Name: Dave Woods
Job title: Technical Manager
Company name: Huesker Ltd
What does the company do and what areas does it specialise in?
Manufacturer and designer of geosynthetics.
Where is HUESKER located?
UK office in Warrington, production facilities in Germany, USA & Brazil
How many people does the company employ?
10 UK employees, 600+ globally
How long have you worked at HUESKER?
Approaching 4 years
What is your career background, and what enticed you to work for HUESKER?
Civil / Geotechnical Engineer with 30 years of experience in UK, Asia and Europe. Geosynthetics have always been a major area of interest and expertise for me, and Huesker were a company whose materials I had known and worked with over my entire career from my very first project widening the M25 motorway.
What is your current role within HUESKER and what does a typical day entail?
Technical support for sales and design of the company products, advice on site installation, business development, external training through CPDs, conference papers and presentations, university lectures etc and representation of the company and industry on industry and technical committees. No two days are alike.
What are the company’s core values?
Imagination, Progressiveness, Excellence, Attractiveness & Reliability.
Are there any projects or achievements which HUESKER are particularly proud to have been a part of?
We are proud of all our projects from small retaining walls and foundations to huge infrastructure schemes. Most recently the development and implementation of geogrid with integrated fibre optic cables to monitor ground movement and warn of sink holes prior to failure on HS2 and the development of active composite textiles which treat contaminants within soils in situ rather than condemning them to landfills.
How important is sustainability within the company?
Sustainability is at the core of all we do. Our products offer up to 85% reductions in embodied carbon content versus conventional construction methods whilst we continue to lead the market with advances in the use of post-consumer recycled materials in our products and increasing use of renewable energy in our production facilities.
How does HUESKER support graduates and early career professionals who are entering the industry?
Where possible we offer external lectures to students at undergrad and postgrad level within universities globally. We seek to employ the very best young engineers and through continuous internal training, mentoring and the sponsorship of Masters and PhDs seek to advance the careers of our employees to reach their full potential.
How has COVID-19 impacted HUESKER today? Are there any policies which were made during the pandemic that have been kept to improve employee wellbeing and productivity?
Options for remote working and flexibility of working hours were always part of Huesker’s working practices, but during and post Covid, these options were made available to more staff members. The increased use of video conferencing has reduced both in house and external face to face meetings helping to improve sustainability and increasing productivity whilst introducing more regular global meetings and training sessions to better share individual knowledge.
Why do you feel the AGS is important to the industry?
The AGS is a valuable source of information and networking opportunities within the geotechnical field through in person events, webinars and published guidance.
What are HUESKER’s future ambitions?
To continue to innovate within the geosynthetics field with an aim to improving the sustainability, safety and economy of geotechnical projects whilst providing solutions to both existing problems and questions which are yet to be asked.