1970 - 1979
Guy Spiesburger - 1
After a career in the oil industry, Guy sadly died in 2008. - Brian.
John Lovell -
Dear Dr Walton, or perhaps after 45 years I can
call you Brian
I came across your website when playing round on the internet,actually searching for
I graduated Geology/Chemistry in 1970 in a cohort
that included the late Guy Spiesberger, Stuart Arguile, Leo Bradley,
John Jury,Janet ?? and Marguerite Siouville. Stuart joined the Coal Board,
then went to Canada working for a mining company and returned to
the UK a couple of years ago. John Jury went to Indonesia and many
other places with an exploration company (maybe Schlumberger). I've no
idea where the ladies
went, and we all lost touch with Leo. There were
also two mature students, but I can't remember if they graduated - Mr Hardman (naturally christened 'Hardcase') and Mr Vivers (Old Man Vivers, of course).
I joined the Geological Survey in London, Leeds, Nottingham and Edinburgh until redundancy in 1999 forced a career change into teaching English abroad and then retraining as a physics teacher. Now nearly 69 I am still working, although on reduced
hours (kids' uni fees etc etc - you've heard all that before I expect).
Naturally I remember well the times at Pompey -
they were most enjoyable and greatly enhanced by the field trips;
Dr Rothstein's route marches round the Lizard, riotous trips to South
Wales and the Forest of Dean led by Mike Chaplin and Pete Jones (where is he
now?) and your own rather quieter and more local trips to Dorset. It's interesting and informative to reflect on the differing teaching styles of all the lecturers, and the effect they had on me particularly as I am now experiencing the delight
and naturally I incorporate as many rocks as possible
into my science lessons. Geology is unsurpassed as a layman's subject, as
I'm sure you'll agree.
The technicians were also an integral part of my
education; I remember John Vigay
whose brother was principal cellist in one of the
leading orchestras, and a red-haired girl whose name I've forgotten
(Yvonne??) but who married one of the students and moved to Leeds, where I bumped into them in a pub several years later.
Kind regards and a belated thanks!
Alan Miles - 1
I consider myself very lucky in that I've been in geology all my
working life. I have travelled and worked all over the world, have
obtained a M.Sc from Imperial College in Engineering Geology and after
all that I still enjoy what I'm doing.
Alan J Miles BSc (Hons) MSc CGeol
Principal Engineering Geologist
As of 12 August, Babtie Group became part of the Jacobs group of
companies and is now known as Jacobs Babtie
Graham Baldwin - 5
I noticed the brief article in the June 2006 edition of GeoScientist and felt I had to respond.
have fond memories of my three years at Portsmouth from 1969 to 1972
studying Engineering Geology & Geotechnics. I particularly
recall a field trip to South Wales where you and I had an interesting
experience with a bull in a field! After graduation, I went on to
work as an engineering geologist in Europe, Africa and the Far
East before settling in Vancouver, Canada in 1980, picking up an
M.Sc. in Engineering Rock Mechanics from the Royal School of
Mines, Imperial College, along the way. I continue to work
in applied geology (though no longer on the technical side),
now being President & CEO of InfoMine Inc., a Vancouver-based
mining information company which I co-founded in 1990 after
completing an M.B.A. and the University of British Columbia.
We now have over 50 staff and offices in Canada, U.S.A., Peru and
For a reasonably current photo, see http://www.edumine.com/xedumine/authors.htm?author=baldwin.
President and Chief Executive Officer - InfoMine
Tel: +1 (604) 683-2037 ext. 224
Fax: +1 (604) 681-4166
David Borton - 1
David sent a very interesting, but quite long email which I've saved as a pdf file - Brian.
Christmas 2008 Newsletter
the September school holidays we took the RAV with some friends up to
Mildura on the Murray to have a very special dinner at Stephano De
Pieri’s restaurant and drove on to Broken Hill where we stayed at the
Miners Arms B and B run by a geologist friends wife. We camped at the
Mootwindji National Park where we were attacked by Apostle birds and
did a walk into the gorges. Then we went north to Tibooburra on the
edge of the Strjezlecki and Stony Deserts and looked into Charles
Sturts early explorations in the area around Depot Glen looking for the
inland sea. Watched the Grand Final at the pub in 36 0 C
(spring weather). Now that is desert like I have not seen
before in Australia, more like the Namib. Tested the 4WD capabilities
of the RAV, and came back looking forward to the next trip and doing
the grey army trip round the country..
