Peter Hepton, engineering manager (ground investigation), SOCOTEC, outlines the case for standards and sample quality for ground investigations to avoid risks that potentially go beyond negative financial implications on projects.
With rail improvements and renovation nationwide, railway engineering and construction is a big part of the UK’s industry. Due to the history of railway land and the activities carried out on it, there is a risk of encountering contamination during – and even after – these works.
Tim Norman, principal materials consultant at SOCOTEC, explains what to consider when inspecting and assessing the condition of cast iron water pipes.
Topics: Materials Testing
Population growth within UK cities has seen an increase in demand for infrastructure and associated services. Figures released from the Office of National Statistics suggest that, from mid-2011 to mid-2015, the average UK city had an average population increase of 3.4%, and the upward trend is set to continue in the coming decades.
The resulting environmental impact from this growth will see an increase in the levels of air pollution, which is projected to grow rapidly and compromises air quality through several sources. Indeed, in a recent report some 47 towns and cities across the UK are at, or have exceeded, air pollution limits set by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
The ports and docks of Great Britain have always been an important entry point for the materials and products that helped to build the country. Since 1940, it was through these docks and ports that saw the import of over 5,000,000 tonnes of raw asbestos fibre into the country.
A common surprise for many clients is that even a mains water supply contains bacteria. Many people assume that, because water is safe to drink, it is sterile – but this is not the case. Water companies have a duty to ensure that the water they provide is fit to consume by removing all harmful bacteria - but non-harmful bacteria will remain. With non-harmful bacteria in our domestic systems, water quality can become an issue if it can breed. To confirm the health of your water system, one method includes the microbiological testing of your water systems.
On-the-job experience as well as a clear career path can support any ground engineer in their career progression. With over 80 years of experience in ground investigation, SOCOTEC understands the importance of building on previous knowledge, learning from past experiences and maintaining performance standards through the upskilling and training of employees. People and staff are one of our greatest assets – without whom, we cannot achieve our visions and values of commitment and excellence.
Operations director for Ground Investigation, Clare Chapman, talks about the long serving staff within the ground investigation team, and how their longevity with the company brings excellence to the individuals’ personal growth and SOCOTEC’s delivery of service as well as to the wider GI industry as a whole.
Finding the ultimate strength of concrete is an important investigation measure used across the built environment to ensure our buildings and other constructions remain structurally sound. When it comes to remedial work, for example, the results from a concrete sample strength test may prove crucial for project compliance as well as the green lighting process for any future works.
Lubricants and coolants are an essential component to any moving part. In any industry, including transport, manufacturing and energy generation, equipment failure can be costly and/or dangerous. The testing and analysis of oils, coolants and greases is vital to ensure machinery is effectively lubricated for safe, cost-effective performance and to guarantee the longevity of an asset’s lifespan.
With an increasing focus on the requirements for efficiency and sustainability in the water industry, it is also becoming increasingly important that the sector is equipped with skilled staff and experienced technicians to meet those requirements.
Mick Pratt, Commercial Director – Water, Environment and Safety, discusses how we’re helping to secure the future of the water industry by supporting the development of technicians, engineers and water consultants whilst also improving the technology and processes through collaborative research programmes and academic partnerships.