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Making a Difference: A look at some of our members’ who volunteer outside of the AGS to make positive change for the industry

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With over 130 different member companies, the AGS has a huge network of talented and influential practitioners which form the Association and its nine different working groups.

Our practitioners don’t just look to improve best practice within the AGS; they work to improve and enhance the industry as a whole by working across numerous external committees and working groups.

AGS Secretariat, Katie Kennedy, speaks to 10 of our Working Group members to see what committees outside of the AGS they belong to, and how they hope to improve our industry for the better.

Jim Cook
Director at Geotechnical Services Bureau
Past AGS Chairman, past Treasurer and current Member of the AGS Senate

• RoGEP (UK Register of Ground Engineering Professionals)
As the Chair of RoGEP since it was established 10 years ago, Jim’s role includes the general management of the association, attending up to eight meetings a year and reviewing membership applications. Jim is currently developing RoGEP to include technician and incorporated engineer levels, and to open the organisation to Irish chartered engineers and professional geologists.
• European Ground Engineering Organisation
Jim is working with the European Ground Engineering Organisation to develop “levels of competence” and a “common platform” for undertaking ground engineering work in accordance with EC7 Part 1.
• The Geological Society
As a Scrutineer for the Geological Society, Jim is called upon several times a year to interview candidates for chartership. This involves reviewing candidate applications followed by an in-depth face to face interview.

Ken Marsh
Director at Ian Farmer Associates
Member of the AGS Senate and Business Practice Working Group

• Ground Forum
Ken is the immediate past Chair of the Ground Forum and is also involved with the CIC Council and Parliamentary & Scientific Committee. He believes it is important for the industry to be represented at the highest level and to lobby key industry issues to this form. The Ground Forum / CIC link enables this, and the Parliamentary & Scientific Committee provides an opportunity to present key industry issues to Parliamentarians. His involvement with the Ground Forum includes attending four meetings a year plus additional time preparing for meetings and completing actions.

Adam Latimer
Operations Director at Ian Farmer Associates
Leader of the AGS Safety Working Group

• BGA (British Geotechnical Association)
Adam is the AGS’ representative at the BGA; the principal association for geotechnical engineers in the United Kingdom. Adam believes it is important that all working groups and committees work collaboratively to improve the industry, and that knowledge sharing between groups is invaluable. His involvement with the BGA includes attending regular technical meetings and events with other learned groups.

Roger Clark
Director at Marlowclark Consulting Ltd
Member of the AGS Contaminated Land Working Group

• AGS Director for SiLC and AGS representative for SiLC PTP (Professional and Technical Panel)
Roger believes it is important to be involved with SiLC to assist in the professional development in the land contamination field. He also feels that as the profession has supported him over the years, he wants to give something back to the industry.
Roger plays a hugely active role within SiLC. This includes attending regular SiLC Board and PTP meetings, carrying out interviews, drafting Disciplinary Procedures for SQPs, coordinating the new assessors, participating in the Marketing Sub-Committee and developing a SiLC Affiliate Scheme. Roger is also a member of the Exam Sub-Committee so is instrumental in setting examine questions and ‘Answer Guidelines’ for each exam and assessing/marking completed candidates’ exam papers.

David Hutchinson
Honorary Member of the AGS
Member of the AGS Loss Prevention Working Group

• Geotechnical Asset Owners Forum (GAOF)
David’s involvement with the Geotechnical Asset Owners Forum includes attending up to four meetings a year, which are attended by representatives from organisations such as Highways England, Network Rail, London Underground, Canals and Rivers Trust, ADEPT and HS2. He believes involvement with this forum helps the communication and the sharing of knowledge between UK infrastructure owners which should benefit the UK by more efficient use of its resources.

Neil Holford
Technical Manager at SOCOTEC UK
Member of the AGS Laboratories Working Group

• UKAS Construction Industry Technical Advisory Committee
Neil believes it is important to be involved with this committee to ensure the AGS has a voice and is made aware of industry developments and related issues. Being on the UKAS Construction Industry Technical Advisory Committee involves attending up to two meetings each year which take place at UKAS HQ.

