October 12, 2021
The latest episode of [7 October 2021] “Breaking Ground”, the regular podcast series run by Ground Engineering magazine in partnership with Ground Forum, features a great interview with Richard Fielden British Drilling Association Chair and Managing Director of WJ Groundwater.
In this episode, Steve Hadley, Chair of the Federation of Piling Specialists, talks to Richard about the world of ground water and dewatering. He discusses how Richard’s experience early in his career working on large scale excavations in Central London led him to take an interest in groundwater and dewatering.
A fascinating discission, Steve and Richard, who got to know each other through the Ground Forum, where they represent their respective trade associations, talk at length about the synergy or crossover of between the world of piling and the world of ground water, and dig deep into many areas of their work as well as looking at skills and the market to developing kit.
Richard also discusses some of his biggest dewatering projects have been related to piling projects, and how a project at Canary Wharf generated savings for the client by allowing piles to be constructed in dewatered sand and thus didn’t require support from bentonite. He describes how additional benefits included that the construction in the dry actually gave the pile greater skin friction and therefore increased the design strength of the pile. Other great examples of dewatering projects are discussed as well as some of the risk around dewatering too.
A good proportion of conversation on the podcast is given to ways of addressing the ever-present skills shortage and what can be done to make drilling more attractive to young people and in particular to improve diversity and inclusivity as much as possible.
A great listen, the podcast can be found here: https://tinyurl.com/5793aw9h