Posts by Caroline Kratz

AGS Members’ Day 2018: sponsorship opportunities

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We’re pleased to announce that AGS Members’ Day is taking place on Wednesday 11th April 2018 at the National Motorcycle Museum in Birmingham.

This full day seminar is open to both members and non-members of the AGS and sees approximately 150 geotechnical and geoenvironmental consultants, contractors, solicitors and insurance company representatives in attendance. The day features summaries from each of our seven working groups, looking at the work they have accomplished over the past 12 months, and also a series of external presentations from industry experts on topics relevant to our industry, such as a client’s view on site investigation, sustainable remediation, EC7 and communicated geosciences.

This year we have three sponsorship opportunities available;

PLATINUM SPONSORSHIP*
• Company logo on each attending delegates lanyard
• Half page advert in AGS Magazine**
• Entry for two delegates into the event
• A designated area (6ft x 2.5ft) to exhibit company initiatives, research and software. This exhibition space can also showcase marketing materials, literature and banners
• Company logo on the event PowerPoint presentation holding slide
• Company logo and overview on the event programme
• Company overview on the AGS website
• Two announcements of your company’s involvement on the AGS Twitter page
• Announcement of your company’s involvement on the AGS’ LinkedIn page
*One package available only
**terms and conditions apply

GOLD SPONSORSHIP PACKAGE
• Entry for two delegates into the event
• A designated area (6ft x 2.5ft) to exhibit company initiatives, research and software. This exhibition space can also showcase marketing materials, literature and banners
• Company logo on the event PowerPoint presentation holding slide
• Company logo and overview on the event programme
• Company overview on the AGS website
• Announcement of your company’s involvement on the AGS Twitter page
• Announcement of your company’s involvement on the AGS’ LinkedIn page

SILVER SPONSORSHIP PACKAGE
• Entry for one delegate into the event
• Company logo on event PowerPoint Presentation holding slide
• Company logo on the event programme
• Company overview on the AGS website
• Announcement of your company’s involvement on the AGS Twitter page

Special rates for members of the AGS apply.

For price points and further information please email Caroline Kratz on ags@ags.org.uk

Q&A with Chris Swainston, AGS Contaminated Land WG Member

Article Contaminated Land by

Chris Swainston BSc. (Hons), PGCE, CGeol, FGS
Principal Geo-environmental Engineer
Geotechnics Limited

I am currently the principal geo-environmental engineer for Geotechnics Limited based in Coventry. I have been in the industry for over 20 years now with specialisms in contaminated land, asbestos and site investigation. I am a member of the AGS contaminated land working group, BGS contaminated land group, SoBRA, and chair the BSI EH/4 soil quality committee, responsible for (amongst other standards) BS10175. I am a chartered geologist as well as being a CGeol/CSci scrutineer and mentor. I have undertaken many interesting investigations over the years including Buncefield Oil Depot, Prospect Park, the Millennium Site and Sandridge to name but a few. Current duties at Geotechnics include responsibility for ISO9001, ISO14001 (qualified auditor) and in-house training.

What or who inspired you to join the geotechnical industry?
To be honest I didn’t even know you could do what I have actually done as a geologist when I joined the industry in back in 1994, I had some vague information from Portsmouth Polytechnic (as they then were) when the third year were used as guinea pigs for some of the materials that became parts of the first ever environmental geology degree, so I guess it would be that.

What does a typical day entail?
I am not sure there is a typical day in this industry, and certainly not in my position given the many hats I wear. I could be out on site observing and recording, organising a project, sampling for a client, training, project managing, invoicing, writing reports, ISO14001 auditing, advising clients and staff regarding waste, asbestos and environmental issues. About the only typical thing is the morning e-mail triage.

Are there any projects which you’re particularly proud to have been a part of?
I am not sure proud is the word exactly, but it was very interesting to be part of the Millennium site team, working in London is a so different from the rest of the UK and big projects always have their own unique challenges. Buncefield was surreal as I was there 3 days after it was put out and it was like walking into a black and white movie with ash covering everything around you and all the people evacuated, the lack of colour and sound was almost scary. Sandridge was the first part 2A and I was heavily involved in the water sampling for the project over several years. More recently, digging in Shakespeare’s back garden to determine the depth of the made ground as part of the Nash House museum redevelopment was one job I certainly like having on my CV.