All round it has
been a good year with close to full employment until this week. Things
don’t look so good from here though from the exploration employment
perspective as mines close and exploration is stopped. How quickly
times change! 2004 saw no hope of raising money for exploration
and no work, 2005 signs of change, the super cycle was raised, raising
money was possible and some work came along, 2006 still raising money
and good work. 2007 having money thrown at one from all directions and
lots of job offers and as much work as one wants, the super cycle was
going to last well into retirement whoopee. Then to 2008 the slow train
crash to apparently not a hope in hell of raising money and drillers
and geologists phoning up regularly looking for work, retirement
plans put back a while.
From a work perspective the
year has seen a few trips to the Mt Carrington/Drake mine area in
Northern NSW. We have optioned the properties to Rex Minerals.
spent a week in the Great Victoria Desert WA, starting another
geologist off on a drill program for uranium, funded by our Canadian JV
partners Mega Uranium. A major logistical challenge being 500 km east
of Kalgoorlie with sand dunes, no water, 4 different contractors all in
great demand. It is fascinating country with salt lakes, sand dunes,
dunarts, camels and, an extreme sense of remoteness.
a month in July with Drake Resources, looking at copper prospects in
Sweden, which was a great experience. Most of my time was spent in
wilderness north of the Arctic circle based in a hotel in Kiruna, home
of the huge iron ore mine and the European rocket launching facility or
Mala where the Swedish Geological Survey have their core library and
exploration archives. What fascinating country, mainly swamp, mosquitos
and reindeer. Bears keep you alert as you wander the forests.
What a contrast to Australia. Spent a weekend at Aura Energy’s Storsjon
uranium prospect near Ostersund in central Sweden (Aura is the other
company I consult to), where we have been drilling a very large low
grade uranium, molybdenum, vanadium deposit. We have just signed a
heads of agreemeny deal with a Chinese company Sino King Investments
and they will pay a $1M upfront fee and will spend $14M on
exploration over the next 30 months after signing bringing the
project to feasibility. At that point they have the option to purchase
80% of the property for $460M. They are conducting due diligence on it
Hope the snow is not too much of a concern and
that your heating keeps going. Unlike my brothers who has had 3 days
Regards to Joyce
I am well thank you. Congratulations on making 4 score.
are well and largely semi-retired and living 5 days a week in the upper
Yarra Valley an hours drive from Melbourne at a beautiful village
called Warburton where we have a lovely cottage with amazing rainforest
views. The other two days are spent in Melbourne at our Glen iris
address where we look after grandchildren.
am still doing work in Norway around the Sulitjelma Cu Zn mines,
but with the downturn in exploration funding it is significantly
otherwise is very active with membership of a table tennis group giving
me 4 hours a week of good brain challenging exercise. I am also
Secretary of the Friends of the Lilydale to Warburton Rail Trail a
group advocating for the betterment of what is Australia’s most popular
rail trail with 0.25 million visitors a year. I am also on a sub
committee of the local Yarra Valley Community economic development
group working towards a mountain bike hub in Warburton with about 98kms
of trails through the forest. Needless to say I do a lot of bike riding
and bush walking.
Sally is on the committee of the Film society and coordinator for the Annual Film Festival which is a major tourist attraction.
are members of the local U3A and I do plan to run a course on the local
historical gold mining industry and possibly even the local geology.
We have a lovely large garden 1100m2 and
grow most vegetable as well as avocados, oranges, lemons, grapefruit,
kiwi fruit, cherries apples, blueberries and plums as well as 32
Donna Buang 1300m behind us is a local cross country skiing and
tobogganing centre so we have lovely 4 season weather pattern with
about 1.2m of rain a year.
is also semi- retired but his company seems to be doing well. His oil
industry work has clearly paid much better than my metals work as he
has a magnificent refurbished small chateau in the south of
France and is living in Newbury. Bob and Jacky Fagg email is firstname.lastname@example.org
I last communicated I have managed Drake Resources exploration in
Norway funded by Panoramic Resources the WA nickel miners. However with
nickel prices plummeting they have closed one mine and survive on their
other mine but with cutbacks on exploration anywhere.
go sorry. Thanks for the contact and keep fit and well. I plan to do
the Annapurna Circuit walk in Nepal in March next year with some 60-75
year old friends and then we plan to visit UK next September which may
take us to Emsworth.
