BDA Linear Event Review

Last week, Mobbs and Oliver attended the “BDA Emerging Best Practice in Ground Investigation for Linear Infrastructure Projects” Event at Old Trafford.  The event was really well organised and in a great location, looking out over Old Trafford.  It was well attended, had a good vibe and gave Mobbs and Oliver a brilliant opportunity to network with a number of our customers attending the event.

The day included very interesting and thought provoking “State of the Industry” talks. Presentations included the introduction from John Grainger and Keith Banton of the BDA, showing that the BDA are making important steps to making the drilling industry more accountable for training and quality.  The scene setting by Jane Collins from Arup, was positive, showing the steps forward that the industry has taken for Linear Infrastructures including work with Network Rail.  She also talked about how there will be a massive need for infrastructure in the next 30 years, with a lot of money being invested in it.


There were some very interesting discussions about the importance of the procurement process within ground investigation, followed by Simon Leeming showing the amazing resources that the Coal Authority can provide to assist working in any ground investigation.  He also showed some examples of using ‘laser range finding’ to get an image of the inside of mine working shafts, which is important in assessing the structural integrity of the shafts.  It was also really interesting to see how they manage historic liabilities, and to hear that unbelievably there was no legal requirement to plan a mine until 1872!

Caroline Rookes and Richard Clarke of Skanska showed a lot of the challenges with working on linear structures, (in this particular case; overhead power lines).  Once again, the question about procurement came up and the case was made to have the design contractor involved in the ground investigation and this came with concession.  (It was nice to hear some shout-outs to our very own HoleBASE SI and the HoleBASE SI Extension for AutoCAD Civil 3D as well!)

Holger Kesler and David Entwistle from the BGS spoke very animatedly about the BGS’ work on getting the site investigation data from contractors to build geological models from. This model could then be used to improve the efficiency of future ground investigations.  There was a call to arms to make it normal practise to send the ground investigation data to the BGS to be stored in their database for others to use in the future. (Use the BGS upload button in HoleBASE SI to help them achieve this).

Nick Haynes of Mott MacDonald spoke about some challenging environmental and geological conditions on some of the projects overseas that they have undertaken.  It was interesting to see the massive challenges they faced and the solutions they implemented.  This generated an interesting discussion about the benefit of using in-situ data over large quantities of laboratory data.

Over all a very worthwhile afternoon, which was topped off with some amazing canapes provided by SOCOTEC, with some great networking and light conversation before heading home.



(The best bit was kept until last)



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