What are the most challenging aspects of your role?
The most challenging aspects of my role are probably the odd nature of the questions you are sometimes asked. As the environmental, asbestos and waste in-house go-to-guy, I can get all sorts of questions for example what are the possible effects of drilling rigs on spawning salmon in Scotland (probably very little), how to tell the difference between a water and common vole (tail to body ratio), what is the difference between a waste characterisation and a WAC (both are required for disposal to landfill) and why these things make a difference to how we need to undertake our site investigations.

What AGS Working Group(s) are you a Member of and what are your current focuses?
I am currently a member of the Contaminated Land Working Group, but I have also recently been liaising with the lab group regarding updating of some of the AGS guidance on sampling in response to changes in ISO guidance. This is probably going to lead to the re-formation of the sampling sub-group that created many of the original documents. This is my current focus along with a potential update of the AGS cover systems guidance, which I covered in more detail in a presentation at the recent EXPO conference. I was also previously the liaison with the AGS Data Format Group in regards to environmental aspects of the format during the production of the AGS 3.1 extension and chair of the asbestos sub-group.

What do you enjoy most about being an AGS Member?
Meeting and interacting with fellow professionals to promote good practice through the production of authoritative guidance for the industry. The conferences are also very good.

What do you find beneficial about being an AGS Member?
Being able to be a part of this activity.

Why do you feel the AGS is important to the industry?
The AGS is vital to keep everyone in the industry in the loop regarding changes to standards, good practice, legal issues and guidance and to provide a mechanism for the industry to get together, share and promote good practice.

What changes would you like to see implemented in the geotechnical industry?
Oddly I would like to see day rate become standard, meterage can be somewhat self-defeating when what you often really need as an environmental specialist is to have a very close and good look at what is happening on challenging sites, where you can be frequently starting and stopping and may have to adjust to ever changing circumstances and contamination issues.

You represented the AGS at the Contamination Expo conference in September at ExCeL. What did your presentation outline and what did spectators learn?
My presentation outlined the contention that an update of the cover systems document (co-produced by AGS, BRE, NHBC and written by RSK back in 2004) was a good idea or not. Basically the presentation outlined the history of the document, its key points, a summary of its use over time, suggestions in terms of what could be done with the document and asking the audience if they knew about it, if it was still being used, what should be done, what could be done and if it had a place in modern remediation assessment. My argument is that it may still have a function in relation to sustainability and could also be well used as an option for low levels of asbestos contamination. Whilst this is not necessarily sufficient to argue for a wholesale re-write of the whole document, it may be sufficient for the AGS to consider producing an update sowing how it may still be used effectively in certain circumstances. I have fed the comments and responses back from this and other presentations to the AGSCLWG and we hope to be in a position to produce this new document shortly.

Contaminated Land Working Group: October Meeting Update

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The AGS Contaminated Land Working Group, led by Vivien Dent (RSK) met on 11th October in London for their final meeting of the year. The group are currently focusing their efforts on three primary issues;

WASTE CLASSIFICATION IN SOILS – A PRACTITIONER’S GUIDE
The Group feel there is uncertainty as to how to assess soils from construction sites. By producing the AGS stance on waste classification of soils, a unified approach across the industry can be adopted.

The Working Group have created an initial draft document which is currently being circulated for comment.

POSSIBLE UPDATES TO THE AGS COVER SYSTEM DOCUMENT
As the AGS/BRE/NHBC cover system document is over 13 years old, it is no longer used as much as it was. The Contaminated Land Working Group therefore feel that updates are required to bring the cover system up to date with current practices.

After reviewing the results of a questionnaire which was issued to Local Authorities, the Working Group have decided to compile a guidance note with updates, to make the document relevant once again. This will be a major focus for the Group in 2018.

GUIDELINES TO GOOD PRACTICE IN GEOENVIRONMENTAL GROUND INVESTIGATION
Where the standard of ground investigation varies greatly, the AGS would like to promote best practice and raise the standard of ground investigation where needed.

