Latest News

Geotechnical Engineerings Short Masted Pioneer Rig

22 May 2015 at 08:56

Geotechnical Engineering’s Short Masted Pioneer rig has recently returned back to the depot in Gloucester after working for a number of weeks in a basement in central Birmingham. 

The drilling operations comprised 150m of rotary coring into the Bromsgrove Sandstone Formation of the Triassic Period.  The Bromsgrove Sandstone is a weak sandstone where the individual quartz sand grains are “locked” in place by confining pressures rather than cemented by post-depositional events.  To produce quality cores and therefore quality ground investigation data, the sandstone needs to cored using experienced operatives and using an approved drilling additive.

The Short Mast Pioneer has a maximum working height of 2.56m, and can access sites with a headroom down to 2.10m and an access width of 0.750m. In confined spaces the rig operates using an active ventilation system, removing exhaust gases away from the working areas into a safe place.

Geotechnical Engineering Ltd are currently carrying out R & D to add the capability of carrying out standard penetration testing in a similar restricted headroom.  

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GEOLOGICA BRITANNICA - Photographic Competition

13 May 2015 at 09:39

2015 is the bicentenary of William Smith’s famous geological map: ‘A Delineation of the Strata of England and Wales’. The Geological Society of London is also marking 2015 as the Year of Mud. It would be remiss to let these pass unnoticed, therefore on the 27th April the West Midlands, North West and Southern Wales Regional Groups and the Black Country Geological Society launched a joint group Photographic Competition celebrating the William Smith Map Bicentenary (1815 - 2015).

The theme of the completion is:



The competition is being sponsored by Geotechnical Engineering Limited and was presented to the West Midlands Geological Society at the May meeting.  Geotechnical Engineering feel privileged to be able to support the society in such an iconic year.

For more details of how to enter the completion please visit the website: .

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Good News Spring 2015

07 May 2015 at 14:59

Geotechnical Engineering has been enjoying the warmer weather and we are busy throughout the UK.  Here’s some of the praise gathered from satisfied clients over the past few weeks.

“Again I’ve been very impressed with all aspects from GEL on this project: the GPR service, vac ex team and drillers.  The vac ex crew dealt with the site conditions responsibly and the drilling team were motivated and very professional in reacting to the site restrictions.  I received constant good core recovery and the drillers maintained a constant clean and tidy work area during the works.  The project completed all my objectives within the time scale agreed with my client.” 

“I just wanted to thank Geotechnical for your sterling work at our Banwell site last week. Ashley and the team performed really well and were a pleasure to work with.” 

“Thanks for the input from your site team this week - they have met the challenge presented and approached it in a professional and helpful manner. We have more work 'in the pipeline'.”

 “Just a quick email to say that during the works mentioned above we were very impressed with the attitude that the guys had towards health and safety.

It was noted that the quality of discussion and engagement of the crews was excellent. Crews were willing to aid discussions with their own health and safety experiences. It was clear that everyone present was engaging and listening. The Crews were also forthcoming with personal safety commitments to aid towards site safety.

If you could please pass this onto the guys themselves I would appreciate it.”

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A Warm Welcome to our new Engineering Geologists

01 May 2015 at 15:01

It has been a busy few weeks in the engineering section of Geotechnical Engineering where we have welcomed several new members of staff.  We were delighted to welcome back Senior Engineer Perran Spears after five years working in Australia, along with Engineering Geologist Sara Reeve who has a background in exploration geology and three new engineering geology graduates Andrew Tatnell, William Riggs and Imogen Soley.  Geotechnical Engineering are now in a strong position to meet the challenges of the growing market demands. 

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Two New British Standards

21 April 2015 at 09:39

Two new British Standards (Eurocodes) have been published for laboratory testing of soil.  These relate to water content and bulk density and supersede the respective BS 1377 publications:

·         British Standards & Eurocodes\BS EN ISO 17892_1 2014 Lab Testing Water Content.  This partially supersedes BS 1377-2:1990, specifically sub clause 3.2.

·         British Standards & Eurocodes\BS EN ISO 17892_2 2014 Lab Testing Bulk Density.  This partially supersedes BS 1377-2:1990, specifically clause 7.

