Randall Carballo is a national representative for Costa Rica and completed a PhD a newly proposed method to determine the landslide susceptibility of a transportation corridor in Costa Rica. In his interview Randall tells us what inspired him to become an engineering geologist, who inspired him during his PhD, and his hopes for the future.
How and why did you get interested in engineering geology?
As a child I always enjoyed sciences and when it came time to choose a career, I chose Geology to have a way to combine field work with office and laboratories. During my career I really got attracted to geotechnics and engineering geology for their practical use and their need in industry.
Where and when did you obtain your undergraduate degree and, if appropriate, your graduate degree(s)?
I got my bachelor degree geology at the University of Costa Rica (UCR) in 2016 and later a PhD in 2019. I’m currently looking for graduate options in engineering geology.
Who have/has been your most inspiriting mentor/supervisor (men and women)?
My thesis advisor PhD. Paulo Ruiz Cubillo who got his doctorate on Rutgers University (USA). He has a great help correcting and guiding me through the thesis project.
If you did a thesis, what was your thesis topic?
My thesis consisted on the assessment of a newly proposed method to determine the landslide susceptibility of a transportation corridor. The method is called Hill Slope Quality Index and I applied it on a highly weathered and vegetated mountainous highway in Costa Rica. I ended up doing 41 iterations to analyze every variable on the equations.
With what companies/organizations did you (have you) worked?
I worked in the National Laboratory of Materials and Structural Models of Costa Rica (LANAMME for its Spanish name) while I was working on my thesis and have been an independent geologist since then.
What are your main areas of interest within engineering geology?
I have worked on slope stability and would love to gain experience on tunneling.
What were (have been) the most memorable projects you’ve been involved with?
Definitely my thesis. I was able to study one of the most important highways in Costa Rica (Braulio Carrillo’s highway) and its main issue (landslides).
Have you been in IAEG or your local young group?
I have been part of the IAEG for two years now, through our local group the Costa Rican Committee for Engineering Geology and the Environment (COGICA), and as a country representative for the YEG.
Have you won any awards (honours) for your technical achievements or your contributions to your profession? If so, what were they? Any other notable achievements?
My thesis won the honourable mention. Yet I plan on getting more in the future. Stay tuned.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Just wishing the best for anyone reading this.
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