Article Event News

2020 Webinar Programme

2020 Webinar Programme
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Following the huge success of our first two webinars, we’re pleased to announce a full programme for 2020. Registration details for the following four events will be announced in due course, but initial details are listed below for your diaries:

Critical Links in Ground Engineering
o Time: 10am
o Date: Wednesday 4th November
o Duration: 4 hours
o Confirmed speakers: Jonathan R A Gammon, (Non-Executive Director / Advisor at Geotechnical Observations Limited and AGS Instrumentation & Monitoring Working Group Leader), Philip Child, (Senior Consultant, Geotechnical Information Management at Bentley Systems), Paul Burton, (Executive Leader at Geotechnics, New Zealand), Dr Andrew Ridley, (Managing Director at Geotechnical Observations Limited) and Julian Lovell, (Managing Director at Equipe Group and AGS Chair)
o Cost: £60 for AGS members or £90 for non-members (ex VAT)
o Sponsorship: Gold packages available

AGSi
o Time: 11am
o Date: Wednesday 25th November
o Duration: 1 hour and 30 minutes
o Confirmed speakers: Neil Chadwick (Digital geotechnics specialist, Independent consultant) and Jérôme Chamfray BEng (Chief Geo-digital Engineer at Jacobs)
o Cost: Free of charge
o Sponsorship: Diamond and Gold packages available

AGS 4.1
o Time: 11am
o Date: Tuesday 8th December
o Duration: 1 hour and 30 minutes
o Cost: £30 for AGS members or £45 for non-members (ex VAT)
o Sponsorship: Gold packages available

Sponsorship opportunities are available for all webinars. Please see package details below:

DIAMOND SPONSOR
*one package available per webinar
Price: £800 (members) or £1,100 (non-members)

  • Company website link or pop-up promotion to feature during the live webinar
  • Large logo on sponsor slide during the webinar
  • Company mention during webinar opening & closing address
  • Logo and overview in the event program
  • Company Q&A feature in AGS Magazine (4,250 subscribers)
  • Full page advert in AGS Magazine (worth £400)
  • Two complementary event registrations (worth up to £180)
  • Company logo and overview featured on the webinar registration page
  • Logo featured on promotional marketing emails
  • Company logo and overview on the AGS’ Twitter page (2803 followers)
  • Company logo and overview on the AGS’ LinkedIn page (4128 followers)
  • Company logo featured on replay email campaigns
  • Company mention in a follow up article in AGS Magazine (4,250 subscribers)

GOLD SPONSOR
*10 packages available per webinar
Price: £350 (members) or £650 (non-members)

  • Logo on sponsor slide during the webinar
  • Logo and overview in the event program
  • Company mention during webinar opening & closing address
  • Logo featured in promotional marketing emails
  • Company directory insert in AGS Magazine, worth £50 (4,250 subscribers)
  • One complementary webinar registration (worth up to £90)
  • Company logo and overview on the AGS’ Twitter page (2803 followers)
  • Company logo and overview on the AGS’ LinkedIn page (4128 followers)
  • Company mention in a follow up article in AGS Magazine (4,250 subscribers)
  • Company overview on the AGS website
  • Company logo featured on replay email campaigns

If your company would like to support any AGS webinars or if you’d like any further information on the events, please contact Caroline Kratz on ags@ags.org.uk

News Business Practice Contaminated Land Data Management Executive Geotechnical Laboratories Loss Prevention Safety

AGS Magazine: July/August issue

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The Association of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Specialists are pleased to announce the July/August issue of their 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 issue including;

SiLC Affiliate Scheme – Page 6
UK Reservoirs – Where are the panel engineers? – Page 10
AGS Data – Why is it so difficult to get? – Page 16
Q&A with Vivien Dent – Page 20
AGS Guide to Occupational Health for Contaminated Land Investigations – Page 22

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.

