The Executive Committee currently comprises:
Simon Cole – Chair
Simon has worked in environmental consultancy as a risk assessor for over 20 years. 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 chair. Simon is the Technical Practice Lead for AECOM’s UK&I Environmental Liability Solutions team and has primary responsibility for the technical delivery of and capability development in remediation services associated with land contamination, and 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.
Hannah White – Outgoing Chair
Hannah is a Land Regeneration Manager at National Grid and is responsible for bringing land back into beneficial use across over 100 former gasworks sites in the West Midlands, North England and Scotland. Hannah has been working in the sector for over 16 years, previously working at both Atkins and URS (now Aecom). Hannah been a member of the Executive Committee of the Society of Brownfield Risk Assessment (SoBRA) since 2012. During this time she has held roles of Treasurer and Vice Chair and took on the role of Chair in 2019. Hannah has a key interest in promoting technical excellence, innovation, sharing good practice, publishing guidance and developing others. She is also a scrutineer for the SoBRA accreditation scheme. Hannah is a Chartered Scientist with the Geological Society. She has been involved in hundreds of inter-disciplinary land investigation, risk assessment and remediation projects. She has written and contributed to a numerous technical guidance documents in relation to quantitative human health risk assessment of contaminated land and is an author of published technical papers. She is currently Chairperson of the C4SL Phase 2 Project Steering Group (on behalf of the Soil and Groundwater Technical Association (SAGTA)), delivering new assessment criteria for industry to use when assessing potential risk to humans from soil.
Jo Wilding – Secretary
Joanna (Jo) is an Associate Technical Director at RSK. 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 prior to moving to RSK in 2014. 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, including local authorities and developers in relation to the investigation and assessment of brownfield land, and industrial clients in relation to due diligence and environmental permitting.
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.
Eleanor Walker – GDPR Lead
Eleanor is a Chartered Scientist, Specialist in Land Condition and Suitably Qualified Person with over 14 years’ experience in the assessment and remediation of contaminated land. Eleanor has predominantly worked in environmental consultancy with experience encompassing project management, team management and key client framework management. She recently moved into a regulatory role as Team Leader of the Leeds City Council Contaminated Land team. In this role, she is responsible for overseeing the provision of advice on dealing with land contamination through the planning process and is also responsible for fulfilling the council’s statutory responsibilities to prioritise, inspect and remediate land across the district under Part 2A of the EPA. Eleanor has a particular interest in human health risk assessment and is accredited as ASoBRA for human health and vapours and a scrutineer for the accreditation scheme. She was actively involved in the development and publication of the SoBRA groundwater vapour GAC guidance and have recently joined the SoBRA asbestos sub-group. She is also actively involved in various industry bodies including the Yorkshire Contaminated Land Forum (YCLF) and the Yorkshire and Lincolnshire Pollution Advisory Group (YALPAG).
Jenny is the Geoenvironment Manager at Geo-environmental Engineer at Exploration & Testing Associates Limited. She has 12 years’ experience in the investigation and assessment of contaminated land and has worked on a variety of projects under both planning and Part 2A regimes, including several large-scale Brownfield redevelopment sites. Jenny’s role involves taking sites from due diligence review to ground investigation, remediation and earthworks and subsequent validation. She specialises in human health risk assessment having undertaken a part time Masters in Contaminated Land Management at the University of Nottingham, with a research thesis on the oral bioaccessibility of contaminants. She is currently involved in a standards committee and the SoBRA vapour intrusion group. Jenny has an academic background with a PhD in Earth Sciences. Prior to working as a geoenvironmental engineer, she was a post-doctoral researcher focusing on biomineralisation. She has published her research in peer reviewed journals and has presented at national and international conferences.
Olayinka Ekundayo is an experienced Land Contamination professional with experience gained in the private and public sectors. Currently working for the London Borough of Brent based in Wembley as Contaminated Land specialist, she has previously worked for councils in Hertfordshire. Prior to working in local government Olayinka worked as a contaminated land consultant based in Scotland for 5 years working on a range of contaminated land site investigations and remediation projects. As a local government contaminated land specialist. She has been involved in both the ‘Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire ‘and ‘East and West London’ Contaminated Land Officer’s groups sharing best practice and expertise.
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.
Aliyssa is a Senior Consultant in WSP’s Ground & Water team, and has over 6 years of experience within environmental consultancy, prior to which she completed a Masters by Research (MRes) in Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control, with a focus on the Environmental Forensics of Coal Tar.
Aliyssa works with a range of public and private sector clients across Scotland to investigate and assess contaminated land risks on brownfield land and is responsible for completing and managing peer reviews for local authorities under the planning regime. In addition to this, Aliyssa is a member of various technical and innovation groups within WSP, and uses her technical knowledge to mentor and advise other team members across a range of projects. She is also the team lead for WSP’s Future Ready scheme. Her role in the scheme is to consider how key trends associated with climate change, resources, technology, and society could influence contaminated land assessments, advocate for the sharing of ideas and innovations, and encourage sustainability considerations in-house.
Aliyssa is currently working towards Chartership and has a particular interest in human health and ground gas risk assessment and is keen to join the committee as an early career representative.
Melinda Evans – Website Co-Ordinator and Membership
Melinda has worked across the contaminated land sector with roles within Shell Australia, the New South Wales Environment Protection Authority, consultancy (URS, Komex and Firth Consultants) and most recently in remediation contracting at Soilfix Ltd. Originally training as an environmental engineer, early experiences in contaminated land site practice led Melinda towards risk assessment work and this is where she has chosen to focus. Although her specialisation is human health risk assessment, controlled waters risk assessments have been integral to many of the projects she has been involved. Melinda has been involved in sites ranging from former industrial facilities, gasworks, operational petroleum storage facilities, residential properties, project management of divestment portfolios and Part 2A sites including detailed quantitative risk assessment. During her time at Komex and Firth Consultants she was involved in derivation of both in house and consortium generic screening criteria, notably the Environmental Industries Commission GAC project. To complement her experience in exposure modelling, Melinda has recently completed an MSc in Toxicology and Risk Assessment with a focus on mixtures risk assessment. She is a Tier 2 toxicologist for the C4SL Phase 2 project and has recently completed a contract toxicologist position with WRc in their National Centre for Environmental Toxicology (NCET).