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BDA eNewsletter | Issue: January 2022
Introduction from our Chair - Richard Fielden

May I take this opportunity to wish you all a belated Happy New Year and hopefully, a safe and healthy year ahead.
2021 ended on a high, with the British Drilling Association (BDA) Awards recognising the immense talent that the drilling sector hosts. The Awards remind us how innovative and forward thinking the sector is, as well as giving us the opportunity to shout about our successes. I am sure you will join me in congratulating all those who won.
Whilst the year ahead is filled with optimism, there will no doubt be many challenges ahead. The ever-present issue of skills shortages will only deepen without action and whilst there are many initiatives in place – including those by the BDA – addressing the issue short-term may require government intervention – especially if large infrastructure projects deadlines are to be met.
Of the BDA initiatives helping tackle the skills shortage, its Apprenticeship Scheme is a highlight and moving at a pace. Already the participants have had site visits and classroom work and feedback has been excellent. There’s a short update here and a longer overview on the BDA website, which is well worth a read.
I would like to conclude this brief introduction by formally welcoming Joel Stevens, who officially joined the BDA as General Manager on 17 January and thanking Jon Christie, who stepped down as Chair of the Health & Safety Sub-committee in December. The BDA appreciates the huge personal effort and contribution made by Jon over the years, and also that of his employer, BAM Ritchies, for allowing Jon the time to make the significant and important improvements to the BDA Audit Scheme. On behalf of all in the BDA - Thank you Jon!
BDA Awards 2021

The BDA awards entries were judged in December, and we are delighted to announce the winners for 2021.
The Awards are extremely important, being a highlight of the BDA calendar, as well as an opportunity for the Association to recognise the talent, the people and innovation that embody the principles of the BDA and its membership. In fact, their importance was demonstrated by the tremendous number of entries they attracted this year, and their quality was outstanding!
The Awards’ winners have been notified and trophies will be presented to each winner early next month (February).
A short article listing the winners is available on the BDA website with a more in-depth review of winners and entries to follow after the formal presentations have been made.
To discover the winners, visit:
Drilling in Support of Net Zero Scotland – Seminar – 27 April 2022

Sign up now for the BDA’s physical seminar - ‘Drilling in Support of Net Zero Scotland by 2045’ - which is being held 27 April 2022, at Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh, subject to COVID guidelines; if COVID prohibits a physical event, the event will be held virtually.
Tackling issues such as Transport for Scotland’s approach to the issue, drilling rigs progress to net carbon zero and project case studies, the event will explore innovations, approaches, and methodologies to take the drilling sector forward to net zero emissions by 2045.
The seminar promises to be both engaging and educational, with many high-level speakers already confirmed, including Andy Mace, sustainability, carbon and climate change specialist and lead of Arup's environment and sustainability team across Scotland, Belfast and the Northeast of England, who will deliver the keynote address.
With speakers from Transport for Scotland, Arup, Atkins, BAM, the BGS and other leading organisations, the event promises to be both engaging and informative.
To find out more, to register to attend or enquiry about exhibiting, please visit:
BDA January Webinar Review

The first BDA webinar of 2022, "Instrumentation and Monitoring: A Critical Link in Ground Engineering", took place on 19 January 2022 and was presented by Daniele Fornelli, Associate Technical Director, Geotechnical Observations Limited.
The webinar looked in detail at the role of instrumentation and monitoring (I&M) in ground engineering in its widest sense and examined geotechnical, environmental, structural, and asset protection and management considerations.
The status of I&M as a critical link in ground engineering was illustrated, as well as the importance of high-quality I&M in the context of the design and implementation of temporary and permanent works, and the related adoption of the Observational Method.
The “Geotechnical Health Monitoring” and “Asset Health Monitoring” concepts was also covered.
To watch a recording of the webinar, visit:
BDA Apprenticeship Scheme 2021/22

The BDA SAP Apprenticeship Scheme 2021/22 is progressing well, and candidates completed “Week 2” of the course, which took place at Soil Engineering Geoservices’ office in Leeds, during December.
A packed week full of presentations and site visits, feedback from those involved has been extremely positive and this enthusiasm will be carried forward as the scheme progresses.
To read a more detailed update and how to enrol in the next apprenticeship running visit:
BDA Welcomes New General Manager

The BDA has recently welcomed Joel Stevens as the Association’s new General Manager.
Joel formally took up his role on 17 January and you can now contact him at: or
During the year, you will have the opportunity to meet Joel in person, at the proposed BDA events scheduled for this year (subject to COVID guidelines), including the BDA golf and football days and the face-to-face seminars.
As part of his induction into the role, Joel will be visiting a few BDA Member worksites, large and small, to learn about drilling processes and working environments.
I am sure you will join the BDA Management team in welcoming Joel to the Association.
BDA Election 2022 Process and Dates

As you know, the BDA Nominations and Election process commenced in January 2022, and to encourage full participation by all members, as well as to ensure transparency of process the BDA commissioned CICIVA Election Services to organise this digitised process, as they did in 2021.
During the middle of January 2022, you will have received a ‘request for nominations’ from eligible people of member companies, and a 4-week nomination window (10 January - 11 February) is now open. After a two-week break, the election process will begin, which will be open for a 4-week window (28 February – 25 March).
Those elected to the Main Committee will be informed upon close of the process and officially announced at the BDA AGM, which is scheduled for 27 April 2022, at Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh (or virtually meeting – dependant on COVID-19 restrictions at the time).
Please check your e-mail box for election information/requests from early February onwards.
Spotlight on... Paul McMann

