As a ground engineering specialist, I love the way that every place is shaped by the rocks and soils beneath, and the human history that has in turn shaped the ground. For example, the first task for every new site is to examine the historical OS maps from 1850 onwards and look for coal mines, brick pits and quarries which might now have been filled in.
Much of my work involves improving the stability of rock and soil slopes, which are significantly affected by water. This is one area that climate change is already having a significant impact, because more heavy rainfall means more landslips, which can have a severe impact on roads and railway connections. Here’s some of my ground engineering tales:
- Making a Difference in Manchester - how I helped build the new tram network
- Winter woes for a (not very) resilient railway
- Storms, Floods and Landslides - an engineer's tale of climate change in action
The ground can also be used for heating systems, as it maintains a steady temperature throughout the year, so I've included the story of my church’s plans to install a ground source heat pump. More on this one when this project progresses further next year!