Geoff Dickinson - 5
08 September 2010
I stumbled on the web site this morning and found it very interesting.
I graduated in 1972 from the Engineering Geology and Geotechnics
program. After two years at (what was then) Mott Hay and
Anderson, my wife and I moved to Canada where we have been ever since -
first at McMaster University, then to New Brunswick. My career
has been entirely in consulting, firstly geotechnical then gradually
migrating to hydrogeological. I began TerrAtlantic Engineering
Limited in 1999 (www.terratlantic.nb.ca
). One of my sons is now heading up our geotechnical efforts.
I had a good telephone conversation with Neil Duncan about 10 years ago
- astonishingly he seemed to remember all of his past students,
including me. I keep in touch with fellow grad. Paul Summers
- Paul is trying to retire in New Zealand but at last count was working
on contract at a new power station project in Botswana.
|Geoff R. E. Dickinson, M. Eng., P.Eng., FEC
|TerrAtlantic Engineering Limited
515 Beaverbrook Court
Fredericton, NB, Canada, E3B 1X6
telephone (506) 460-8660
fax (506) 460-8679
Bob Fagg -
Good to hear from you again, sorry I haven't replied to your earlier e-mail.
Jacky and I moved in to a house in Newbury three months ago and have been really
busy with my work and Jacky's voluntary work, doing the house up and a escape to
France for 3.5 weeks in September, all in the last three months. This summer we
gained two more graduates to the family, Jacky's son Richard with a 1st from
Bath Spa and Fiona (my 3rd daughter) with a 2:1 from UWE, so four graduates so
far. Katrina my youngest has started at Southampton Solent studying Fine Art,
she advised me on Thursday that she had just had just finished a 3 hour life
drawing of a rather large lady which she really enjoyed as there were so many
curves and folds etc, a bit like Geology! David (Borton,
1972) is over from Australia mid
December so I'll forward your e-mail to him as well.
Potted History for myself.
72-92, Worked originally as a mud-logger for Exlog, proceeded in to
Management, Training, Recruiting (new graduates from the Milk Round), Marketing,
Personnel, Operations, working out of Windsor and Aberdeen, Regional Manager in
Aberdeen before returning to Windsor as special projects director.
Joined P I Erico for two years in Putney as Operations Director.
Joined up with Ralph Steen ( a Graduate from Hull whom I recruited to Exlog
in 1980) and formed Stag Geological Services based at Aldermaston (office based
just on the right side of the AWE!!) in 1995, just had our 10th Anniversary.
Besides work, Jacky and I have nurtured the six offspring who are all happy
in their jobs etc most of the time, we are trying to spend more time in France
but our workloads don't seem to be decreasing but hopefully we will there nearly
full time later next year.
I still play sport, but more sedate games - cricket and golf. I try to get
down to Fareham and play golf with Steve Allen (also 1972) once a month. My football prowess
as the Polytechnic goal-keeper was called upon last year, when a French friend
of ours organised an 11 a side game in our local village, France v England (well
9 English and two Latvians, one of which wore pink socks!). We agreed to play
their veterans side, but they played their 1st team which included an
ex-Marseilles winger. We lost 7-1, but we out sang them at the party afterwards
and our daughters were asked back to support the local team on Sunday as they
had never seen or heard such vocal support before ( thank goodness their
knowledge of English was poor). Anyway end of Football career at 53.
That about sums up career to date, there are many parts omitted, but needless
to say one of the best decisions I have taken so far in my life was to study
Geology at Portsmouth.
Fran Bennett ( Ashton ) - 2
Date sent: 05.10.06
been meaning to contact you again for years, hope you and Joyce are
well and all the staff I remember are enjoying life. I saw your
notice in Geoscientist in June and I feel very guilty for not
contacting you sooner.
As you know after graduating from
Portsmouth I worked as an engineering geologist for Howard Humphreys
and Sons, now Brown and Root, in Leatherhead for 5 years and then for
the BGS in Edinburgh before returning to the midlands to work for Alex
Malkin in stoke on trent. Alex very kindly offered me part time
work through my child producing years despite contractors adverse
comments about a pregnant engineering geologist supervising drilling
rigs!. Eventually my husband who is a mechanical engineer moved
to Wakefield and I just had to follow. In 1991 I set up my own
consultancy in engineering geology and environmental science in
Holmfirth near Huddersfield and am still beavering away on sites all
over the country but mainly in the Midlands and the North.
am a chartered geologist and chartered environmentalist and a Fellow of
the Geological Society, a Fellow of the Institute of Minerals, Mining
and Metallurgy, a Member of the Chartered Institute of Water and
Environmental Management and a Member of the Institute of Environmental
Assessment, plus a mother!
