Geotechnical engineer

SHARE   |   Tuesday, 15 March 2016   |   By Keitebe Kgosikebatho
Geotechnical engineer

Ludo Gabanakgosi got into the mining sector at the tender age of 23. The fact that she was this young when she joined this tough industry turned up to be a blessing as it prepared her well to excel in future. Gabanakgosi works as a Geotechnical Engineer at Jwaneng Diamond mine. She had before then changed employers several times. First she worked for a company called Cowburn Asherwood & Associates, which was contracted by Debswana to do geological and geotechnical logging of core, four months later she moved to Mopani mine as a graduate trainee doing the same job. Months later she joined Tati Nickel mine where though she still worked as a graduate trainee she grew professionally. “It opened my mind and made me responsible and prompt at decision making,” she says. Gabanakgosi joined Debswana in 2008 as an Assistant Geologist-Geotechnical. This period, she says, defined her.  Because she had no intention of being an assistant for long, Gabanakgosi enrolled for a graduate Diploma in Engineering at Wits University.


She had attained a Bachelor of Science degree (Geology and Environmental Science) from the University of Botswana in 2005. Her attraction to the geoscience field was its similarities to her love for solving puzzles and finding patterns in everyday things. Her current role as a Geotech Engineer still shadows her passion; it involves in a broader sense ensuring the stability of pit walls through assessment and determination of optimal mine slope configurations as well as finding engineering solutions to pit slope stability challenges. She is one of the two female Geotechnician Engineers out of about 12 men in her section. She implores other women not to be deterred by the small representation in fields such as hers; saying that a job like hers only requires one to be dedicated and passionate about what they do. Gabanakgosi says women should also not worry about appearances and be prepared to wear all the protective clothing that comes with the job. “I only get to wear my beautiful clothes and look pretty during weekends,” she says. The 33-year-old mother of two is married to a fellow Geotechnical Engineer and while this may be an advantage to them because they understand each other, she sometimes doesnt get enough time to spend with her kids.