The Executive Committee currently comprises:
Simon Cole – 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 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.
Jo Wilding – Secretary and Vice-Chair
Joanna (Jo) is a Toxicologist at Cambridge Environmental Assessments (CEA), part of the RSK Group. 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 CEA in 2021. 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, environmental permitting and chemical regulation.
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.
Jenny 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 Principal 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.
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 is a Chartered Geologist with over twenty years’ experience in environmental consultancy and a strong background in 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.
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 was a contract toxicologist with WRc in their National Centre for Environmental Toxicology (NCET).