Geotechnica – the UK's premier geotechnical event returns

EDI and the ‘perfect’ ground investigation – the UK’s premier geotechnical conference returns

Geotechnica is returning to the Warwickshire Event Centre for the UK’s UK's premier geotechnical conference and exhibition Credit: Equipe Group

Geotechnica is returning to the Warwickshire Event Centre for the UK’s UK's premier geotechnical conference and exhibition Credit: Equipe Group

Geotechnica, the UK's premier geotechnical exhibition and conference, is set to return to the Warwickshire Event Centre on July 3-4, 2024, as the organisers, Equipe Group, confirm the first speakers for this year's conference, which is taking place concurrently.

Geotechnica 2024 (presented by John Lawrie Tubulars) will not only host a dedicated exhibition and trade show for the UK geotechnical sector, it will also incorporate a not-to-be-missed conference, providing essential information to help improve the UK ground investigation industry, as well as celebrating EDI within geotechnics.

Speakers confirmed for the conference include Katherine Evans (safety and equity consultant, Bold as Brass), Chris Danilewicz (MD Hillcrest Geotechnical and Past Chair of B526), Ebenezer Adenmosun (director, Geofirma and co-founder of GFUMP) Martin Griffen (principal geotechnical engineer, GHD) and Luisa Hendry (aka The Scottish Geologist, senior engineering geologist, Story Contracting).

While no ground investigation ever runs precisely as planned, day one of the Geotechnica Conference will include talks on the hypothetical ‘perfect' GI. This series of talks will discuss good practice and how to design and carry out effective ground investigations that ensure quality data whilst still meeting client objectives.

Julian Lovell, MD of Geotechnica's organisers, Equipe, explained: "Day one at Geotechnica will provide talks from industry experts which will broaden attendees' awareness of what a good ground investigation should look like and how we can all strive for as close to ‘perfect' every time by utilising the correct tools in the correct ways.

"We all want clients to provide bigger budgets to carry out ground investigations but are pressured, quite rightly, to prove value for money. It is well recognised that an appropriate and well-executed ground investigation will reduce risks related to the ground and save the client significant costs both during and after construction.

"These talks will highlight what the new EC7 will require together with a series of talks which provide six critical steps required to improve the efficiency and quality of our ground investigations."

The talks on the first day of the event will cover:

·       Effective ground investigations to the new EC7

·       New ICE Ground Investigation Handbook

·       Six Steps to improving ground investigations covering:

o   Cone penetration testing

o   Pressuremeter testing

o   Geophysics

o   Geotechnical laboratory testing

o   Analytical laboratory testing

o   Instrumentation and monitoring

Lovell continued: "We are delighted to welcome Chris Danilewicz who is a past chair of B526. Chris will discuss the new EC7 standards and provide an insight as to how that will effect day-to-day GI processes. We will also have Peter Reading revealing details of the latest ICE publication which will hopefully be a handbook on how to deliver effective ground investigation. We've then also got subject-matter experts from Lankelma, In Situ SI, TerraDat, i2 Analytical and ALS Global who will provide clarity on good practice for their specialisms."

With most industries, change is slow and our industry is no different, which means that we can and have to do better

Day two's focus will shift to celebrating EDI within geotechnics, with talks on inclusive PPE and site practices, neurodiversity and challenging damaging stereotypes.

Equipe's operations director, Calum Spires, said: "The second day of Geotechnica will raise awareness about EDI and the need for change within the industry. I think it's fair to say the geotechnical sector in the UK needs to wake up and smell the coffee – things are changing and we need to be part of the positive change to make sure every member of our working population is welcomed and valued equally. We have a series of talks from people passionate about improving awareness and championing diversity and inclusion in the ground engineering workplace.

"Most of the speakers will be well recognised for their contributions on social media and many have been instrumental in helping industry bodies and organisations to adopt new practices. With most industries, change is slow and our industry is no different, which means that we can and have to do better."

The talks on the second day of the event will cover:

·       Site safety including gender-specific PPE and safety and welfare for all

·       Neurodiversity

·       Ground Forum Undergraduate Mentoring Scheme

·       Challenging the industry stereotypes

·       Leveraging social media to promote the industry to a more inclusive audience

Spires continued: "Some of the speakers we have lined up for day two are strong characters who are immensely passionate about what they do – that means the talks are going to be well worth getting to Geotechnica for.

"We cannot wait to welcome the likes of Katherine Evans, Martin Griffen and Luisa Hendry (aka The Scottish Geologist) to the Warwickshire Event Centre. EDI is a subject that has historically not been the centre of attention for geotechnics, and we want to change that and bring about real, long-lasting positive change.

"We also have an urgent need to attract a younger generation into the industry. We think leading communicators and digital content creators like Luisa are going to be crucial for the geo-industries to try and address the looming skills shortage – we are excited to give Luisa a platform to discuss what we can be doing better to appeal to younger audiences."

"Geotechnica 2024 is proudly presented by our Platinum Sponsor, John Lawrie Tubulars. The event is free to attend and all stakeholders, clients, designers, contractors, suppliers, manufacturers and early-career practitioners will hugely benefit from attending. Over 65 of the industry's leading companies are represented at the exhibition, so anyone wishing to communicate, promote, network and learn with all of the industry's biggest movers and shakers should mark their calendars now. We can't wait to welcome you to the Warwickshire Event Centre in July," Lovell concluded.