Our work involves
geotechnical, mining and environmental investigations using a great
variety of drilling rigs followed by laboratory testing and
interpretative reports for land audits or for planning and
construction. We also do water wells, slope and rock slope
stability, landfill etc anything which involves ground and/ or
groundwater. Now I am of mature age I am asked to do expert witness
work and Public Enquires too. I still get involved in geology as
a hobby, talking to local schools and colleges and helping with school
trips to Iceland and taking on work experience pupils who want to
pursue a career in geology to give them a taste of field work. I also
have a huge collection of geological specimens mainly minerals which my
husband has now banned to a room above the garage. I go tripping
around the globe as often as I can, mainly with one or other of my
three boys on a rugby trip and always come home with a rock laden
suitcase. Geologists can somehow never stop thinking and
breathing geology, it is a great subject to study and I have had a very
enjoyable career working on different sites every day and meeting new
people every day. Great fun.
My eldest son Jonathan
graduated as a mechanical engineer like his dad and is working in
Cheltenham, my middle son Tristan completed a degree in industrial
product design but seems to prefer running trendy bars in Leeds and my
youngest son Robert is studying law at Leeds. They are all very
sporty and continue to enjoy rugby and more daring sports like white
water rafting. Ralph and I have always been car mad and since
2000 have owned and raced 1925 vintage cars as a hobby. Jonathan
is now sharing my Frazer Nash but he is beating my race times so I
think it may be time for me to retire to rallies. We took the
Nash to New Zealand in 2005 and spent four weeks driving north to
south, fabulous country and very kind people always ready to help when
it broke down!
This year I traveled to Namibia and South
Africa, with a rugby team, and met up with Martin White in Durban who
was in my year at Portsmouth. He gave up working in the copper
mines many years ago as he did not like the lack of Health and Safety
and has carved out a successful career in the Insurance business.
We spent a very enjoyable evening together. I wish I had known
more peoples whereabouts as I could have visited them on my foreign
travels. Do you have an up to date address book for my
year. Are you still on the Isle of Wight? I shall make an
excuse to come south in the summer and see you.
best wishes to you I have such good memories of my time at Portsmouth
thanks to you and the Mikes and the Petes etc. Give my regards to
all who will remember me,
Ashton Bennett Consultancy
Tel: 01484 689531
Fax: 01484 689932
12 April 2011
hope Joyce and yourself are well, having visited your site I realised
it was 5 years ago I last wrote and to keep you updated I am still
drilling all over the country and sorting out rock slopes and
remediating ghastly sites! In addition however I have set up
another company Earthtest Energy employing geologists and mechanical
and electrical engineers to design and install ground source heat to
domestic and commercial premises by means of vertical open or closed
loop methods. It is all very exciting and we are undertaking
projects from Dundee to Bristol, although we have not had a project
near Portsmouth as yet.
middle son Tristan is now working in Ashton Bennett with me
as an engineer and my husband also works for me heading up the
engineers in Earthtest. My eldest son is a mechanical engineer
and doing very well at Delphi in Stonehouse, Glos and my youngest
son Robert has eskewed engineering and is a lawyer in London. The
boys are taking Ralph and I to Arran this weekend for four days as
a treat, I think the men will visit the distillery while I track
down dykes and gabbros and Huttons unconformity.
employ a large number of graduates over the years for 6 to 8 week or
longer periods for them to get work experience to obtain employment and
I have a very bright graduate (Leeds) with me at the moment who wishes
to work in the minerals industry (gold not coal!) in Australia and I
wondered if you had Dave Bright or Nigels email addresses or could
forward any other 'old' geologists emails who work in the industry in
Australia and who may be glad of the help of a very keen and bright
geologist. Thank you Brian.
