Beverly Okeke- AECOM
Shortlisted for Brownfield Awards Category 15: Best Young Brownfield Professional
In 2019 I graduated from the University of Nottingham with an MEng in Chemical with Environmental Engineering. My final year university design project was based on investigating the utilisation of CO2 carbonation to immobilise heavy metals in Incinerator Bottom Ash which was the culmination of my years of prior interest in the environmental sector as a process engineering student. As of May 2021, I’ve been working at AECOM within Remediation Services for 1 year and 9 months and have been involved in a wide range of projects. In many aspects I’ve been able to utilise my technical training as a process engineer within this sector, while further developing my understanding of geology and the interactions between the chemical processes and geotechnical factors.
Some notable projects for me which I’ve been able to be involved in, to date, include the development of the Ynysarwed Mine Water Treatment plant. I’ve greatly enjoyed being a part of this ongoing project as being able to undertake the process design for the plant and also designing the ground investigation, has allowed me to see the project from many sides and consider how the plant design would affect the scope of the investigation. During the course of the project I produced process flow diagrams, mass balances, calculation sheets, datasheets, and contributed to outline design reports. Being able to utilise my design skills has definitely been a highlight and a trend I wish to continue in the future.
Another interesting project I was involved in was the soil and soil vapour sampling undertaken at Grenfell last year. This project stands out as not only was it a chance to develop my soil logging skills and learn a soil vapour sampling technique which was new to me, but circumstances surrounding the need for the project were quite confronting and highlighted the sometimes harsh reality of the necessity of remedial work. I felt during that project I was not only able to learn new technical skills but the was able to recognise the sensitivity that certain projects need to be handled with, which was a trait I thought was excellently displayed by the team I worked with, confirmed by a commendation from the client for that project.
I am currently a graduate member of CIWEM and have joined the East Midlands chapter as an ordinary member of the committee with aims to be involved in organising in person events once Covid19 restrictions are lifted and they’re able to be scheduled. I am also a STEM ambassador which is something I’m glad I’ve been able to continue on with since my involvement as a STEM ambassador during university. This has allowed me to remain involved in the STEM events run at the university which has continued virtually over the past year.
I’ve greatly enjoyed my two years in the industry, and I’m at the start of what I hope to be a varied and interesting career in remediation.
Ynysarwed Mine Water Treatment Plant (January 2020 – Current)
Worked to develop the initial design and detailed design of the mine water treatment plant upgrade. Produced several
process flow diagrams, mass balances, equipment data sheets and cost analysis to aid design. In addition, supported
the ground investigation works by producing a Ground Investigation Specification, Permits and Licences report and
A38 Derby Junctions (January 2020 - Current)
Prepared controlled water Detailed Quantitative Risk Assessment using the Environment Agency’s Remedial Target
Methodology for metal, inorganic and organic determinands assessing risks to groundwater and surface water receptors.
Updating remediation strategies to reflect data collected during the most recent ground investigation.
M54 M6 Link Road (December 2019 - Current)
During PCF Stage 2 wrote the geo-environmental input for the Ground Investigation Report. This included screening and
interpreting chemical and gas data, completing a Tier 1 health risk assessment and a Detailed Quantitative Risk
Assessment for Controlled Water using the Environment Agency’s Remedial Target Methodology. During PCF Stage 4 to
7 wrote the Soil Management Plan and Agricultural Land Restoration and Aftercare Strategy.
Didcot Garden Town Scheme (June 2020 – Current)
Conducted a review of existing information within PSSRs relating to the Scheme. Input into the geology and soils
Environmental Statement chapter including; completing a conceptual site model, obtaining historical data form relevant
statutory parties and helping to coordinate agricultural land surveys.
Pfizer Quarterly and Annual Monitoring (August 2020 and November 2020)
Ground water and surface water monitoring and sampling at a tidally influenced historical landfill site. This involved
monitoring groundwater and surface water with an aqua troll device at low tide and high tide, and sampling using a
peristaltic pump. Assessment of the surface landfill gas emissions was also undertaken by carrying out a detailed
walkover survey using a flame ionisation detector (FID) for methane and a hydrogen sulphide monitor.
Grenfell Soil Sampling (October 2020 – November 2020)
Completed shallow soil sampling in and around the Grenfell tower area. This involved driving around to various
predetermined locations, sampling the soil according to the soil sampling protocol and documenting each step. This also
included VOC sampling to BS10176:2020 standards in some locations. Additionally, this role involved a limited amount of
interfacing with the public.
HS2 Bat Surveys (August 2020 – October 2020)
Undertook a series of tree tagging surveys, bat emergence surveys, bat roosting surveys, and trapping and tagging
surveys as a second surveyor. This involved assisting the lead surveyor and completing the relevant Fulcrum forms.
Corning Glass (April 2020 – July 2020)
Researched and designed a questionnaire to present to various companies with the purpose of determining the feasibility
of borosilicate glass recycling and the available market for recycled borosilicate glass products. This was followed by a
written desk study report compiling the collated questionnaire responses and available research.
Greasbrough Junction/ Whins Roundabout (September 2019 – December 2019)
Completed a Coal Mining Risk Assessment for the Site. This involved producing a report using the Coal Mining Report
and viewing Mine Abandonment Plans obtained from the Coal Authority.
Watford Police Station (September 2019)
Undertook a Phase 1 Environmental Desk Study for the conversion of the old Watford Police station and magistrates into
residential buildings and office spaces. This involved the sourcing and collation of environmental data to identify any
potential sources of contamination, producing a conceptual site model and risk assessment.
Avenue Southern Access, Derbyshire County Council, Wingerworth Chesterfield (October 2019)
Undertook scheduled groundwater sampling and ground gas monitoring at the Site.
Gale Common Ash Disposal Site (October 2019)
This involved the collation of environmental data to identify any potential sources of contamination, produce a conceptual
site model and risk assessment
Shipley Lakeside (September 2019 – October 2019)
Undertook scheduled groundwater sampling, surface water sampling and ground gas monitoring at the Site.
Dollman Farm, Rugby (September 2019)
Reviewed and Input into the Geo-environmental and Geotechnical Ground Investigation Interpretive Report for re-issue.