International Women in Engineering Day – Louise Dow, Technical Director

Technical Director Louise Dow, works from Wardell Armstrong’s Cardiff office in the Ground Engineering Team. For International Women in Engineering Day 2017, Louise gives us a brief career history to date, as well as a project overview on a recent project that she has worked on.

As a Chartered Geologist and UK Registered Ground Engineering Professional, over the past 14 years I’ve gained a variety of experience within the fields of geo-environmental and geotechnical engineering and engineering geology within the construction, energy and environmental sectors.

My role of an engineering geologist/ground engineer is highly varied and can be applied to many different sectors within the industry. Key to my role is ground investigation, retrieval of information, interpretation/analysis of data, generating conceptual ground models, risk mitigation, construction/engineering design and reporting writing.

Other important aspects of my role include team leadership, client management, commercial awareness, project and resource management, understanding conditions of contracts/specifications and how these apply to design and construction contracts together with promoting and ensuring a high standard of quality assurance and health and safety.

Wardell Armstrong is currently commissioned as geotechnical and environmental consultants for Harrow Estates PLC. The site is the former St Regis Paper Mill in Sudbrook, Monmouthshire and lies within 10m of the River Severn. My role within this project is the Project Manager for the Design and Construction of Earthworks and Remediation Scheme.

Harrow Estates PLC is a Master Development Company providing expertise in planning promotion, master planning and site delivery for often complex sites throughout the UK. It acquired the 100 acre St Regis Paper Mill site in 2011, the site includes 34 acres of previously developed land, a former plantation woodland, agricultural land and a Scheduled Ancient Monument.

The Remediation and Earthworks NEC3 Construction Contract was awarded to VertaseFLI and I was involved in the Contractor selection process. Works have involved the removal of remnant buried substructures, excavation and remediation of contaminated soils, earthworks to reprofile the site and to prepare a geotechnically competent development platform and mitigate flood risk, environmental monitoring, archaeological monitoring and reptile and nesting bird mitigation works. In addition, strict control of earthworks has been required in areas to ensure the protection of utilities including a major Network Rail asset; 5 Mile 4 Chain Culvert, one of several drainage culverts for the Severn Bridge Rail Tunnel.

Supported by the Project Supervisor, I am the Client representative, and am required by law to act impartially in matters of assessment in accordance with the NEC3 Contract. I am the point of contact for any issues or discrepancies relating to the scheme. Key to my role is the responsibility for the successful planning, procurement, execution, monitoring and closure of the project. This includes the contractual management of time, testing and defects, seeking solutions, payment certifications, compensation events, risk and insurance.

The site is soon to be developed by Redrow Homes South Wales and will comprise 212 houses, public open space, internal access, distribution roads and enhanced green infrastructure for Sudbrook Village.

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