Look forward to hearing from you and please do call if you are up visiting friends or passing through yorkshire,
David Bright - 2
I'm still in Perth, Western Australia with my own environmental consultancy
Nigel Maund - 2
Date sent: 25 Oct 2000
Thanks for replying so quickly. My excuse for not having been in contact is
that during the last two years I have experienced disaster on top of
disaster with several members of my family dying including my son. I was not
really in any frame of mind to communicate with anyone. Last March, the
company I was consulting for in West Africa ran out of money and could not
afford to keep me on. So I have not undertaken any geological work since
then. I obtained an interim position working for a firm of Actuaries based
in Abingdon, as a pensions review officer, chasing after people who have
been missold pensions by the insurance companies. I am still looking around
for geologic work, but so far without any success. Strangely enough I pulled
some of your work off the internet for Tom Elder on komatiites.
Trev left geology a long time ago and since 1995 has been working for my
brothers company, Achilles Information based near Abingdon. He now dabbles
in geology as a hobby as well as his greater love, flamenco music.
I suggest we arrange a get together after the end of your autumn term just
before Christmas. Please pass on our kindest regards to all the staff who
may remember us at Portsmouth in particular, Mike R, Mike C, Pete Jones, Greg
P, Mike B and Brians W and D.
Look forward to hearing from you
Regards - Nigel Maund
Hope this mail finds you and your good wife in good health and spirits!
I got your E mail address from Trevor Jenkins.
I am now based in Saudi Arabia as Chief Geologist with Ma'aden
(TheSaudi Arabian Mining Company) working under Dr Mike Clarke. We are
exploring the Saudi Shield for gold and are having a lot of success. As
you may imagine, it pretty hot right now with Temps between 40 and 50
celsius. By mid afternoon the rocks are far to hot to handle!
I am mostly based 800 km north east of the Red Sea port city of Jeddah.
The desert is very spectacular in parts. Other areas are barren and
virtually featureless. Biggest problem is lack of water and frequent
dust and sand storms. I navigate almost everywhere by hand held GPS.
Often I make bee lines for points in the midst of the desert as there
are no roads only bedouin tracks. The latter meander seemingly aimlessly
across the desert either going to scattered wells ot their camp sites.
The scenery is one of reg or erg desert with scattered groups of
inselbergs to heights of between 400 and 2,000 feet. Most of the
inselbergs are developed from small grey or red granites plutons or red
bed sandstones. Anyway, I am having an interesting time.
How's retirement? I guess your enjoying sailing from Bosham and in the
Chichester harbour area. Old Vespasians centre of military operations
during the Roman occupation! I imagine you derive a lot of enjoyment
from the Chichester theatre and the excellent social environment there!
You must have built up a good circle of friends and be having a lot of
I am off to the Philippines on holiday next month. I may have try to get
up the Mayon volcano in southern Luzon and vist Mt Pinatubo near Bagiuo
City, also Luzon. Mayon is a fair old hike being 8,600 feet high from
sea level! I'll need a good guide which I understand I can hire through
contacts at University of the Philippines Geology Dept. If I manage to
make it I will e you some photo's!
Please pass on very best wishes to Mike Barker, Greg Power, Mike
Chaplin, Brian Dayly, Mike Ryan, Peter Jones and Pete Hall. I miss all
of you guys. We all had very fond memories of the staff at Portsmouth.
You were a terrific bunch to be taught by. Its a pity the work took us
so far away that over the years we just lost contact. I guess it
becomes a matter of sorting out one's priorities!!
Anyway will keep in touch. Very best wishes Brian!
Hi Brian and Joyce,
Sorry to hear you getting a fairly typical British June. Hopefully, the
weather will be more summery by July or August!
I have been climbing in the Alps every year with my brother Clive and
sons Giles and Nicholas. Usually, I climb around in the area around
Fussen and Zugspitze. However, I expect you had a very enjoyable
holiday. Venice is a wonderful city isn't it! Once you get away from the
crowds clustered around the quay and St Marks Square, Doges Palace and
into the backstreets it suddenly becomes very peaceful and you can
absorb the incredible ambience of the city.
I shall be fascinated to read your memoirs Brian! as will many of the
Portsmouth Alumni. I must say for Trevor and I the years at Portsmouth
were very happy ones. The staff were quite simply terrific. Trevor
recently e - mailed a Staff photograph for the Geology Department dated
1973. I have printed it and will have it framed. Brian you look so young
in the photo, and as for Clarke Friend and Mike Barker, they still
looked like they were students! I guess you have a copy of this photo.
