AGS Annual Conference

Date(s): 3 Apr 2019 to 3 Apr 2019
09:00 – 16:10
Location: National Motorcycle Museum

Keynetix will be attending the AGS Annual Conference, which takes place on Wednesday 3rd April 2019.  If you are going to be attending, we’d love to hear from you, so we can arrange to catch up.  Please let us know here.

More about the AGS Annual Conference:

Formally known as Members’ Day, this full day seminar will focus on the work and achievements of the AGS and see expert speakers present on geotechnical and geoenvironmental topics and summarise lessons learnt. Please see working event programme below:

Between a rock and hard place: communicating geoscience to dissonant and wary publics: Iain Stewart, Professor of Geoscience Communication and Director, Sustainable Earth Institute at University of Plymouth
The geological subsurface represents an alien frontier in public consciousness – out of sight and out of mind. Increasingly, however, underground geological issues are rising to the surface as acute community concerns over conventional resource extraction and new public anxieties about novel insertions of waters and waste. So how do we communicate these complex geoscientific issues with an increasingly dissonant and wary public? This talk explores how approaches from popular mass media and from social science disciplines can be integrated into a new evidence-based geo-communication science that address the emergent issues of ‘contested geoscience’.

Emerging challenges with new and old contaminants: Phil Crowcroft, Technical Fellow at ERM
Ground contamination continues to present a range of challenges, whether associated with substances we haven’t considered before, or substances which are well-known, but our understanding of their properties is changing. New knowledge on toxicology, availability and other characteristics can change our assessment of risk, and lead to changes in Drinking Water Standards, EQS values or human health Assessment Criteria. Whilst in the past we have tended to focus on specific elements or compounds such as arsenic or sulphate, we are now as much concerned about the size of particles such as microplastics, or their persistence in the environment, such as the PFAS group of chemicals. This paper reviews some of the most recent issues where our approach to assessing sites may need to adapt in the coming years.

Reducing uncertainty – the quest for representative sample: Chris Swainston, Principal Environmental Engineer at Soils and Mike Plimmer, Technical Director at Geotechnical and Environmental Associates
Can the recent AGS sampling guidance together with the old and new British and Iso standards and guidance, assist in reducing uncertainty? A discussion of the uncertainties associated with soil sampling, the variations in laboratory sample preparation techniques and the difficulties in avoiding cross contamination where very low concentration thresholds are to be adopted.

Delivering geotechnical value in a multi-disciplinary environment: Patrick Cox, Director Major Projects at AECOM
By provoking thought and discussion of our future as a step towards transformation of perception of our specific area of industry, the presentation aims to:

  • Describe and illustrate where and how geotechnical specialists can add tangible value by talking the language of clients and project teams tasked with building an asset considering what really matters to them in plain terms;
  • Start the body of knowledge to change the conversation around why geotechnical specialists should be first on the team sheet in a multi-disciplinary project in contact with the ground;
  • Provide actual examples quantifying time / cost / meaningful benefits to clients and others involved in projects in aspects such as earthworks, retaining walls, foundations and site investigation potentially forming the basis of a new approach to guidance on why involvement is required, a carrot (incentive through benefits) rather than a stick (inadequate information will result in claims);
  • Offer pointers around engagement to sell our services and solutions and provoke discussion on how we engage with those other than the converted;
  • Consider the Rethinking Site Investigation concept, moving away from commoditisation of the industry and how to encourage more intelligent approaches to our communication of value that aren’t reliant on assumptions of a given right to SI or only request more budget through the simplistic linkage of project value to SI budget.

Practical Asbestos Ground Investigations: James Macfarlane, Technical Director (Asbestos) at Hydrock
This presentation will;
• Discuss the impact of the Control of Asbestos Regulations relative to asbestos in soils;
• Discuss the relative risks between asbestos in buildings vs. soils
• Highlight the evolution of asbestos in soils ground investigation works and industry guidance;
• Introduction to the AGS ‘Ground Investigations – Work with Asbestos Risk Assessment’ guidance
• Practical implementation of the guidance
• Case Study

Who Owns Data? The Legal Considerations of Transfer of AGS Data: Roger Chandler, AGS Data Management Committee and Steve Walthall, AGS Honorary Member.

A small presentation will also be provided by each AGS Working Group Leader.

A limited number of delegates per AGS member company may attend the conference free of charge. The number of complimentary tickets provided are dependent on the number of practitioners in your company*, (please see Table 1 on page 2 of the registration form). Additional tickets may be purchased for £60 (plus VAT) per AGS Member.

For further information, contact the AGS on

Course code:
Cost per delegate:
Capacity: 0