Civil engineering university visits

Last week, Igne was delighted to welcome Northumbria University’s Civil Engineering BEng and Civil Engineering Degree Apprenticeship BEng students to our Chester le Street Office, County Durham, for our popular university tour.

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Our tour started in the yard where there were various drilling rigs set up to allow the students to see up close each type of drilling rig that may be involved in a site investigation project.

These included a windowless sampler (PC Tracker S110), a cable percussion rig (Dando 2000) and a couple of different sized rotary rigs (Commacchio GEO 305 and Boart Longyear DB540). Each one was discussed in detail with regards to how they operate along with their associated sampling techniques and tools.

This was all demonstrated by the business unit’s director, Nick Vater with assistance from the Site Operations Manager, John Moyle. Alongside the demonstration of the drilling equipment, the Regional QHSE Manager, Kostas Tsiminis, provided a talk on matters of health and safety relating to the drilling and site investgation processes.

After the rig demonstrations, the group of 56 students and staff were split into four parties to allow demonstrations within other areas of the business.

Group 1 was guided into the depot where further tools and casing sizes were discussed together with how they are used in site investigation. They then moved into the sample stores, which included a demonstration of why and how the automatic trip hammers are calibrated and their application in the field.

Group 2 was shown around the geotechnical laboratory by the Laboratory Manager, Michelle Selkirk, with the assistance of Laboratory Technician, Owen Vest, where the tour included discussions of standard geotechnical testing such as PSD, Atterberg Limits testing and compaction. Michelle also discussed the processes involved with clients scheduling testing.

Group 3 was taken through some specialist geotechnical testing including thermal conductivity, effective stress, shear box and permeability testing. The demonstration also included some in-situ testing methods including sand replacement, CBR, plate load testing and core cutter sampling.

Group 4 had presentations and demonstrations of some of our in-situ and post site monitoring and sampling techniques along with the associated equipment, presented by Technical Manager, Kerry Wade and Engineering Reports Supervisor, Laura Clarke. This included standpipe piezometer/slotted standpipe construction, groundwater data loggers, variable permeability testing, slug testing, vibrating wire piezometers, groundwater sampling, soil resistivity testing, extensometers, inclinometers, gas analysers, PID, and a demonstration of low flow sampling with in-situ parameters (peristaltic pump and AquaTROLL).

Once each presentation was complete, the groups then rotated so all students could see each presentation during the tour. We had some excellent questions and plenty of engagement, especially from those already working within the industry.

The visit was a great success and we received good feedback from Northumbria University, and we look forward to seeing the next group of students next year!

Thank you so much to all who were involved for their efforts on the day.  If you represent a university interested in booking a tour with us in please do not hesitate to contact us for further information. We also regularly welcome students to our construction materials testing laboratories and support the New Model Institute for Technology and Engineering (NMITE) with access to our water well, geothermal and engineering operations.