I shall be going to the Philippines in July and will be getting married
to an old friend from the Philippine mining industry, Dolores Orera
Labajo. I hope you will one day meet Dolores as she is a very nice lady.
She is about as tall and as sweet as little Fran Bennett (nee Ashton).
Needless to add we are very good friends, and though that its about time
to put the friendship on a permanent basis. I have little idea as to the
wedding arrangements as I have left it all to Dolores. We will be doing
a full ceremony in December to which I hope Trevor will come. Trevor and
Dave Bright have been lifelong friends. I am still in contact with
Graeme Leith and Nick Littlewood but unfortunately have lost contact
with Hillary, Martin, and several others I would like to contact. Graeme
and Sue Leith are running a country house hotel just outside Helston,
Cornwall. Nick is a private design artist in the advertising industry.
I am delighted you are enjoying your deserved retirement Brian. I shall
be setting up house in Queensland on the Barrier Reef. Once I have and
address and contacts established in Australia, you and Joyce are always
welcome. If I am not there and you fancy a rest from the cold English
winter, I will be arranging to set up my house as a free holiday home
for my friends. I will arrange for the keys to be kept where they can be
picked up on viewing your passport, then you just return them when you
Please pass on my kindest regards to Mike Chaplin, Mike Barker, Greg,
Peter Jones, Old MJR, and last but by no means least Good Ol' Pete Hall!
If I come to the UK I will certainly let you know and thanks very much
for the offer - I's love to see you both.
Take care Brian and very warm wishes to you both
I was surprised and very delighted to hear from you!
My apologies for this late reply, however, I have been
away on a drilling project in Southern Kyrgyzstan
where I am Chief Geologist for UK listed company
Palladex plc (www.palladex.com). I received a great
picture of you, Mike C, Mike B, Greg, Pete, and MJR.
Please pass on my very warmest regards to them all.
RSM was never as good as Portsmouth. Indeed, I still
regard my three years at Portsmouth as some of the
happiest years of my life, and I can quite see why
Pete Hall stayed on there! The staff, were, without
any flattery intended, a tremendous group of people
with in retrospect excellent teaching qualities. We
were all very lucky to be there! I am sure Trev and
Dave completely agree. You can tell Mike Chaplin, I
thought he was an excellent lecturer and teacher in
the field. Superb.
Brian, I have enclosed an slightly dated CV. My career
has been a bit complicated so please pass this on to
Mike. I have done a big re - evaluation of the Resck
- Lahoca Porphyry Cu - High Sulphidation gold system
which I felt Professor Ferenc Molnar (Eotvos Lorand
University - Budapest) and I could have published a
landmark paper in Econ Geol had Magyar Gold not run
out of money. I did a big re - log of all the diamond
drill core and made numerous major discoveries which
should have gone into the literature. Feri did some
excellent petrologic and SEM work plus fluid
I may join SUR AMERICAN Gold Corp of Canada as their
VP - Exploration in the Philippines in September as
they are drilling out a big porphyry Cu - Au system
Brian, I shall be in the UK on holiday from 25th
August till 8th September as my third son, Nigel Jr.
is going to school in the UK with my brother Colin as
his guardian. He is now just 14. Is there any chance
of meeting you and others at Portsmouth or seeing you
in Bosham?? I'd love to meet some of the old staff. I
may spend a couple of days down there to see Pete,
Mike Chaplin, Mike Barker, Greg and MJR, as well as of
I have enclosed some pics of my family, 1st and 2nd!!
My son Giles has just finished University at Oxford
Brookes and now works for my brother Colin's company,
Achilles, based near Didcot, and Nicholas is doing
very well in his studies at Bournemouth in computing.
He is also in the TA with the Devon and Dorsetshire
Regiment, where he is the battalion's best marksman!
My warmest and kindest regards to you and your family
Any news of any of the others from the class of 1969
to 1973? I have kept up with Nick Littlewood, Graeme
Leith, Dave Bright, and my lifelong best friend,
Trevor, who my entire family think of as a brother.
Many thanks for your kind mail below. Trevor and I
plus my family will be coming down to see you and,
hopefully, other members of staff when I get home on
the 24th August. I will give a telephone call to make
the arrangements and select a time suitable to you.
