Andy O'Dea

Andy has worked as a Geoenvironmental Consultant on sustainable land development and infrastructure projects for nearly 30 years. He has managed and delivered many specialist geoenvironmental projects, and large and complicated multidisciplinary land development projects. Andy has extensive experience of contamination risk assessment, waste management, ground gas risk assessment, sustainability assessment, geotechnical design and EIA.

Most recently, Andy has dipped his toe into the world of remediation and ground engineering contracting at Cognition Land and Water where he oversees the technical department. This move from consultancy to contracting has brought about fantastic new opportunities to learn and develop personally but also to bring his significant experience to bear in a dynamic, high quality and fast-growing contracting business that is laser focused on environmental improvement and sustainable development. Apart from technical troubleshooting, developing novel remediation solutions and supporting the professional development of the team, Andy also assists with business development and client care and is Project Director on several projects.

Having started out with a Civil Engineering degree from Trinity College Dublin, Andy edged closer to the land quality sector with an MSc in Environmental Geotechnics from Imperial College. From there he worked with a number of large and small consultancies giving him a broad range of experiences and challenges and developing some lifelong friends along the way. In that period, he gained full membership of the IES (1999) and became a Chartered Environmentalist (2011) in line with his focus on the environmental aspects of his work. The recent move to remediation contracting continues that theme where Andy is learning new skills and approaches to land remediation.

Throughout his 30-year career, Andy has been involved in many interesting projects. These have ranged from devising an assessment process to measure the environmental performance of Heathrow T5, preparing the land quality Environmental Statement for HS2 Phase 2b, and helping to transform hundreds of brownfield sites into productive communities and workplaces. Perhaps the most fascinating project that Andy has worked on is a current project on the Isle of Sheppey. As Project Director, Andy is responsible for the delivery of ground and groundwater remediation, land raising, earthworks and material management on a former chemical works with challenging ground conditions, complicated regulatory negotiations and an involved local community. Regularly on the project he has acted as technical guru, client confidant, community liaison officer and regulator target practice! The aim of restoring an unloved and derelict site into a successful and prosperous community with facilities and public spaces for all is the goal that drives Andy onward.

Going forward, Andy feels that his work in the contracting sector is his natural home and he is keen to continue learning and developing his skills in contract management, tendering and developing novel and innovative solutions to technical challenges. He is also delighted to see that both his daughters are pursuing scientific careers with one reading geography at Exeter University and the other studying mathematics, sociology and psychology at A-Level. One day, maybe they too will become Chartered Scientists or Environmentalists.

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