Ground Engineering Awards and Conferences 2017

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The Ground Engineering Awards is your chance to come together as a community, celebrate your achievements and network with the best in the business. Secure your place now to network with 800+ geotechnical experts. This is your opportunity to boost your business by establishing new contacts and relationships.

The awards ceremony will be held on 5 July at the Hilton Park Lane, London bringing together some of the biggest names in the industry to celebrate engineering excellence.

As a partner of the awards, we hope that you can join us and this year’s finalists to show your support and pride of what this industry has to offer.

Book your table now online or contact Adam Hassan on 020 3033 4296 or email


The Ground Engineering Basements and Underground Structures 2017 is taking place on 4-5 October 2017 at Victoria Park Plaza. For more information; click here


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 . 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 Business Practice Executive

Recruitment Aided!

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The Ground Forum is delighted to announce that 19 ground engineering job titles have been included in the new ‘Shortage Occupations List’ (SOL) which was published by the Migration Advisory Committee on 9th September.  Inclusion of these 19 ground engineering jobs in the new SOL means that, when the new points based immigration system comes into operation, these occupations will qualify for a work permit without having to accumulate sufficient points by other means.  In the meantime the 16 ground engineering disciplines remain on the old SOL, as negotiated by Ground Forum in 2005 and 2007.

Inclusion of these ground engineering occupations on the SOL has been described as “our life saver” by one senior geotechnical consultant.  Why?  Because it aids recruitment of skilled staff from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) without which timely delivery of the ground engineering sector’s current workload would be impossible.

The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) was set up by the UK Border Agency, a department within the Home Office, in 2007 in order to provide independent and rigorous identification of those occupations suffering shortages in the UK, with persistent vacancies which cannot be filled from within the EEA.

Keith Gabriel, the Chairman of Ground Forum, commented “we are delighted that the MAC has recognised the continuing skills shortage affecting the ground engineering sector” and added “I wish to acknowledge the excellent work carried out by Dianne Jennings and her team in Ground Forum’s secretariat; we had only three weeks in April to undertake the necessary research and compile a full report for the MAC; they pulled out all the stops to ensure that our research and report were both comprehensive and submitted on time – a superb effort.”

The ground engineering job titles included in the new Shortage Occupation List are included under two classes of the Standard Occupational Classification 2000 (SOC):
Civil Engineer (SOC 2121):
Geotechnical Engineer
Geotechnical Design Engineer
Geotechnical Specialist
Tunnelling Engineer
Geologists (plus Physicists and Meteorologists) (SOC 2113):
Geological Engineer
Geophysical Specialist
Contaminated Land Engineer
Geoenvironmental Engineer
Reservoir Panel Engineer
Rock Mechanics Engineer
Soil Mechanics Engineer
Geomechanics Engineer
Landfill Engineer
Contaminated Land Specialist

For full details of the new SOL and the accompanying reports see:

Anyone wishing to employ people from outside the EEA now also needs a licence.  Go to  for an application form and for information about the requirements that HR systems and companies must meet in order to obtain a licence.

Article Business Practice Data Management Executive Laboratories

Eurocode 7 letter

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Dear Editor

I have been delivering lectures on EC7 parts 1 and 2 for a while now, and I remain amazed and appalled at the level of ignorance amongst our colleagues about the status of the EC7 documents, particularly the TC341 Standards, and the associated changes to the UK National Standards. I know that BSI update their indexes and provide update news, and I know that we have tried publication in Ground Engineering and lectures around the country, and these efforts should all continue. Nevertheless, at a recent lecture in Cambridge (regional group) only one out of about 60 present knew about the implemented standards, and that one had attended a previous lecture.

Part of the problem may be that there is no one location where this information is pulled together, so I have done this on my website.  I am offering to maintain this simple tabulation of the current status for the benefit of others.

The link is


David Norbury

Article Contaminated Land Laboratories

Reinforced soil design code to be revised

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When BS 8006, the code of practice for Strengthened / Reinforced soils and other fills, was first published in 1995, it was acclaimed as an international benchmark in the field. Nearly ten years on, the Standard remains the most comprehensive National Standard on reinforced soil, and is adopted as practice in many other countries. In keeping with BSI policy, the Standard BS8006 is presently undergoing its 10 year review and it is expected that new developments in the field and the development of new European standards, will be included in the revised Standard thus ensuring it remains at the forefront of good practice.

In December 2003, British Standards Institution gave the go ahead to revise the document and BSI Technical Committee B 526/4 met to start the process in April 2004. Representatives are drawn from industry, trade associations and learned bodies (Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), International Geosynthetics Society, Association of Geotechnical and Geo-environmental Specialists (AGS), Institution of Highways and Transportation (IHT), Association for Consultancy & Engineering (ACE), Department for Transport, Highways Agency (DfT), British Apparel & Textile Confederation (BATC)) to provide a mix of experience from the original drafting committee combined with input from some new members, all chaired by Steve Corbett of Faber Maunsell.

Several task groups have now been formed to review all of the main sections of the documents including the design of reinforced slopes, walls, embankments and soil nailing. Comments, suggestions, and proposals for improvements are invited from users of the document and other interested parties, either via their trade association or directly to the BSI secretary Sina Talal. It is hoped to provide regular updates on progress within Ground Engineering, as work proceeds. In the meantime, BS8006 should continue to be used until the new revision of the document is available, anticipated for 2006.

Please forward any comments or suggestions to committee secretary Sina Talal at SINA.TALAL@BSI-GLOBAL.COM.