News Business Practice Contaminated Land Data Management Executive Geotechnical Laboratories Loss Prevention Safety

AGS Magazine: May/June issue

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The Association of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Specialists are pleased to announce the May/June issue 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 issue including;

Coal Authority calls for full consideration of legacy issues – Page 6
Geotechnica 2018: Preview – Page 8
Guide to Loss Prevention – Page 12
Sustainable Remediation The role of the geotechnical specialist – Page 16
AGS Members’ Day 2018: An overview – Page 18
Porosity and permeability values: Filling the gaps with NMR (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance) – Page 20

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.

Article News Contaminated Land Laboratories

Quality Results in Ground Investigation Seminar Presentations

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The AGS recently held a Quality Results in Ground Investigation seminar which focused on site investigation, what laboratories can provide and the importance of quality sampling.

The event, which took place in Hamilton House, London on 14th October 2015, saw over 80 AGS Members and non-Members listen to seven key industry speakers including; Hugh Mallett (Technical Director, BuroHappold Engineering), Roger Brown (Associate Director, Laboratories, Fugro), Matthew Baldwin (Technical Director, Soil Engineering), Chris Swainston (Principle Engineer, Geotechnics), John Powell (Technical Director, Geolabs) Graeme Thomas (Assessment Manager, United Kingdom Accreditation Service) and Chris Wallace (Technical Manager, Geolabs).

To view speaker presentations from the event, please click on the below links;

 

Hugh Mallett, Technical Director, BuroHappold Engineering: Quality Laboratory Data – are Consultants Bovvered?

Roger Brown, Associate Director, Laboratories, Fugro: The Replacement of BS1377 has Begun

Graeme Thomas, Assessment Manager, United Kingdom Accreditation Service: Double Standards – Accreditation and Transition to New Standards

Matthew Baldwin, Technical Director, Soil Engineering: Sample Extraction

Chris Swainston, Principle Engineer, Geotechnics: Sampling Standards

John Powell, Technical Director, Geolabs: Ensuring Quality of Testing in the Geotechnical Laboratory – Proficiency Testing and What goes Wrong!

Chris Wallace, Technical Manager, Geolabs: Good Result/Bad Result

News

AGS Supports GE Next Generation Awards 2015

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The AGS is pleased to announce they’re supporting the 2015 GE Next Generation Awards which will take place on 19th November at the Bloomsbury Hotel, London.

The awards are an excellent opportunity for Members to put forward their most talented and ambitious young engineers and apprentices to ensure they are recognised for the work they do. The evening event showcases the breadth of talent in the industry – so make sure your best team members enter today to highlight the opportunities your company offers and celebrate their achievements.

Entry forms for the seven categories that recognise the broad range of skills that are essential to the ground engineering industry are now available to download.

Candidates have until 4th  September to submit their completed application forms to GENextGeneration@emap.com . Shortlist candidates will have the opportunity to demonstrate their skills and understanding to the judging panels through interviews, which will take place in London on 14th and 15th October.

Guest speaker for the event, which will take the form of an evening drinks reception on 19th November, has been confirmed as Crossrail Chair Terry Morgan who is a strong advocate of developing opportunities in construction for young people.

The judging panels are in the process of being confirmed but Thames Tideway Geotechnical Manager John Harris, British Tunnelling Society Chair Roger Bridge and Geotechnical Asset Owners Forum Chair Graham Holland are among those that have already agreed to take part in the process.

 

 

Article Safety

Applying 2015 CDM Regulations to Ground Investigation

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Construction Design Management (CDM) updated their regulations earlier in the year to further improve health and safety across the construction industry and manage risk accordingly.

Is your Company up to speed with the new changes? Do you know how the new regulations affect ground investigation? Jo Strange, Technical Director of CGL and an active member of the AGS Loss Prevention Working Group, has written an insightful article in this month’s Ground Engineering magazine on Applying 2015 CDM regulations to ground investigation. To read the article in its entirety, please click here

What are your thoughts on the new CDM regulations? Share your opinion on the AGS LinkedIn Group

The AGS Safety Working will be issuing guidance on CDM shortly, watch this space!