The Contaminated Land Working Group have therefore drafted a document to allow members to see where improvements can be made in relation to their own work. This draft document will be ready for circulation in due course.

AGS Magazine – November/December issue

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The Association of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Specialists are pleased to announce the launch of their new bi-monthly publication; AGS Magazine. To view the magazine click HERE.

This free, bimonthly publication focuses on geotechnics, engineering geology and geoenvironmental engineering as well as the work and achievements of the AGS.

There are a number of excellent articles in this month’s debut issue including;

  • Laboratory Proficiency Testing – Page 6
  • PCBs: What are they? – Page 10
  • AGS Geotechnical Data Conference Review – Page 14
  • Q&A with Chris Swainston from Geotechnics – Page 17
  • AGS Guidance: Ground Investigation Reports – Page 28
  • Standards Update: November 2017 – Page 30

Advertising opportunities are available within future issues of the publication. To view rates and opportunities please view our media pack by clicking HERE.

If you have a news story, article, case study or event which you’d like to tell our editorial team about please email ags@ags.org.uk. Articles should act as opinion pieces and not directly advertise a company. Please note that the publication of editorial and advertising content is subject to the discretion of the editorial board.

AGS Magazine Media Pack

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The Association of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Specialists are pleased to announce the launch of their new bi-monthly publication; AGS Magazine.

Launching in November 2017, the magazine will focus on geotechnics, engineering geology and geoenvironmental engineering as well as the work and achievements of the AGS. The publication will also look at a range of topical issues, insights and concerns, whilst publishing new guidance notes, working group activities and provide information on upcoming conferences and industry seminars.

With over 6,000 subscribers, the audience demographic includes industry professionals including practitioners, chartered specialists, senior decision makers and managing directors.

Advertising opportunities are available within future issues of the publication. To view rates and opportunities please view our media pack by clicking HERE.

If you have a news story, article, case study or event which you’d like to tell our editorial team about please email ags@ags.org.uk. Articles should act as opinion pieces and not directly advertise a company. Please note that the publication of editorial and advertising content is subject to the discretion of the editorial board.

AGS Members’ Day 2018

Event News
AGS Members’ Day 2018
2018-04-1111th Apr 2018
National Motorcycle Museum, Birmingham

The Association of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Specialists annual Members’ Day event is taking place on Wednesday 11th April 2018 at the National Motorcycle Museum in Birmingham.

This full day conference will feature presentations from the AGS’ Working Group Leaders and a number of industry guest speakers.

Members’ Day is free for AGS Members’ to attend*. For further information and sponsorship opportunities please contact ags@ags.org.uk

*terms and conditions apply

The Contamination Expo Series: the free event that everyone is talking about

Article Contaminated Land by

The programme for the Contamination Expo Series is almost complete, and all signs point to this being the largest and most influential event in its history. Free tickets for this year’s event are still available and are likely to prove priceless when the doors swing open at the ExCeL London on the 27th & 28th of September.

The show – which is supported by the Environment Agency and the largest environmental exhibition & conference of its type in the Europe – has attracted some of the industry’s largest names, reinforcing its growing reputation as the premier exhibition & conference in the industry.

The two-day event features over 150 innovative suppliers, 120 CPD-accredited seminars, interactive masterclasses, one-to-one advice from industry experts, unparalleled networking opportunities, and much more.

Major names already staking their claim to the growing floorplan include ALS Environmental, Coleman Remediation, Braemar Howells, C A Blackwell, DEME Environmental Consultants, ARCA, ACAD, Exova Jones, CL:AIRE, EIC, Blobel Umwelttechnik Gmbh, ISAA, Raw Group, Oil Spill Response, Shield Environmental, SMH Products, AEC, MOLDEX, CNSE, IATP, and more.

They, along with the other leading environmental organisations will be unveiling new products, offering free one-to-one advice, and answering any questions you may have.

What’s more, the Environment Agency will be on hand with their own networking area and seminar theatre, where they will host their own sequence of insightful and revealing seminars.

