AGS Members Day Review

Rosalind, Amanda and Stephen attended the “AGS Members Day” Event at the Motorcycle Museum in Birmingham last Wednesday. There was a great atmosphere this year as it was the 30th “birthday” of AGS! The day started with an overview of the last year between the AGS and each of the Working Groups. Although the year had been full of changes and positive moves there was still the message that the industry had far to go.

Jackie Bland from the Data Management Working Group mentioned the need for education around AGS data via online tutorials and use in Universities so that graduates coming into the industry were familiar with the ever-growing format. Jackie along with Hugh Mallett from the Loss Prevention Working Group called for more exposure – a theme that ran through other presentations during the day.

Between talks there was an opportunity to speak to many of our existing customers and meet new companies in the industry. It was great to see so many of our customers exhibiting with busy stands creating a buzz all day. Whilst networking it was wonderful to see our customers networking with each other, sharing their knowledge and experience through the years. Anna Ward from Ambisense, Paul Chaplin from WSP and Terry Stafford from i2 Analytical gave us an insight into the different areas of Site Investigation and Engineering.

Following on from this, the afternoon consisted of more in depth talks about the industry and the improvements that could be made. In Andrew Bond’s talk “Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes” Len Threadgold brought up the need for monitoring to become standard with certain requirements being put in place. This approach calls for consistency and standardisation in the way engineers work not only for quality but for their safety. This was reiterated in Yuli Doulala-Rigby’s (Tensar) comments about issues in a project she had been involved in. Again, the need to educate within the industry was highlighted as more engineers are based behind computers rather than onsite and the knowledge is being lost. Led by Len Threadgold again, this gave way to interesting discussion on how this knowledge has been lost and what can be done to educate those on site to spot the signs before the consequences. Which was a great follow on from the talk we attended on the Monday Evening from Len at the Midlands Geotechnical Institute on “Re-thinking Site Investigation”.


Overall, the day showed promise for the future of AGS and engineering itself. With individual and company members that attended being so passionate and involved in moving the industry in the right direction it will be interesting to see what success the review of next year brings.

Finally, just to say congratulations to all those who won awards.