I have attached the pictures on Dolores and Nigel Jr
and one of Giles and Nicholas. Giles has graduated
with a 2(2) after being hospitalized over the exams at
Oxford with Crohn's disease. Anyway, thank God, he has
made a full recovery after his big operation. Nick is
sitting on a 1st in computing at Bournemouth, and won
the marksmanship award for his TA Regiment, the Devon
I have just been offered the job of VP - Exploration
for SUR AMERICAN Gold Corp a Canadian junior
exploration company with very good gold and copper
prospects in the Philippines and Columbia. Tell you
more when I see you. Next week I am doing a project
appraisal in Iran and Azerbaijan for porphyry copper -
Brian, I am looking forward to seeing you very much.
It's great, after all these years, to be able to keep
in contact. We all owe you so much, and enjoyed your
company very much indeed and hope to do so for many
years yet to come!
My kindest regards
Warm seasons greetings to you and your good wife!
My apologies for not seeing you in the UK as I had
hoped to do. However, on arrival my company Palladex
begged me to ruturn for one week to Kyrgyzstan to help
them sort out some urgent geologic problems. So my
holiday was wrecked! Also we got very busy in
organizing our son, Nigel Juniors, entry to boarding
school near Reading. I was racing around for three
days equipping him much to Department Store
D and I will be in the Uk next year and will come down
to Portsmouth then to see as many of you as possible.
Please pass on my warmest regards to Mike Chaplin,
Mike Barker, Greg Power, Brian Daly, Peter Jones, Pete
Hall and MJR.
A very happy Christmas and enjoyable and rewarding New
Year to you and your family.
Great to hear from you!
Please send me your telephone number at home so I can
call you. Telephone calls between the UK and Australia
are very affordable.
Many thanks for the job offer, however, I am now
Director - Technical of an Australian junior
exploration company called Fairstar Resources Limited,
based out of Perth in Western Australia. We have some
good gold prospects in Western Australia and are
looking at a good prospect in Chile.
Dave Bright lives only a few miles from me and we see
quite a lot of each other.
I will call Mike Ryan anyway. Thanks for his number!
Brian, its a pity we're all so far away as it would be
wonderful to meet you now that you have time and are
enjoying your retirement. I will be back in the UK to
see my two sons Giles and Nicholas, so will hopefully
see you then. However, I probably won't come until
My kindest regards and best wishes
The following experience has been acquired in gold mining
geology and exploration management:
Resident Mine Geologist (Arcturus Group Gold Mines -
Project Manager (Sabodala Gold Project - Senegal, KJL
Gold Project - Liberia)
Senior Geologist – Area Selection / Gold Deposit
Modelling – W Australia (BP MIL)
Senior Geologist – Olympic Dam Cu – Au – U – LREE
Mine, South Australia
Chief Geologist (Africa - SAMAX Gold Inc.; Saudi
Arabia – MA’ADEN)
Country Manager – Senegal (Paget), Gabon (Lafayette)
and Vietnam (Portman)
Exploration Manager (Australia & SE Asia - Paragon
Resources Ltd, Australia)
Experience gained in all gold deposits types including:
Placer gold (Vietnam, New Zealand – 2 years)
Epithermal gold (Romania and Hungary, SE Asia – 7
Archaean Shear Hosted Gold (Australia, Zimbabwe,
Tanzania, Liberia and South Africa – 10 years)
Birrimian Shear Hosted Gold (Senegal, Cote d’Ivoire,
Ghana, Gabon and Mali - 5 years)
Olympic Dam Cu – U – Au – LREE deposit (Australia – 3
Pan African Belt gold deposits (Congo and Saudi
Arabia - 2 years)
Arcturus Gold Mine (LONRHO)– Venus section extension,
Zimbabwe - 500,000 ounces at 12 g/t Au (1978) Sole discoverer.
Ceylon Mine - West Extension, Zimbabwe (LONRHO) –
250,000 ounces at 36 g/t Au (1978) Sole discoverer
King of the Hills gold mine (1983), Western Australia
(BPMIL) – now part of the (3 million ounces +) Tarmoola gold mine
complex mapped as the Harbour Lights – Mt Clifford Break very similar to
the Kirkland Larder Lake break in Canada.
Pinnacles (Comet) Mine open pit and u/g, W.A.(Paragon),
– 500,000 ounces at 5.5 g/t Au and 7 g/t Au (1986 – 1988) Sole
Bullabulling (now Resolute Resources Ltd) Mine, W. A.