Your free ticket will also gain you access to all six theatres which include highly anticipated talks from the Dr. Frank Kleissen from Deltares, Professor Julian Eastoe of University of Bristol, Environment Agency’s Trevor Renals, Dr Kevin Leahy from ERM, the Coleman Group’s Debbie Burns, Dr Yvonne Waterman of the European Asbestos Forum Foundation, ARCA’s Stephen Sadley, and more – making this year’s show the most important and influential in the industry this year!

To discover why this event has grown so rapidly and to register for your Free Ticket, visit the Contamination Expo Series registration page.

Contamination Expo Series 2017

Event
Contamination Expo Series 2017
2017-09-272017-09-2827th Sep - 28th Sep 2017
ExCel London

The Contamination Expo Series is Europe’s largest event designed to showcase the latest innovations that further the protection of the environment and management of contaminated land, water, and air. It takes place on the 27th & 28th of September at ExCeL London and tickets are FREE from the Contamination Expo Series website.

The show features over 150 innovative environmental suppliers, 120 CPD-accredited seminars, interactive masterclasses, one-to-one advice from industry experts, unparalleled networking opportunities, and much more.

Guests can filter between areas dedicated to hazardous materials, land remediation, spill response, clean air technology, geotechnical solutions, nuclear decommissioning, and more, as well as the Flood Expo and M&CCE Expo next door.

To book your FREE ticket and take advantage of everything the Contamination Expo Series has to offer, register on the Contamination Expo Series website.

If you’re interested in exhibiting at this year’s event, contact Daniel Rogers on +44 (0)117 990 2005 or daniel.rogers@prysmgroup.co.uk.

Reflections on the AGS 2016 Members’ Day and Speaker Presentations

Article News Business Practice Contaminated Land Data Management Laboratories Loss Prevention Safety Senate by

From Matthew Baldwin, AGS Chairman

Each year the AGS Chairman assisted by various committee members and the Secretariat, are faced with organising Members’ Day. This is no small task and requires the AGS to think carefully about what will make Members’ Day an event worth attending.

This includes the selection of an appropriate venue, inviting external speakers to present on themes that are topical and relevant to specific areas of the industry, as well as making sure subcommittee Chairmen produce a succinct report of work undertaken by their subcommittees over the preceding year!

The 2016 AGS Members’ Day was no different, although this year we were trying both a new venue and date for the event; the first time that Member’s Day had not been held on Rankine lecture day for many years. As I said in my introduction on Members’ Day, this change of venue and date was necessitated for two reasons. Firstly, the available space for sponsors and members to move round and interact at the RGS (the home for Members’ Day for several years), was severely limited and meant that we couldn’t actually accept any further sponsors. Secondly, Imperial College have started to hold an afternoon seminar to precede the Rankine lecture. Because a number of AGS members wished to attend this seminar, it meant that they were forced to choose between Members’ Day and the seminar.

In view of these concerns, it was decided to move both venue and date for 2016. Whilst both I and the AGS Secretariat believe that this year’s Members’ Day was very good and produced positive feedback, the real test lies in members’ feedback. Once we have digested your comments on the questionnaire that we asked you to complete, we will make a decision about where we hold 2017 Members’ Day.

Although not deliberate, the theme of the topics delivered by the invited speakers, all had as a common thread, collaboration and how as an industry we can do things better in the future. David Place of Mott MacDonald demonstrated the benefits of continual modification of the design (backed up by real time performance observations) during construction work on the Moorgate Shaft. In talking about unexploded ordnance in relation to both land and marine projects, Robin Rickard of Alpha Associates emphasised the need for all parties to think about the risk at an early stage and not wait until construction was about to break ground.

After the lunch break, Tim Chapman of Arup provided a thought provoking look at the possible future for geotechnics in the UK and emphasised the need for the industry to both learn and do things differently if it was going to be relevant to society as a whole. This was followed by Derek Smith asking whether ‘any old bit of plastic’ would do for use in design that utilised geosynthetics. Whilst clearly indicating that appropriate materials needed to be used, he made a compelling case on environmental grounds for the use of such materials becoming the norm in future projects. The final presentation of the day was on Geodata management in relation to the HS2 project and was given by Felicity Sims of HS2. She explained how powerful a comprehensive and joined up electronic database could be for a major project.