Paul McMann is the Chair of the British Drilling Association Training and Education Sub-committee and the Association’s Vice Chair.
He graduated from Liverpool St John Moore’s in 2004, with a BSc (Hons) in Geology and started in the ground investigation industry in 2004, as a Geologist at Soil Mechanics and then moved to Fugro in 2012. Paul now works for Dunelm Geotechnical and Environmental Limited, as UK and Overseas Operations Director.
Paul has fulfilled various roles throughout his career, from assistant geologist to senior management roles on geotechnical land and marine projects worldwide. In his current role Paul is growing the company’s portfolio while maintaining operational excellence and quality.
To read more about Paul’s’ career and experience visit:
A Grateful Thank You to Jon Christie

At its recent Management Meeting (December 2021), the BDA concluded its agenda with the entire BDA Management Committee expressing its gratitude and thanks to Jon Christie, who stepped down as Chair of the BDA Health & Safety sub-committee.
Particular praise was given for all the work he and the sub-committee have undertaken progressing the BDA Audit, to where it is now accepted industry wide, as the gold standard for those looking to demonstrate their competency in drilling.
A full article highlighting Jon’s achievements can be found on the BDA website here:
Until Jon’s permanent replacement is officially appointed, Neil Breach of Fugro has been appointed interim Chair of the H&S Sub-committee. Any BDA members with H&S related enquiries should continue to email, and cc, this will ensure that queries are dealt with in a timely manner.
Safety Alerts Update

With safety always a priority, don’t forget to take a look at the recently published safety alerts and as a reminder here are a few alerts published on the BDA website last year:
BDA Events 2022

BDA AGM – 27 April 2022
You are cordially invited to the BDA’s 2022 AGM which will be held on 27th April 2022 – the same date and venue as the BDA’s seminar ‘Drilling in Support of Net Zero Scotland by 2045’, which is being held 27 April 2022 at Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh.
The Chair, Sub-committee Chairs’ and Officers will give presentations on the BDA’s work during 2021, as well as presenting planned activities for 2022 and beyond.
The AGM is free to attend, but places do need to be booked, unless of course COVID restriction prevent, in which case the AGM will be held virtually.
To book a place please email -
External Events – Supported by the BDA

10% Discount at Brownfield Land Scotland – 29 March 2022
The BDA has negotiated a 10% discount off registration for the 15th annual Brownfield Land Scotland conference, by Environment Analyst’s Brownfield & Regeneration Network, an in-person event in Glasgow.
The initial agenda for the event being held 29th March 2022, is now available and offers updated, actionable solutions to key challenges affecting the investigation and development of brownfield and contaminated land in Scotland, with an emphasis on regional case studies.
This annual event regularly brings together over 100 regulatory agencies, contaminated land & environmental health officers from local councils, brownfield consultants and contractors and other stakeholders, making this event the perfect place to make new connections and reconnect with your peers.
To qualify for your discount, use the code BDA10 when registering. For more information and to book your place, please visit:
£150 Discount on Table Bookings – GE Awards – 6 September 2022
The BDA is pleased to be supporting the Ground Engineering Awards 2022, which will be held 6 September 2022 at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London.
The GE Awards brings together the leaders in the industry to celebrate achievements in terms of projects, people and businesses between January 2021 and March 2022.
The awards are open to any business involved in the ground engineering market and winning an award helps to differentiate your business from your competitors and reward staff for their efforts.
Categories cover projects, technical excellence and forward-thinking geotechnical companies across the UK, with entries assessed by our independent panel of over 60 judges, and the judging process includes face to face presentations which are back for 2022!
To enter the Awards visit:
15% Discount NCE Future of Bridges 2022 – 28 April 2022
The BDA is pleased to be supporting NCE ‘The Future of Bridges Conference 2022’, a virtual conference taking place 28 April 2022, which gives attendees expert insight into project updates, how technology is driving change, and what the industry can do to prioritise carbon net-zero.
Attendees will hear updates from clients designing and procuring future bridge schemes and what they are seeking from engineers, contractors, and suppliers.
To register interest in this event visit:
Contamination & Geotech Expo – 14-15 September 2022
The BDA is supporting Contamination & Geotech Expo 2022, which is being held 14 – 15 September at the NEX in Birmingham.
With the strapline “Contaminated land, Air and Water” the event will cover all aspects of remediation with information and interviews from many Keynote Speakers.
To register intertest in attending or exhibiting at the event, please visit:
£150 Discount on Table Bookings at The CN Specialists Awards – 22 September 2022
The BDA is pleased to support the Construction News Specialists Awards and has negotiated a discount of £150 on table packages negotiated for all BDA members.
The Awards are open for entries and will take place on 22 September 2022, at The Brewery, London, with 21 categories available for entry this year.
For more information, and to enter the Awards visit:
London Build 2022
The BDA is pleased to support London Build 2022, which this year is being held 16-17 November 2022 at Olympia, London.
London Build is an award-winning show and is widely viewed as one of the best exhibitions in the world. It features: 27,500+ quality visitors, 500+ speakers across 6 conference theatres with a 50% representation of female speakers, 220+ CPD sessions, 100's of exhibitors and exclusive free-to-attend networking events including Meet the Buyer sessions, Women in Construction and Diversity in Construction, entertainment, the Festival of Construction, celebrity guests and much more.
For more information visit:
And finally...
If you would like to see any topics addressed in future BDA newsletters, please don’t hesitate to let the team know –
And if you haven’t already, please follow the BDA on LinkedIn – British Drilling Association and Twitter - @britishdrilling – and don’t forget to tag the BDA into your posts, if you tag the BDA we will share / like them.
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