The Executive Committee currently comprises:
Jo Wilding – Chair
Joanna (Jo) is a freelance human health risk assessor. Jo has an academic background, with a Masters in Pollution and Environmental Control and a PhD in ecotoxicology. Following this she worked in the private sector, as a regulator in local government for six years and at Public Health England (now UK HSA) prior to moving to RSK Geosciences in 2014 and Cambridge Environmental Assessments (part of the RSK Group) from 2021-2023. Jo is a Chartered Environmentalist, became a SiLC and SQP in 2017 and holds ASoBRA for human health. Currently she acts as a SoBRA scrutineer and is involved in the C4SL Phase 2 project as a Tier 2 toxicologist. Jo works with a range of clients and on a wide variety of projects in relation to the investigation and assessment of brownfield land, and industrial clients in relation to due diligence, environmental permitting and chemical regulation.
Simon Cole – Outgoing Chair
Simon is a chartered environmentalist with a degree and PhD in environmental engineering. He has worked in environmental consultancy for over 20 years, primarily specialising in human health and environmental risk assessment, and is an Accredited Risk Assessor under SoBRA’s accreditation scheme for human health, vapour intrusion, and permanent gases. He’s been a member of SoBRA for over a decade, has chaired the society’s sub-group on asbestos for 7 years and is the society’s current outgoing chair. Simon’s career has been dominated by the technical development, practice and advocacy of risk assessment methodologies and risk-based management of land contamination, advising governments and commercial clients, and supporting industry initiatives.
Melinda Evans – Secretary
With over 15 years’ experience in assessing and managing contaminated land projects in the UK and Australia, Melinda has worked across the contaminated land sector with roles within industry, the NSW EPA, private sector and most recently in remediation contracting at Soilfix Ltd. Originally training as an environmental engineer, Melinda’s specialisation is now human health risk assessment with a more recent focus on toxicology. A SoBRA member since 2009, she has been a member of the Executive Committee for the past three years, and has been involved in organising conferences, maintaining the website and is the Executive Committee sponsor for the SoBRA NAPL subgroup.
Melinda has participated in projects ranging from former industrial facilities, gasworks, operational petroleum storage facilities, residential properties, divestment portfolios and Part 2A sites. She has been involved in derivation of both in-house and consortium generic screening criteria. To complement her experience in exposure modelling, Melinda holds a Masters in Toxicology and is a Tier 2 toxicologist for the C4SL Phase 2 project.
Rachel Dewhurst – Treasurer
Rachel has 20 years of experience working on water resources projects in the UK, Europe and the Caribbean. She is an expert in groundwater, groundwater geochemistry and contaminated land, and has worked a wide range of projects that lie on the intersection between geography, geology, chemistry and biology. Rachel strongly believes that by working effectively together across disciplines we can develop the best solutions for all stakeholders. Key technical projects include new production boreholes in the Sherwood Sandstone, 20 years of working on an airforce site in the UK, numerous groundwater and human health risk assessments for sites in the UK and abroad and quantifying the feasibility of artificial recharge in terms of geochemistry and natural reactions during injection. She manages the Stantec UK Water – Water Resources Team which challenges her to look at problems with WQ in receiving waters, abstraction impacts on wetlands, river restoration and fish passage projects, as well as her bread and butter catchment, contaminated land and borehole projects. Never one to refuse a challenge, she also works part-time, has three daughters who all do sport, sits on the committee of the UK Society for Brownfield Risk assessment, examines for Chartered Geologist and runs a brownie pack.
Tim is a Director at YES Environmental and has worked at environmental consultancies on land quality issues for over 18 years having worked in both the south-east and north-west of the UK. A SoBRA member since 2010, Tim is a Chartered Scientist with CIWEM, holds ASoBRA for Human Health, Controlled Waters and Vapour Intrusion, and was on the SoBRA AGAC subgroup. He holds a degree in Environmental Biology and a masters in Environmental Diagnosis. He has worked on a range of project sites from petrol stations to manufacturing sites and former landfills, and has worked for clients from small scale developers to corporates, government and national infrastructure projects. In addition to DQRA he has a strong interest in field techniques and laboratory issues. Tim has a natural instinct for improvement, development of new methodologies and sharing of knowledge for the benefit of all. Away from work he enjoys being in the countryside, hill walking and helps to plant and maintain a community woodland.