Matthew Baldwin
Technical Director at Soil Engineering
Immediate past AGS Chair and Member of the Senate, Executive Committee and Business Practice Working Group

• A convenor for Task Group 1 of Working Group 2 of the TC250 SC7 group, tasked with the update and rewriting of Eurocode 7
• Lead UK expert for ISO-TC182-WG4, which is the committee involved with the update and rewriting of BS EN ISO 22475-1
• Member of B526 03 on Ground Investigation

• Committee member of the Engineering Group of the Geological Society
• Committee member of Ground Forum
Matthew explains that although many industry practitioners feel the geotechnical and ground investigation sector is slow-moving, European and international standards are constantly changing. Over the past five years, there have been more standards published (that affect these sectors), than were published in the past thirty years.
He believes it is vital for UK practitioners to make their views known in terms of the technical content of these standards and has joined the above committees where he feels he can make a positive contribution.
Matthew attends a large volume of meetings over the year as well as teleconference calls to allow for progress to be monitored. He gives up a significant proportion of his time to review and update existing standards and documents. He also plays a role alerting the AGS and the wider industry of new initiatives and trends.

Seamus Lefroy-Brooks
Principal at LBH Wembley
Past AGS Chair and Member of the Contaminated Land and Loss Prevention Working Groups

• Land Forum – Chair of Land Forum NQMS Steering Panel
The Land Forum brings central government departments together with the devolved administrations, local authorities, expert agencies and industry organisations (including the AGS) to discuss issues of brownfield development. The Forum also oversees and coordinates contaminated land and brownfield policy and encourages the exchange of best practice and knowledge.
• Chair Elect of CL:AIRE TRG
The CL:AIRE Technology and Research Group (TRG) supports CL:AIRE on issues associated with technology development, providing guidance on issues relating to sustainable land reuse and offering strategic review and steering functions for all its activities.
• JIWG – Joint Industry Working Group on Asbestos in Soil
The JIWG brings together the asbestos management, occupational hygiene and brownfield management sectors along with the HSE & HSL to promote the development of a consistent and harmonised approach to the regulation, investigation, analysis, assessment and management of asbestos in soil.

Seamus is also involved on the BSI 526/03 “Site Investigation and ground testing”, EIC Contaminated Land Working Group, EIC Waste Management Group and BS 8485 Drafting Committee “Code of practice for the design of protective measures for methane and carbon dioxide ground gases for new buildings”.

Chris Raison
Director at Raison Foster Associates
Member of the AGS Senate and Geotechnical Working Group

• BSI B/526 Geotechnics, TC250/SC7/WG3/TG3 Piling and TC250/SC7/WG3/TG7 Ground Improvement
Focusing on the evolution and development of British and European Standards within the geotechnical and foundation areas, Chris works as a convenor and UK principal expert covering pile design within TG3, and as a UK member of the TG7 task group. His involvement includes attending regular meetings and the review of drafts and proposals for revisions to existing standards. The groups also involve discussions with experts across the UK and Europe and providing feedback to other UK associations including the Federation of Piling Specialists, the British Geotechnical Association and the Midland Geotechnical Society.

Tim Carrington
Head of Geotechnical Services at Fugro GB Marine Ltd
Member of the AGS Laboratories Working Group

• Technical Panel working on ISO19901-8 Marine Soil Investigations and Offshore Site Investigation and Geotechnics Committee affiliated to Society of Underwater technology (OSIG)
Tim and the OSIG committee meet four times a year and produce industry guidance notes, run training courses on offshore geotechnics and geophysics, and organise an international conference on a 4-yearly basis.
He also sits on the ISO19901-8 Marine Soil Investigations and Offshore Site Investigation panel, which meet in person annually. Currently, the panel are starting on the first revision to the standard, expected for publication in 2020. Sub-committees of the panel will hold video conference calls on a quarterly basis to review and propose updates to the different chapters and annexes of the standard. Tim feels that it is important to make sure the ISO standards reflect the capabilities and the needs of the industry and his involvement within the standard allows the AGS to have a voice.

This article was featured in the March/April 2018 issue of the AGS Magazine, which can be viewed here.