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

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;