Friends or Foreign Workers?

At the weekend I went caving with some friends in the Yorkshire Dales. Nothing unusual there. We were a team of four: A young Canadian nurse working in the NHS in Scotland for 6 months. An Austrian scientist, currently living in Australia but in the UK for a one month research visit. A German born…

Expedition Update

Its not been all work. Since the Arctic Slope expedition I have been cave exploring in Austria (twice), Tasmania, Timor-Leste and Myanmar. Totes Gebirge 2015 & 2016 As guests again of Cambridge University Cave and friends I was privileged to be involved with exploration of one of the most significant cave systems in the world.…

Research Update

Its been a long time since I updated this blog for which apologies! It’s been an exceptionally busy period as you will see from the below where I try to give a flavour of some of the things that have been going on. COST ACTION GABI I have become leader of the working group considering…

Arctic Slope Expedition

A 450km journey down the Nigu, Etivluk and Colville Rivers in Alaska Learning Fast I was learning fast on the river Nigu. How to line a canoe through rapids, how to read the river and what strokes to use during what manoeuvres. It was important that both ourselves and our cargo stayed safe as it…

Geotechnical Engineering Lecture

This year I have been honoured to be asked to give the Geotechnical Engineering Lecture on the basis of the my paper Thermal Response Testing through the Chalk Aquifer, which was published in Proc ICE Geotechnical Engineering in 2013. Thermal response tests are an in situ technique to measure the thermal conductivity of the ground,…

Media Frenzy

The Sounds and Smells of Caving When on the 19th June 2014 Johann Westhauser was finally brought to the surface after an 11 day long rescue in Riesending cave in Germany a small caving media storm erupted.  Around lunchtime I was contacted by Chris Jewell who does media relations for the British Caving Association, saying…

Commitment in Cantabria

It was raining. Heavily. And the wind was whipping through between the hills. Andy, Pete and I had on only thin oversuits and thin fleece undersuits beneath. We were fast getting wet and cold, but we were already committed. We were committed from the moment we walked away from Beardy and Mark who had dropped…

Building the future

This semester I again went to help out at the Southampton Constructionarium. The Constructionarium is an amazing piece of teaching where students get to have a very hands on experience of construction. It is organised by a not for profit organisation and is based at the Construction Industry Training Board college in Norfolk. At Southampton…

Sardinia

This Easter I had four days of canyoning and caving on the fantastic island of Sardinia. Cordula Fuili A short, but beautifully wild canyon near our accommodation. It was straightforward with just a few pitches, but gave a good introduction to the island. Grotte Su Bentu One of the great subterranean systems of Sardinia, we…

Monitoring Long Term Performance of Energy Piles

This week I have been out on site installing temperature sensors in building foundations which will be used as “energy piles” as part of a ground source heat pump system.  Although an increasing number of successful test and operational energy piles schemes have now been completed, there are still very few case studies where the…