Lawrence has worked in land contamination management for over 15 years and is an experienced risk assessor and brownfield regeneration practitioner. He is a Senior Director for Geosyntec Consultants and is a Chartered Geologist, Chartered Scientist, European Geologist (2013), Qualified Person (2015) under the CL:AIRE scheme, Specialist in Land Condition (SiLC) and Suitably Qualified & Experienced Person (2017) under the national quality mark scheme (NQMS). Lawrence uses his knowledge of risk assessment and pragmatic consultancy skills to provide sound advice to clients during all aspects of the project lifecycle and to make sure strategies are robust and add value. He has a passion for tutoring and mentoring bringing on the next generation of consultant scientists and engineers to provide robust scientific yet pragmatic advice to client complex problems and for embedding Inclusion-Diversity-Equity thinking.
Fiona Townley – Website Co-Ordinator and Membership
Fiona is a Chartered Geologist with over 23 years’ experience in environmental consultancy and contaminated land, primarily: design, procurement, management and reporting of phased, often significant and complex, site investigations; human health and controlled waters risk assessments; remediation options appraisals, strategies and implementation plans, and the investigation, management and remediation of spill incidents. This has involved working with a range of clients from individuals through private sector developers, industrial, legal and insurance clients to the public sector, on a wide variety of sites. Fiona has prepared expert witness evidence cases relating to the suitability and adequacy of intrusive ground investigations, sampling regimes and the application of human health risk assessment criteria; together with providing written evidence and attending the public planning appeal for a residential development on a site with complex ground conditions relating to unauthorised landfilling activities. Fiona is also a Qualified Person under the CL:AIRE DoW CoP and applies the principles and knowledge of this to minimise waste and promote re-use in remediation projects. In her current role as Principal Scientist at RSK Raw, Fiona ensures the business complies with current legislation, guidance and best practice whilst providing advice and support on technical matters, particularly the human health risk assessment criteria which Fiona derived following the publication of LQM’s S4UL.
Kate Baker – Vice Chair
Kate is a Chartered Scientist with over 25 years of experience working in land quality as a specialist consultant, evaluating risks from ground contamination for clients for a variety of drivers, from permitting to due diligence, portfolio management, redevelopment, etc. She specialises in human health risk assessment and is an Accredited SoBRA Human Health Risk Assessor. She has worked on a range of complex sites with multiple stakeholders to satisfy, and has derived risk-based assessment criteria for human health and surface water quality for a wide range of novel contaminants, including pesticides and pharmaceuticals. For much of her career, she has been a lead technical specialist within the businesses that she has worked for, driving quality and technical excellence in data interpretation and reporting and providing practical solutions that satisfy client drivers and regulatory requirements. She has a passion for training and mentoring early careers professionals and is a STEM Ambassador, promoting careers in Geosciences and providing support with Maths to primary and secondary school students. Kate is one of the Tier 2 Toxicologists on the Phase 2 C4SL project.
Greg is currently a Project Officer (Contaminated Land) at Leeds City Council (LCC). Greg has over seven years’ experience in the contaminated land sector, both in the private and public sectors. Greg sits on the Yorkshire and Lincolnshire Pollution Advisory Group (YALPAG) Committee, YALPAG Training Group and SoBRA Subgroup for Permanent Gases. Most of his experience has been obtained working in a regulatory capacity, being the Part 2A technical lead at LCC and assessing reports accompanying planning consultations regarding land contamination and providing technical advice to LCC Planning Services. His passion is wanting to promote and improve technical knowledge and best practice in risk assessments and risk-based decision making relating to land contamination. In particular, he wants to contribute to refining and improving current risk assessment methodologies for human health and permanent gases and, where possible, creating new risk assessment tools and methodologies.