Early Careers Webinar Series – Drilling Techniques and In Situ Testing

This webinar took place on 5th Jun 2024 11:00
Duration: 2hr 10mins

The  ‘Drilling Techniques and In Situ Testing’ webinar was Chaired by Harry McAllister (Senior Geotechnical Consultant at TRC Companies Inc) and took place on Wednesday 5th June at 11.00-13.10 as part of the ongoing AGS Early Careers Webinar Series.

This webinar aimed to provide an introduction to some of the most common drilling methods utilised within ground investigations and provide an overview of the capabilities, benefits and limitations of the various methods. In addition, the webinar summarised best practices for common in-situ geotechnical and geoenvironmental testing and the consultant or engineer’s role when supervising such tests.

While tailored for early career engineers and consultants new to work in the construction industry, members of all levels were welcome to attend to stimulate a discussion around obtaining good quality field data from site investigations.


You can purchase access to the recording of this webinar by clicking the red ‘get archive access’ button. The cost is free of charge for AGS Members and students, and £50 (plus VAT) for non-Members.

If you previously registered to attend the webinar you can access the recording for free by logging into the AGS website and going to ‘purchased webinars’. The replay should then be visible in the webinar archive.



Intrusive Ground Investigation Techniques and their Practical Application by Martyn Brocklesby (Director at Geotechnical Engineering and Director of the British Drilling Association)

The presentation will provide an overview of a range of intrusive ground investigation techniques (drilling, boring and sampling (and trial pitting)) and their suitability in differing ground conditions. Martyn will look at the relevant H&S considerations (from a supervisor’s perspective), competencies, plant and equipment (including PUWER and LOLER compliance), limitations etc. Martyn will also cover the relevant interfaces with British Drilling Association where appropriate, highlight available BDA resources (website, newsletter, guidance etc.), and share some of the relevant aims and aspirations of the Association.


Introduction to Insitu Soils Analysis for Toxic Metals (XRF Analysis) by Julian Puzyna (Director at Sackedgate)

This video presentation will introduce the use of a hand held XRF spectrometer for soil analysis which will present the basic principles (physics) of XRF testing. Julian will cover X-Ray safety, typical metal contamination causes and past investigations, laboratory vs XRF analyser comparisons, and a demonstration of the XRF on items from his geology cabinet, including a pyritised ammonite from Oxford (because of all the arsenic).


An Overview of the Consultant’s Role when Supervising Intrusive Ground Investigations by Harry McAllister (Webinar Chair) (Senior Geotechnical Consultant at TRC Companies)

The presentation will summarise key responsibilities of the consultant or engineer when supervising intrusive ground investigations. The presentation will focus on the importance of good project management and how logging and sampling to relevant industry standards is imperative for obtaining valid, high-quality field data and deriving representative ground models.


An Introduction to On Site In-situ Geotechnical Testing Methods by Simon Harlow (Senior Consultant at Arcadis)

This presentation will give an overview of the typical In-situ geotechnical testing methods employed on sites today and what their advantages and disadvantages are. These tests can either be undertaken during drilling, subsequently on suitable samples or by a dedicated technician on an exposure or founding level. The aim with these tests is to obtain in-situ characteristics of the ground to provide data to aid the design of the end use development of the site.

Geoenvironmental Insitu Rapid Measurement Techniques by Eleanor Cook (Senior Consultant at Arup 

Eleanor’s presentation will give a brief overview of insitu rapid measurement techniques (RMT) used during geoenvironmental ground investigations. It will outline general advantages of RMT, how some of the most commonly used techniques work and some watch points.



Harry McAllister (Webinar Chair)
Senior Geotechnical Consultant at TRC Companies

Harry has a degree in Geology from the University of Portsmouth and Master’s degree in Mining Geology and Geotechnics from the University of Exeter. He has over 6 years experience within the ground engineering sector as a geotechnical engineer with a focus on the redevelopment of brownfield sites for a variety of residential, commercial and industrial use. He has also gained significant experience on linear infrastructure projects across the UK and is an active member of the AGS Business Practice Working Group.

Julian Puzyna
Director at Sackedgate

Julian’s ground investigation career began at a soil laboratory doing shear strength and other tests. After completing a civil engineering degree he was employed by his first engineering firm in 1997. Julian has been planning and executing investigations ever since (currently on his 879th investigation). There are many reasons to explore or investigate the ground, but Julian’s main focus is now ground contamination. 

Eleanor Cook
Senior Consultant at Arup 

Eleanor has a degree in Environmental Geoscience and a Master’s degree in Applied Environmental Geology, both from Cardiff University. She has over 6 years’ experience as a land quality and contamination consultant working on a variety of brownfield sites within London and the Southeast. Eleanor has experience working on large ground investigations, risk assessments and earthworks projects and as a geoenvironmental auditor. She is a member of the AGS Contaminated Land Working Group. 

Martyn Brocklesby
Director at Geotechnical Engineering and Director of the British Drilling Association

Martyn is a degree qualified geologist who has over 30 years’ experience of fulfilling senior roles within geotechnical contracting organisations. Martyn is currently a director at Geotechnical Engineering Limited and is responsible for oversight and delivery of all major GI projects. He is a former chairman, and current director and elected member of the British Drilling Association. He actively contributes to initiatives, guidance and publications produced by the BDA for the benefit of the sector.

Simon Harlow
Senior Consultant at Arcadis

Simon has a degree in Geology and Geography from the University of Birmingham and has been in the site investigation industry for over 18 years.  Simon is currently a Senior Consultant at Arcadis within their Site Evaluation and Restoration team and his job focus’ on the delivery of all aspects of ground investigations from single day ground investigations to large scale ground investigations for national infrastructure projects.

Price: £60.00
AGS Member: Free
Student: £0.00
inc. VAT

Price: £60.00
AGS Member: Free
Student: £0.00
inc. VAT