In summary I hope that all members and indeed any non-members who came along to hear what the AGS has to offer, enjoyed this year’s Members’ Day. The work of the AGS to better represent the industry in all areas is on-going and as I stressed at Members’ Day, the committee both values and needs members views and ideas to ensure that we remain relevant and reflect industry concerns and issues. As Tim Chapman said, none of us can afford to rest on our laurels and not look at ways to improve!

Presentations from AGS Members’ Day can be viewed below;

1) Matthew Baldwin Chairman’s Introduction

2) John Talbot BPWG Report 2015-16 – FINAL

3) Neil Parry Contaminated Land Report

4) David Place The Accelerated Programme for the Moorgate Shaft

5) Jackie Bland Data Management Report

6) John Masters Laboratories Working Group report

7) Hugh Mallett Loss Prevention Working Group report

8) Robin Rickard 6Alpha Associates

9) Julian Lovell Safety Working Group report

10) Tim Chapman The Shape of the Geotechnical Engineering Industry in 2025

11) Derek Smith Geosynthetics: any old bit of plastic will do

12) Felicity Sims Geodata management on the HS2 project so far

10) Matthew Baldwin Chairman’s 2016 AGM Summary

AGS Members’ Day: 7th April 2016

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The AGS is pleased to announce details of Members’ Day 2016, which is taking place on Thursday 7th April 2016 at the prestigious Barbican Centre in London.

This full day seminar will see a number of industry experts present on topics unique to their experience and expertise. This year we’re pleased to confirm presentations on subjects including the Shape of the Geotechnical Engineering Industry in 2025, Assessment and Management of Unexploded Ordnance Risk in the Marine Environment, The Accelerated Programme for the Moorgate Shaft, Geosynthetics, and Geodata Management on the HS2 Project so Far.

Full details of this year’s speakers can be viewed AGS Members’ Day Programme 2016

This year’s event is open to both Members and non-Members of the AGS. To confirm your attendance, please complete the AGS Members’ Day registration form and return it to ags@ags.org.uk before Friday 25th March. There is no cost for AGS Members to attend Members’ Day, however Non-Members will be required to pay £85 (plus VAT) per delegate.

Lunch and refreshments will be provided. Please note that registration forms received after Friday 25th March will not be accepted.

The AGS are pleased to announce that the following companies have sponsored this years event;

ALcontrol Laboratories is Europe’s largest independent provider of accredited laboratory testing services for the environmental industry, with over thirty years of global experience. They provide a range of tests including the following: TPH, PAHs, VOCs, phenols, PCBs, pesticides, metals and WAC testing.
www.alcontrol.com

ALS Environmental is a world-class analytical testing company supplying a wide range of expert services to the remediation and investigation markets. As an organisation ALS can provide you with UKAS and MCERTS accredited laboratory testing, in-field, real-time analysis and OnSite monitoring including sampling and Environmental Field Chemists.
www.alsenvironmental.co.uk

CH2M Tunnels and Earth Engineering teams work globally, designing and building infrastructure, underground space and natural resource solutions on behalf of our clients. Technology, innovation and delivery are key, as we integrate our strongest capabilities and experts from across the company to solve complex problems, add value and reduce risk.
www.ch2m.com

Concept specialises in the geotechnical, geoenvironmental and structural site investigation sector. We were formed some 18 years ago. Since formation we have grown to occupy a prominent role in our sector. In 2014 Concept were awarded both the prestigious Ground Engineering Award for the Best Ground Investigation Specialist in the UK and also the ICE London Civil Engineering Award for Greatest Contribution in recognition of the quality of the service we provide.
www.conceptconsultants.co.uk

Derwentside Environmental Testing Services offer a wide range of high quality accredited analytical testing services for the environmental, construction, waste, fuel and engineering industries. Our range of testing services cover the analysis of Land, Groundwater, Effluents, Waste & Gases, Fuels & Biomass, and Asbestos.
www.dets.co.uk