The new procedures have now been fully adopted by Geotechnical Engineering’s geotechnical laboratory.  BS 1377 moisture content and bulk density tests should no longer be scheduled although other tests still carried out in accordance with BS 1377 which specifically require a BS 1377 moisture content and/or bulk density (triaxials for example) will still be undertaken with BS 1377 methodology.

The new BS EN ISO water content and bulk density columns have been added to Geotechnical Engineering’s blank laboratory schedule along with caveats to the schedule and guide.  This pro forma should always be supplied for clients and consultants to schedule on.


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Utility Clearance and Mapping Services

24 March 2015 at 10:21

This week the technical services department welcomed a sixth member, Chris McDermott, to Geotechnical Engineering’s team of trained and experienced utility surveyors.  The team undertakes land and utility surveys to demanding internal and external technical standards and ensures that company health and safety requirements and systems are strictly adhered to. They are fully conversant with the Company requirements for the safe operation of the plant and equipment required for undertaking of topographic and GPS Surveys, Utility Clearance and Mapping, Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) and geotechnical and geo-environmental monitoring.


The team’s qualifications include CSCS, SPA Petrol Retail, LPS trained (ESSO), Defensive Driver Training, LTU Benchmark Levels 1, 2 & 3 in Advanced Utility Surveying, Confined Spaces Level 3, National Grid Person (Substations), BESC (Substations), PTS and IWA.


The technical services department form an integral part of Geotechnical Engineering’s integrated ground investigation service, taking a project from service clearance to enable ground disturbance, through to drilling services, laboratory testing and reporting.


For further details of all our technical services capability please contact Gary Simpson on

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Kirkby Thore - Towards a more Settled future

16 March 2015 at 09:06

An article published in the March Issue of GeoDrilling.  Written by David Owen, Contract Manager at Geotechnical Engineering Ltd.


The Settle to Carlisle railway was originally engineered for high-speed running to compete for passengers between England and Scotland, but recent structural movement of the track meant that the speed of trains had to be reduced.  Geotechnical Engineering Limited was employed by Storey Contracting on behalf of Network Rail to carry out a ground investigation adjacent to the railway track.  The investigation was designed and specified by Wardell Armstrong.


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New P60D slope climbing rig

09 March 2015 at 14:37

This week Geotechnical Engineering takes delivery of a new generation of our slope climbing rigs.  This fourth generation rig is based on a 305 Comacchio head with all the functions associated with the dynamic sampling and rotary coring rig.  The re-modelled rig now has the capacity to drill boreholes up to 250mm.  With a new hydraulic winch and a larger engine capacity the rig now has the ability to reach the borehole location and drill more quickly to produce quality slope data.

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University Industrial Placement Scheme

19 February 2015 at 10:17

University Industry Placement Scheme


Each year Geotechnical Engineering offers a paid university placement to engineering geology undergraduates.


This year’s university placement student Harry King let us know his experience from this year, 2014-2015  “Geotechnical Engineering has given me a great insight and experience into the Ground Investigation industry, setting me up for my final year of study at The University of Portsmouth. Logging, trial pitting, in situ testing, report writing, laboratory testing and data analysis are just a few of the experiences I’ve acquired whilst being at the company. I’ve always felt welcome and enjoyed my time at the company and would highly recommend the opportunity to future students.”


Applications are now open for the academic year 2015-2016. Please send your CV and covering letter to .

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A Great Start to 2015 for GEL

05 February 2015 at 11:08

A Great Start for GEL to 2015

The winter weather in the first few weeks of 2015 has caused some challenges but the well prepared and well trained crews from Geotechnical Engineering Limited have continued to work hard.  We have collected together some of the praise sent from satisfied clients: 

“It’s been a pleasure to work with Geotechnical Ltd and I will routinely include you on the tender list for future site investigation works.”

“I found the drilling and vac-ex crews easy to work with on this job, good attitude, hard workers and good on the health and safety side of things too. Would be happy to work with them again. "

 “Really pleased that the guys got finished in two days rather than three, even in the snow.”

 “As mentioned, Brian said (several times actually) that the drillers did a ‘damn fine job’.” 

“Ref drillers – that’s Simon Dubock, the Ronseal driller – “Does exactly what it says on the tin”.”

 “Many thanks to you and the drillers for the work done at Shrewsbury last week.”


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