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Ground Investigation Specialist of the Year

Innovation and excellence in site investigation, surveying and monitoring are recognised in this category. Entrants must demonstrate how innovative use of existing techniques or pioneering new technology improved their investigations or surveys to deliver a high level of site information for the client.

Central Alliance

central alliance

central alliance

In May 2017 Central Alliance reported that revenues had grown by 61% to £4.12M and employee numbers had risen from 10 in May 2015 to 85.

In the last year the firm has won ground investigation tenders for the Transpennine Route Upgrade, A1 Birtley to Coalhouse, and A1 Scotswood to North Brunton for Sisk Lagan JV.

Central Alliance has also continued to be chosen as the preferred pre-construction services supplier for Amey, Amco, Bam Nuttall and Story Contracting. The firm has also won supplier places on national framework agreements with several large contractors.

Dunelm Geotechnical and Environmental

dunelm logging

dunelm logging

With an increase in turnover of around 90% over the past five years to reach £4.5M in 2017, Dunelm Geotechnical and Environmental has been able to increase staff numbers by 30% and open a materials testing division.

According to the firm, the increase in turnover is partly due to the type of projects it is undertaking, including some large-scale specialist site investigations, which have illustrated the company’s expertise and commitment to provide the highest standards of quality controlled service and product.




Faced with collapsing prices in the oil and gas sector, Fugro re-focused its business on infrastructure and integrated five UK businesses into a single team of 520 people. This, the firm believes, has led to a growth in site characterisation and generated geotechnical revenues of £80M in 2017.

Despite the firm being the world’s biggest provider of ground investigation services, the UK team has been fundamental to this growth and has worked on HS2, Hinkley Point C, Thames Tideway, York Potash Mine, and the A14 and A9 upgrades.

Ground Stiffness Surveys

ground stiffness

ground stiffness

Since its formation in 2015, Ground Stiffness Surveys has grown rapidly in terms of turnover and capability in response to the ongoing development of its Advanced Continuous Surface Wave (ACSW) testing system.

Research by the firm has demonstrated the application of ACSW beyond ground stiffness profiling for foundation design into novel areas such as control testing, mine workings investigation and non-destructive investigation beneath slabs. As a result, the firm has nearly tripled its turnover from £96k in 2016/17 to a predicted £277k in 2017/18.

Raeburn Drilling and Geotechnical (RDG)



Over the past 12 months RDG has seen its turnover increase by 2.5% and profit margin increase by 9%. The purchase of four LS250 rota-sonic drilling rigs and tooling, ICPMS for their chemical laboratory and expansion of geotechnical laboratories has enabled the firm to lay a benchmark and show its intent for the future.

RDG has ensured a balance between maintaining its small to medium customer base while adapting and expanding to facilitate major infrastructure investigations. With contract values ranging from £1.1M to over £3.8M, the average value of projects undertaken by RDG has increased by a 290%.




In 2017 RPS’s UK site investigation and remediation team continued to grow both in terms of revenue, and staff numbers.

RPS was appointed to HS2’s Ground Investigation Framework in 2014 and according to the firm it has since been the most successful framework contractor, securing more work packages than any other framework provider – with 13 out of a possible 26 work packages. In addition to work for HS2, the firm has carried out over a £2.5M of ground investigation on the proposed M4 Corridor around Newport.

Soil Engineering Geoservices

soil engineering

soil engineering

Around a fifth of Soil Engineering Geoservices’s staff are female including in the senior management team, which according the firm can be put down to internal promotion and has seen the senior management team add to its skill base while coincidentally lowering the average age of the team.

Major project awards for the firm have risen by 113%, including the completion of six work packages for HS2, providing ongoing support to a Coal Authority subsidence investigation and works for Transport Scotland.

Structural Soils

structural soils

structural soils

Last year was the busiest ever for Structural Soils. In 2007 the firm won its first seven figure contract and 10 years later the firm completed six separate contracts all worth in excess of £1M, including HS2 and Wylfa contracts - each worth more than £3M.

By the end of 2017 the company reported a turnover of £22.2M, returning 25.7% above budget EBITDA and a 17% growth on 2016 sales. Due to this growth Structural Soils has actively recruited across increasing the number of full-time employees by 9% to 246 people.

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