Dunelm Geotechnical & Environmental Ltd have 50 years’ experience as leaders in the field of ground investigation. Having complete accreditation for Quality, Environment and Health and Safety, our clients are afforded a first class service. Our highly qualified, experienced staff and in-house drilling services deliver an efficient and flexible service to all our clients.
www.dunelm.co.uk

ELAB specialises in the testing of soil, water and leachate samples as well as providing environmental monitoring equipment hire. Our analytical services cover inorganics and organics analysis, geotechnical chemical testing, metals analysis, as well as asbestos identification/quantification, waste characterisation testing and waste acceptance criteria (WAC). ISO 17025 accredited laboratories.
www.elab-uk.co.uk

Envirolab provides laboratory services spanning a broad organic and inorganic portfolio. Our reputation for excellence is built on continually providing our clients with reliable results delivered on time and within budget. Our UKAS and MCERTS accreditations guarantee our commitment to quality. We are the utterly reliable analytical laboratory.
www.envlab.co.uk

Incorporating Equipe Training and Equipe Geosolutions, the Equipe Group are at the forefront of the sustained development and growth of the geotechnical and drilling sectors. Equipe Training offer NVQs, industry specific Health and Safety training, along with geotechnical and drilling courses, whilst Equipe Geosolutions provide new, ground-breaking technologies such as KeyLogbook and SAFER-G.
www.equipegroup.com

Fugro is a leading international provider of geo-intelligence and asset information. Geotechnical capability includes a full range of terrestrial and marine in situ and laboratory based ground investigation services supported by a comprehensive geospatial and consultancy capability.
www.fugro.com

Geolabs Limited are a wholly independent testing-only company, providing soil, rock and aggregate laboratory testing services since 1995. Geolabs ensure a high quality, UKAS accredited service, for a wide range of tests with staff having a combined total of 400+ years of testing experience.
www.geolabs.co.uk

Geotechnical Engineering Limited was incorporated in 1961 and remains the largest privately owned ground investigation contractor in the UK. We provide an integrated service of utility surveying, drill rigs, insitu testing, laboratory testing and engineering services.
Our large fleet of drill rigs includes our in-house developed slope climbing P45s, P60s and P45K rigs, providing quality site data to the construction industry.
www.geoeng.co.uk

In Situ Site Investigation Ltd is a specialist geotechnical and geo-environmental site investigation company, which specialises in the use of Cone Penetration Testing (CPT) techniques and other related pushing technologies. We also offer a full range of pressuremeter testing services including cone pressuremeter, self-boring pressuremeter and high pressure dilatometer.
www.insitusi.com

Soil Engineering Geoservices is an award winning company and one of the largest providers of geotechnical site investigation, drilling & grouting and geotechnical laboratory services in the UK.
The business operates nationally offering both land and marine services from three offices at Leeds, Cleland in Scotland and Camberley, Surrey.
www.soil-engineering.co.uk

Structural Soils Ltd is a site investigation contractor with offices in Bristol, Castleford , Hemel Hempstead and Glasgow. The company’s has over 50 years of experience provides a sound knowledge of all aspects of geotechnical and geoenvironmental engineering. As the company operates various boring and drilling rigs and associated equipment, an investigation can be designed to suit the client’s requirements and to obtain information in the most efficient manner.
www.soils.co.uk

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The Ground Engineering Awards is back and celebrating nine years of showcasing the very best in the industry.

Entries are now open and you have until 29 January 2016 to tell us why you are the best at what you do, so what are you waiting for?

There are 13 enterable categories representing the diverse range of skills and attributes needed to deliver cutting-edge ground engineering to ensure there is an appropriate route to showcase all of your achievements. This may be your work on a project of which you are particularly proud, a fantastic new training initiative or simply a first-class new business idea that sets you apart from your competitors.

Plus, a new category for this year: Geoenvironmental Project of the Year.

View details of all categories here

You don’t have to finish your entry right away, so why not get started now and submit when you’re ready? Add the entry deadline to your calendar here to make sure you complete the process on time!

Good luck!