Article Safety

Construction Design & Management Regulations 2015 – implementation

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Article written by Tom Phillips, RPA Safety Services and Julian Lovell, Chair of AGS Safety Working Group and Managing Director of Equipe.

CDM2015 came into effect on the 6th of April 2015 and duty holders within the geotechnical sector are starting to grapple with the reality of implementation. With an increased emphasis on Client responsibilities, in an industry sector where the Client is rarely directly involved in the ground investigation phase, questions about how the regulations will be applied are being asked.

In conversation with the Health and Safety Executive, Tom Phillips of RPA Safety Services and Julian Lovell, Managing Director of Equipe and Chair of the AGS Safety Working Group attempt to clarify some of the questions consultants and contractors are raising.

Q. The definition of ‘construction’ in regulation 1, excludes site survey and in many cases our clients see ground investigation as site survey. Could you clarify the limits of site survey?

Site survey is restricted to non-intrusive works so taking levels, making measurements, site walkovers, gas monitoring and visually examining structures for faults would all be typical examples. If the works involve penetrative works, even with hand tools, the work is classed as construction and the regulations apply.

We are keen to stress though, that the regulations should be applied proportionally to the level of risk involved. A shallow, hand dug trial hole will require minimal paperwork in terms of a construction phase plan, as the risk is low, but duty holders will still need to consider the risks associated with such things as underground services, contaminants, ground stability, preventing falls into the excavation and they must plan how the work will be carried out, kept safe and made good. In many cases, simple repetitive work will be based on standard company procedures but these will need tailoring for the site and locality in question and the prevailing conditions.

Q. Consultants and contractors are finding it difficult to get clients to accept and fulfil their duties under regulation 15 (1), which states: ‘A contractor must not carry out construction work in relation to a project unless satisfied that the client is aware of the duties owed by the client under these Regulations.’ In many cases they are not employed directly by the client and have no contact with them at all.

To what extent does this prevent contractors from starting work and will they be held liable for client’s failures to make the correct appointments and satisfy their duties?

The regulations do not prevent geotechnical contractors working, even if the client has not fully complied with their duties. Key for the contractor, is to ensure they have made the client aware of the client’s duties under CDM. This can be done as part of the tendering process, or following appointment.

In such instances, the contractor still needs to make wider arrangements to manage the site for the duration of their attendance (appropriate to the role they are carrying out) despite a lack of formal appointment.

The contractor should therefore ensure the site is secure, ensure suitable welfare arrangements are in place and comply fully with their part 4 duties under the regulations. They should also prepare (or contribute to an existing) Construction Phase Plan which will deal with how they intend to arrange the work and how they will manage foreseeable hazards both at and adjacent to the site.

The construction phase plan should also identify any additional information that the contractor needs before starting work. If the client is not able to provide that information (e.g. services location, intrusive asbestos survey, ordnance assessment, etc.) then the contractor should arrange with the client for the work to be carried out as a separate part of the contractor’s contract.

Where the contractor is the main contractor on all or part of the site they should manage all work in the area they are responsible for unless a principal contractor is appointed and active. Where the contractor carries out design work (e.g. temporary works including perimeter fencing, arranging traffic management routes, ground conditions assessment and alterations, excavation support arrangements, etc.) they should ensure they follow the principle of avoid the hazard or use a suitable control measure to minimise risk.

Q. When a geotechnical contractor is appointed as Principal Contractor (PC) or Principal Designer (PD), in the early stages of a GI phase, or they pick up those duties by default, is there a danger they could be deemed PC and PD for subsequent phases?

