BDA Webinar – The Life of a Sample – Reviewed

May 25, 2024

On 22nd May 2024, the British Drilling Association (BDA) hosted an insightful webinar, titled: “The Life of a Sample”. The session provided a comprehensive exploration of the journey of a sample, from collection through to analysis, detailing the meticulous processes involved.

After a brief introduction from the BDA’s Paul McMann, the event began with Katherine Jones, (Director, Dunelm Geotechnical), who shared her expertise on sample collection and handling. She emphasised the significance of using proper techniques to gather accurate samples and discussed the initial steps necessary to ensure sample integrity. Sarah detailed the types of samples collected, such as disturbed and undisturbed samples, and the importance of correctly labelling and sealing them to maintain their quality.

Next, Holly Neary-King (Sales Manager, Envirolab) took over to discuss the transportation and preservation of samples. She highlighted the critical steps and best practices required to ensure that samples arrive at the laboratory in optimal condition. Holly explained the different containers used for various types of samples, the importance of importance of avoiding deviations, and the protocols for packing samples securely to prevent contamination or damage during transit.

Following Holly, Chris Anderson (Technical Director, Causeway Geotechnical) delved into the analysis and interpretation of sample data. He provided an in-depth look at the various geotechnical tests performed, such as moisture content determination, Atterberg limits, particle size distribution, and triaxial tests. Chris emphasised the methodologies employed to ensure accurate results and discussed how these tests help in understanding the characteristics of the soil or rock, which is crucial for geotechnical investigations and design.

The webinar concluded with Kevin McGee (Associate Director – Geoenvironmental & Geotechnical, Cundall), who explored how the insights gained from sample analysis impact project outcomes and decision-making. Kevin emphasised the role of precise sampling and testing in ensuring efficient design, regulatory compliance, and minimising environmental impact. He provided examples of how poor sampling and analysis could lead to overdesign, increased costs, and potential regulatory challenges. Kevin also discussed the importance of timely and accurate sampling in detecting and mitigating environmental hazards.

The webinar was a valuable learning opportunity for professionals in the field, offering deep insights into the processes and best practices that ensure the reliability and accuracy of geotechnical samples. The knowledge shared by the speakers underscored the critical role that each stage of the sample’s journey plays in successful project execution and environmental stewardship.

To view the webinar, CLICK HERE.

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