#WomeninEngineeringDay with Songul Akay – Associate Engineering Geologist

Songul Akay

Songul Akay is an Associate Engineering Geologist with Tetra Tech Coffey who has 25 years’ experience in major infrastructure and tunnelling projects across the globe. Relocating to Sydney with her family late last year, Songul is now leading a team of engineers on the M6 Stage one Tunnelling Project in Sydney, Australia.

Tell us about your role as a Geologist at Tetra Tech Coffey?

As an Engineering Geologist, I am experienced in leading teams of geologists with the responsibility of executing and delivering all geology related work. This includes coordinating and managing all geological-geotechnical investigation and geotechnical monitoring works of a project, collation and evaluation of monitoring results, face mapping, and assignment of ground support during tunnel construction.

What was the last major project you worked on?

Before moving to Sydney at the end of 2023, I worked for three years with Yuksel Project International, in India as a Senior Resident Geologist for the Rishikesh and  Karanprayag Railway Tunnels project. It was an exciting project that covered a 14 km section and a further 10 kilometre section of the 125 kilometre long railway line between Rishikesh and Karanprayag in the province of Uttarakhand, India. This was an incredibly challenging project; both from its very remote location to the challenging geotechnical geographies, so as an engineer it was an amazing experience both professionally and personally.

I was very excited to be able to bring all my skills to Tetra Tech and our projects here in Sydney Leading a team of geologists, I was responsible for executing and delivering all geology related works and ensuring that the project operations were compliant with design specs and meet client requirements.

What do you enjoy most about being an engineer?

What I like most about being an engineer is the opportunity we have to create something that will be used and benefited by millions of people for generations to come. To make a positive impact like that gives me incredible satisfaction and is inspiring. Engineering has enabled me to work on amazing projects in countries around the world. Being native to Turkey, I worked in many different regions, but then I have also had the opportunity to work in Oman, India and now Australia.

What do you hope for the future women in engineering?

I would like to see more women get involved in the industry and to be recognised for the unique qualities we bring to a team. While gender diversity is getting better, girls need to have examples and role models in the industry, and to see that women have the same opportunities to progress into leadership roles.

What do you most enjoy about working at Tetra Tech Coffey?

Over the past eight months of working at Tetra Tech Coffey, I have found my colleagues so supportive and kind. Engineering can be very demanding, so to know you have a great team of committed specialists behind you makes all the difference. Tetra Tech Coffey’s support for ongoing professional development for all employees is really encouraging, while we may be busy, development builds careers and that’s what we do at Tetra Tech.

Connect with Songul at Songul.Akay@tetratech.com

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