Absolutely. Without clear arrangements to the contrary, there is every danger that a geotechnical contractor could be assumed to be responsible for following phases of works. It is therefore important that where a geotechnical contractor is appointed, or by default is expected to carry out the duties of the Principal Contractor and Principal Designer (a requirement on any project where there is likely to be more than one contractor), they clearly limit their role to their phase of works only. This will include limiting the Construction Phase Plan to the geotechnical phase. Where the existing contract paperwork is not clear on this issue the contractor should write to their client to confirm the extent of the contractor’s role.

Q. Regulation 2 defines a contractor as ‘any person (including a non-domestic client) who, in the course or furtherance of a business, carries out, manages or controls construction work’. Does this definition mean consultants may be classed as contractors?

The duty holder ‘contractor’ relates to those who: determine the manner in which the work is being done (this may also include a design element so they may hold dual roles), provide supervision or engage other contractors. This can include ‘consultancies’ in many instances.

As an example, where a consultant engages a drilling contractor and determines the nature and type of works or supplies supervision, they would both be deemed contractors and it will be the consultancy’s responsibility to ensure the client is aware of their duties. The client would then need to make the necessary appointments. Where a domestic client is involved, the consultancy (as a contractor) may be deemed to be principal contractor and principal designer by default, even if the client fails to make formal appointments. Where a commercial client is involved, any failure to appoint will result in the client carrying the role of principal designer and/or principal contractor.

Further reading:

HSE Publication L153 – Managing health and safety in construction – Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 – http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/books/l153.htm

CITB Guidance on CDM – http://www.citb.co.uk/health-safety-and-other-topics/health-safety/construction-design-and-management-regulations/cdm-guidance-documents/

News Laboratories

AGS Quality Results in Ground Investigation Seminar

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The AGS are pleased to announce their Quality Results in Ground Investigation seminar is taking place on Wednesday 14th October 2015 at Hamilton House, London. This full day conference is aimed at clients and consultants and focuses on what laboratories can provide, as well as the importance of sampling.

Open to both Members and Non-Members of the AGS, the conference will see a series of industry experts present on a number of specialist topics including:

  • Ensuring Quality of Testing in the Geotechnical Laboratory – Proficiency Testing and what goes Wrong – John Powell (Technical Director, Geolabs)
  • Quality laboratory data – are consultants bovvered? – Hugh Mallett (Technical Director, BuroHappold)
  • The replacement of BS1377 has begun – Roger Brown, (Associate Director, Laboratories – Fugro)
  • Sample Extraction – Matthew Baldwin, (Technical Director – Soil Engineering)
  • Sampling Standards – Chris Swainson, (Principle Engineer, Geotechnics)
  • Double Standards: Accreditation and Transition to New Standards – Graeme Thomas, (Assessment Manager UKAS)
  • Good Result/Bad Result – Chris Wallace, (Technical Manager, Geolabs)

Tickets are priced at £50 for AGS Members or £85 to non AGS Members. All Prices excluded VAT.

Quality Results in Site Ground Investigation Seminar is sponsored by;

DETS
DETS offer a wide range of 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 using a modern, well equipped laboratory, with highly skilled staff.

Envirolab
Multidisciplinary organic and inorganic testing services. Offering the UK’s most comprehensive laboratory testing analytical service for Soil and Water contaminants. Tailored TurnAround. UKAS and MCERTS accreditations guarantee our commitment to quality. In-house courier service and complimentary sample collection equipment. Waste classification expertise.

Geotechnical Engineering
Geotechnical Engineering Limited was incorporated in 1961 to provide ground investigation services. We remain the largest privately owned ground investigation contractor in the UK providing quality data to the construction industry. We employ approximately 160 salaried staff. This includes NVQ qualified drillers, site technicians, surveyors, laboratory technicians, engineers and consultants.

Keynetix
Keynetix KeyLAB software is the leading laboratory management system built specifically for geotechnical and construction laboratories. It will improve your laboratory’s efficiency at every stage of the testing process from sample and storeroom management, through to electronic scheduling, testing and reporting. Clever integration with Microsoft Excel® allows you to easily customise worksheets and reports whilst staying in complete control of your laboratory data.

