James Warren-King, Rhianna Jarvis
16 May 2019

Are we embracing data capture technology?

On the 15th May we held a joint land condition discussion meeting with North West Brownfield Regeneration Forum (NWBRF) in Manchester. Organised in association with WSP, an audience of industry professionals from environmental consultancies, engineering consultancies, local authorities, the Environment Agency and Public Health England gathered to hear a series of presentations describing the use of digital technologies in contaminated land risk assessment.

The first speakers were Neil Coyne and Anthony Jones from environmental consultancy RSK. Their presentation described data collection methodologies and how Geographic Information Systems (GIS) can present data in a range of formats to better inform understanding and interpretation of site investigation data.

Next, Piers Edgell of the Landmark Information Group talked about the online tools currently available for obtaining and presenting the digital information used to inform contaminated land risk assessments. This included the latest online mapping technologies, together with the wealth of environmental data available from the Environment Agency, DEFRA and a host of other public sector organisations in England and Wales.

Matt Byerly of WSP and member of the IES then spoke about the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) in the collection of data for use in contaminated land investigations and risk assessment. Matt demonstrated how the use of drones and their multi-spectral imaging capabilities are slowly beginning to revolutionise both our understanding and our approach to field-based site investigations.

The final speaker was Maryam Hussain from technology firm AmbiSense, who provided an intriguing insight into how “big data” and machine learning (ML) is being used to better understand environmental systems and to construct smarter risk assessments in the areas of groundwater investigations and ground gas risk. The presentations were followed by a brief Q&A session, where delegates were given the opportunity to ask the various speakers specific queries concerning their professional disciplines and presentations.

Presentation slides are available on our Slideshare account.

Huge thanks to WSP for hosting the event and to the NWBRF for their collaboration in this joint venture.


NWBRF Contact Details
Katie Foster, James Warren-King
NWBRF Steering Group | info@nwbrforum.org