential clients and donors in order to prepare tender documents for the procurement of survey equipment and services;
  • Prepare and/or review concept notes and project proposals; and
  • Prepare geo-survey project budgets to ensure provision for full cost recovery.
  • Provide technical assistance and advice to PICTs based on sound scientific and engineering data and information
  • Provide technical assistance and advice to PICTs in relation to the management of their mineral resources
  • Support the Head of GSR in advocating and spearheading geothermal energy development activities in selected PICTs
  • Support the Head of GSR in promoting land reclamation/island building as a long-term climate change adaptation option for selected PICTs.
  • For a more detailed account of the key responsibilities for this role, please refer to the Job Description provided.


  • Undergraduate degree in one or more of the following fields: geology, engineering geology, or geophysics (or in a closely related field) from a recognised institution.
  • Technical expertise
  • Experience in geological/geophysical/geo-engineering surveys, and/or geo-resources investigations
  • Knowledge of geological, geophysical, and geo-engineering surveys, data processing, and map generation
  • Computer literacy, particularly with Microsoft Office and GIS applications.

Essential skills

  • Be able to communicate effectively with member country governments, and regional and international organisations
  • Excellent team player and participatory process skills
  • Ability to plan, prioritise and coordinate activities
  • Ability to handle high-pressure situations and meet deadlines.

Language skills

  • Excellent oral and written communication skills in English, with a working knowledge of French being an advantage.
  • Interpersonal skills and cultural awareness
  • Good interpersonal skills Ability to work effectively in a cross-cultural environment and be sensitive to gender and cultural issues

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