Geolabs
Geolabs Limited are a wholly independent testing-only company whose staff have a combined total of 350+ years of soils testing experience, from classification testing through to advanced triaxial and direct simple shear. They are accredited by UKAS for a wide range of tests including: effective stress, shearboxes, consolidation, permeability etc.

Equipe Group
Incorporating Equipe Training and Equipe Geosolutions, the Equipe Group are one of the leading lights in the sustained development and growth of the geotechnical and drilling sectors. Equipe Training offer industry specific Health and Safety training, along with geotechnical and drilling courses, whilst Equipe Geosolutions provide new, ground-breaking technologies such as KeyLogbook.

Structural Soils
Structural Soils Ltd, a site investigation contractor, based in Bristol, with branch offices in Castleford near Leeds, Hemel Hempstead and Glasgow and overseas. Soil samples are tested in the company’s own well-equipped UKAS-accredited soil laboratories in Bristol, Castleford and Hemel Hempstead and chemical samples in our lab in Hyde.

Concept Consultants
Concept specialises in geotechnical, geoenvironmental and structural investigations and associated laboratory testing. Formed over 18 years ago we have grown to occupy a leading role in the UK. Concept have been awarded the GE Award for Best Ground Investigation Specialist (2014) as well as the ICE London Civil Engineering Award.

 

For further information or to register your attendance, please email ags@ags.org.uk

Article Data Management

How AGS Data Makes Organisations More Efficient?

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A series of short presentations about advances in the use of capturing and using Geotechnical Data from site, through the laboratories to report and beyond. The talks will discuss the use of AGS through the process and will include a number of case studies to show how it works for real projects.

For further information and to register to the event, please visit www.equipegroup.com/services/geotechnica/geotechnica.html

News

AGS to Exhibit at Geotechnica 2015

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The AGS is proud to announce that they’ll be exhibiting and sponsoring the UK largest geotechnical conference and exhibition; Geotechnica.

Taking place at the Warwickshire Exhibition Centre between the 8th and 9th July, Geotechnica celebrates the geotechnical and drilling industry in its entirety, helping to promote the specialist services, products and innovations that the industry has to offer.

This two day event brings together all industry sectors including suppliers and manufacturers, and will feature live demonstrations, technical presentations as well as equipment and services.

As well as exhibiting, the AGS will be sponsoring the afternoon presentations on Thursday 9th July, entitled, how AGS data makes organisations more efficient. This segment will consist of a series of short presentations about advances in the use of capturing and using Geotechnical Data from site, through the laboratories to report and beyond. The talks will also discuss the use of AGS data through the process and will include a number of case studies to show how it works for real projects. Guest speakers will include, Ben Armstrong (Ground Technology Services), Simon Miles (Atkins) and Dr Roger Chandler (Keynetix).

For further information on the event or to register, please visit the Geotechnica website or contact the Equipe Group by calling 01295 670990.

Article Executive

Chairman’s Address

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AGS Members Day is always an enjoyable and informative event, which manages to balance the AGS governance issues with topical presentations form invited speakers. Biannually, Members Day also sees the formal election and taking up of office for the incoming chairman. This year I took over from Seamus Lefroy-Brooks, whose two year tenure seems to have flown by! I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of both the AGS committee and the wider membership, to thank Seamus for all the hard work he has put in. For the Chairperson there is a lot of unseen work that goes on behind the scenes, in order to ensure that both main committee and the various subcommittees function effectively.

As a trade organisation, the AGS has a duty to its membership, to keep a weather eye on a variety of issues that might impact on the membership. Because the AGS successfully represents contractors, consultants, laboratories as well as suppliers, the range of issues is broad and includes technical, health and safety and commercial ones to name but a few.

