News & Views

FPS Early Career’s Group August Meeting Review

August’s Federation of Piling Specialists (FPS) Early Careers Group (ECG) event was held 12th August 2021, at Bauer Equipment UK’s facility and attracted a diverse attendance spanning of engineers, estimators, and designers.
The meeting kicked-off with a session from Julia Hill and Laylee Eftekhar and was noted as the first face-to-face ECG event since February 2020.

The session began by briefing attendees of the FPS’s current priorities with Julia explaining areas she would like to focus on during her tenure as ECG Chair. In particular she spoke about growing the industry’s future and her desire to reaching out to educational establishments to encourage new talent into the industry. She spoke also about networking within the industry, as well as the need for a CPD to increase knowledge and technical awareness.

The first break-out session was held about how to attract new talent into the industry and the group was split to focus on the following age groups, with suggestions for each:

• Primary School
• Secondary School
• Higher Education

The second break out session moved on to look at what members wanted from the ECG moving forward, including:

• Support with Chartership
• CPD sessions on techniques
• CPD sessions on design approaches & the software used
• Learning about individuals’ roles to appreciate how everyone fits into the project lifecycle
• Lessons learnt feedback session to pass on knowledge and experience when faced with challenges

Bauer Equipment’s segment of the event began with a presentation about the history of The BAUER Group, the various techniques used in the UK such as Kelly drilling, CFA, FDP and CCFA. Specifically, the presentation discussed the benefits versus traditional CFA of improved tolerances, the development in CCFA over the years in depth capability and the design of the spoil management systems.

The presentation continued with a look at drilling tools and the configuration of the lead auger / drill head for different ground conditions; when to use a bucket versus an auger, versus a core barrel; the development of a ‘silent’ bucket to reduce the noise emitted when discharging the tool; casings and the different methods of forming them; and explained about the design work & development that has been undertaken on the configuration of drilling tools to ensure that the tool digs in a uniform manner.

The presentation was engaging, and attendees were invited to ask question throughout to the expert speakers, a real opportunity for all to understand the plant & equipment used by our industry.

After lunch the attendees relocated to the facility itself, where everyone could get really hands on, and were able to get close and inside a BG28H in Rotary mode and a BG33V in CCFA mode. The use of a desktop rig simulator was also made available, where attendees could test their skills. Attendees were also able see displays of different drilling equipment, teeth/consumables, and Kelly bars, as well as having the opportunity to ask questions of the team on-site about the equipment and its operation.

Future ECG events were then tabled, including “Project Design life cycle”, hosted by Tony Suckling at A-squared Studio Engineers London office on 20th October, and a lunchtime CPD on ‘What Health & Safety looks like’ (date to be determined).

Feedback was really encouraging, with all attendees commenting on the fantastic day and the ability be able to learn about the plant and equipment on show. The opportunity to network face to face was well received and something which continued post the closing of the event formally.