The Institution of Environmental Sciences (IES) and North West Brownfield Regeneration Forum (NWBRF) held a joint contaminated land event on Wednesday 15 May 2019 in Manchester. Organised in association with WSP, an audience of 34x 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 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.

The presentation slides are available on the links below:


The Use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) in Contaminated Land Risk Assessment

Data Collection and Presentation Tools in Real Life Situations – Now and the Future

The NWBRF would like to thank WSP for hosting the event and the IES for their collaboration in this joint venture.