Dr. Chris Evans joined the McAuliffe Group as Technical Director in September 2017, working specifically in our specialist remediation arm, GeoStream UK.

A chartered engineer with more than 25 years’ academic and industrial experience in geotechnical and geo-environmental engineering, Dr. Evans’ specialist knowledge and experience is helping GeoStream to progress to the forefront of the remediation contracting industry in the UK and lead the way in the design and implementation of physical, chemical and biological treatment techniques for soil and groundwater.

We recently caught up with Dr. Evans to get his thoughts on what to expect from the remediation industry in 2018 and beyond.

Welcome to the team, Chris. First of all, what does a typical day look like for you as GeoStream’s Technical Director?

“Life at GeoStream is already varied. I might start the day in the office responding to clients’ technical queries, or reviewing reports and tenders, and then spend time on-site on one of our many projects nationwide, liaising with the operational teams, ensuring the methodologies or techniques are being implemented effectively and any problems are being addressed. In short, no two days are the same.

“Outside of work, I’ve been actively involved in academia since my PhD years. I am regularly invited to lecture, particularly at the Universities of Birmingham and Cambridge showcasing the very latest remediation case studies and demonstrating to students how certain techniques are applied at the full-scale level in the field. It’s very rewarding to pass this knowledge onto our industry’s next generation.”

What should we watch out for in remediation in 2018?

“The research and development that’s being done in geo-engineering is continually allowing us to refine our approaches to remediation.

“For example, as well as studies into the use of novel binders and additives in stabilisation/solidification (S/S), there is currently an innovative project investigating the uses for biomimetic attributes of materials, including self-healing and self-sensing , which could heavily impact remediation techniques well into the future.

Are there any challenges on the horizon for the industry?

“I wouldn’t call it a challenge as such, but I think there will need to be a strong, concerted effort by all to use existing materials more effectively. Also, new techniques are required to enable the use of waste products to treat soil and groundwater. Waste to treat waste, if you like.

“For this to happen, we should look at waste in a different way– not as something to be discarded, but as a by-product that has a reuse value, which means also reviewing the regulations that constrain its potential use. For example, the use of materials such as Cement Kiln Dust (CKD) and By-pass Dust (BPD) in S/S treatment of soils can be just as effective as Cement and Lime and can greatly reduce costs, both in terms of remediation and disposal.

“Using treatment train approaches to remediation can help to more cost effectively target contaminants in land steadily to acceptable levels, and if combined with the clever reclamation of waste on-site, can help reduce the environmental impact of work, as well as costs and time – all major benefits for businesses, their customers and the industry itself.”