Fishing for vital company knowledge: Peter Walker in the Financial Times
24 May 2016
RSK principal aquatic consultant Peter Walker has appeared in the Financial Times following an interview and site visit by journalist Emma Jacobs, who wanted to know more about his role in assessing how large construction projects could affect the environment.
The article begins by explaining Pete’s role: “The aquatic ecologist advises companies on the environmental impact of construction and engineering. In other words, he will tell a developer how to build a dam, bridge or pipeline crossing rivers or seas, and how to do so in a way that protects fish.” It then asks Pete about his fascination with aquatic ecology. He says, “It gives me an opportunity to have a look into that hidden world that other people don’t get to see.” The article also details how ecological discoveries are a mixed blessing for Pete: on the one hand, he is excited to see rare fish and, on the other, he knows that his finds may impede a project’s progress and cost the client a lot of money.
Going on to describe Pete’s role in more detail, the article mentions his employment at RSK, the company’s move into Iraq and its work on the planning of large UK infrastructure projects such as HS2 and HS3. Discussing how technology has changed the aquatic ecologist’s job, the piece describes tracing water samples for DNA analysis and using drones to survey large areas as two of the more modern methods that assist Pete with his job, but in clarification says, “It makes his work quicker, but is unlikely to do him out of a job.”
The article concludes, ‘If a construction company was about to disrupt a salmon spawning site, you’d have to have very good reasons for doing it. It’s not just a case of not making things worse, but if they can [they make] things better than when they started.”
Subscribers can read the full article online. For more information, please contact Pete Walker.
Geoenvironmental engineers Katie Foster and Emma Hobbs, members of RSK’s Manchester geosciences team, attended the University of Manchester’s ‘Celebrating Inspiring Women at Manchester’ event on 8 March.
RSK director Sue Sljivic has appeared in the infrastructure magazine Infrastructure Intelligence where she gave her opinion on how to encourage more women into a career in engineering. Sue told the Association for Consultancy and Engineering publication that “to encourage girls into engineering careers, it’s what happens outside the classroom that matters.”