During periods of economic downturn, it would be easy to sacrifice some of the aims of the AGS, ie to promote best practice and to provide guidance for members. I am pleased to say however that under the stewardship of the last two Chairmen (Seamus and Ken Marsh), this has not been allowed to happen, and now as the industry faces a period of relative economic buoyancy, the key will be to look afresh at issues that face the industry.

As I said at Members Day, I am particularly keen to ensure that the AGS becomes relevant and accessible to the whole geo-environmental community. By this I mean that we need to engage with students, graduates and young company employees as well as those companies and individuals who have been members for a number of years. We must better disseminate the great pool of knowledge and experience that sits with the AGS committee and subcommittee members, and make it available to all.

The redesigned website will play a key part in this process, as will better marketing of the AGS throughout the industry. We will be looking at the accessibility of AGS publications and guidance notes etc, to see how we can better get information out to those practitioners who need it. The committee has also received approaches from overseas organisations wishing to follow the AGS ‘model’ and this is something we will look at. It says a lot about the AGS, when comparable industry sectors in other countries think that our ‘model’ as a trade organisation is worth adopting!

So in summary there will be no let-up in the work that the AGS does on behalf of members. As we strive to make the AGS a better knowledge centre, we will be canvassing thoughts from members to ensure that we address issues that are of concern and that are relevant to very day geo-environmental practice. I am looking forward to working with both committee members as well as the membership at large over the next two years.

 

Matthew Baldwin

Chairman of the AGS

April 2015

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

AGS Members’ Day 2015 Summary

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The Association of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Specialists’ annual Members’ Day event recently took place at the prestigious Royal Geographical Society, located in the heart of Kensington.

 

Attended by a record number of delegates, this year’s event saw a series of respected industry experts present to over 130 members on a number of topics including health and safety, basement construction and laboratory testing. Delegates also took part in an interactive panel discussion on the dangers of asbestos.

 

This year’s speakers included Joe Murphy, (Head of Health and Safety – Area South at High Speed 2), Dr Richard Ogden (Senior Environmental Scientist at Land Quality Management), Mike Cohen (Technical Development Manager at Derwentside Environmental Testing Services) and Marc Separovic (Technical Projects Manager at NHBC). All six AGS Working Group Chairs also provided an update on their ongoing activities and accomplishments, whilst Ciaran Jennings (Director at Forum Court Associates) talked delegates through the new AGS website, which officially launched on the day.

 

The 26th Annual General Meeting also took place which saw Seamus Lefroy-Brooks (LBH Wembley) complete his Chairmanship before handing the reigns to Matthew Baldwin (Soil Engineering) who officially started his two-year term.

 

As incoming chairman, it was pleasing to see so many members attending the AGS Members’ Day on 18th March. The Royal Geographic Society provides an appropriate venue for Members’ Day and being able to use the main lecture theatre provides everyone with both good visual and auditory experiences of the speakers who contribute to the success of the event.

 

The AGS always tries to provide speakers on topical issues and this year was no exception. I thought the presentations on basements and the health and safety issues related to HS2, to be especially relevant. This years’ after lunch presentation by Mike Cohen, (often referred to as the graveyard shift!), was one of the best ‘wake me up’ presentations I have ever seen.  The final discussion panel on asbestos allowed some lively debate from members and was a fitting end to the day.

 

I hope that next year we will again attract speakers to present on relevant topics and it would be interesting to get an update on HS2, both from an operational and health and safety viewpoint,” summarised Matthew Baldwin, Chairman of the Association of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Specialists

 

The AGS would like to take this opportunity to thank our 14 sponsors who made this event possible; ESG, Southern Testing, ALS Environmental, CGL, Envirolab, Geotechnical Engineering, In Situ Site Investigation, Keynetix, Soil Engineering Geoservices, Concept, Structural Soils, Mouchel, NHBC and Equipe Group.

 

To view a selection of this years’ Members’ Day presentations, please click on the below links;