(Paragon) – 150,000 ounces at 1.40 g/t Au – Laterite gold (1986 – 1988)
Shared with G Williamson, K Biddle and M Wilson
Longos Mine open pit – United Paragon, Philippines
80,000 ounces at 3.5 g/t Au (1987 – 1988) augmented the substantial
underground gold reserve of 750,000 ounces. (Open Pit sole discoverer)
BSc (Hons) 2 ii Geology – Portsmouth Polytechnic (CNAA)
MSc and D.I.C. Mineral Exploration, Royal School of Mines,
Imperial College, London
MBA Cranfield University – Business School, Bedfordshire,
Date : 21.09.08
a great picture of you both on your site! If you don't mind me
observing you are both aging very gracefully and looking extremely
well! I am currently working for Portman Mining Limited as a senior
consultant but hoped to be offered a very senior position in the US
mining company Cleveland Cliffs in the New Year leading a new base
metal and nickel exploration division. I was recently made Fellows of
both the AusIMM and Australasian Institution of Geoscientists. I keep
up regularly with Dave Bright and Trevor Jenkins. Trevor is still
working with my brother Colin. David has been successful as an
environmental geologist working on the rehabilitation of Perth's
wetland and coastal areas. Please pass on my kindest regards to Mike
Chaplin, Brian Daley, Greg Power, Mike Barker and Peter Hall. Dolores
and I may come over to the UK in 2009 and if so will come down to see
you. My very kindest regards and best wishes to you both!"
my hearty greetings at this important time of year. What a pity we do
not live closer so that we could meet you both for a drink and catch
up! I am now Consultant Chief Geologist for the US company Cliff's
Natural Resources and still based in Perth. If I get over to the UK in
2009 I will let you know and we can arrange to meet. In the meantime I
wish you both a most happy and enjoyable Christmas and very happy and
rewarding (in the full sense of the word) New Year!"
I have just returned from detailed logging of drill core at our Mount
Jackson iron ore project north of Southern Cross. The temperature was a
fairly hostile 46C with the temperature peaking at 5pm! I have made an
interesting discovery as what was thought to be Archaean BIF is part of
a VHMS system like the Abitiibi so we may have base metal ...
Read Moreand gold potential as well. Many thanks for the letter from
Mike Chaplin. I will be writing to him. Delighted to here you are both
very well and enjoyed your Christmas and New Year.
how are you both? We're all well particularly now the weather is
cooling off a bit! I was working out in the Eastern Goldfield's in 46C
(shade) with loads of flies! I've been made Consultant Geologist to
Cliff's Natural Resources (US iron ore miner and now head up new
business development team). I should be off to Argentina to review a
large prospect / project in April and may catch up with my brother
Clive who now lives in Chile. How's Pete Hall? Please pass on my
kindest rergards to him! My kindest regards to you both and hope the
weather is warming up a little after this winter!"
23 Jan. 2011
"Brian, I haven't communicated in ages! How are you both? I am still
living in Perth and am now working for the Sydney based PlatSearch N.L.
as their Business Development Manager. I have located a lot of good
projects in France and do quite a bit of work out of Orleans where we
have an office. I am on my way to Prague to review another exploration
opportunity. It'll be a bit chilly! How are Mike C. Mike B, Greg P,
Peter H and Co? I was in the UK briefly just before Christmas and
managed to see Trevor Jenkins who is looking very well. He still works
with my brother Colin. Any chance of you holidaying in Australia? I'll
try and get down to see you with Trevor when I next pass by the UK. I
hope the winters turned out a little milder! Australia has been
absolutely inundated with floods stretching from Queensland to Victoria
over an area the size of most of Western Europe! I hope your both
keeping well and look forward to seeing you both in 2011! Nigel"
Real geologists! - Geological Survey of Greenland, 1973 (Front left - Pete Hall and Dave Hughes, centre - Brian Walton)
Mark Aldridge - 2
Date sent: 28.09.06
Good morning Brian
I dont know if you remember me, Mark Aldridge, I graduated with Wes Gibbons,
Glenys Rugman etc.
I last met you in a cafe in Winchester one Christmas, if I remember rightly
you were off to a concert. It must have been ten years ago at least.
I am currently working out in Nicaragua, with Condor Resources, and am in the position to offer work
to three geologists. Given the current geological climate we are having difficulty
recruiting and I wondered if you know of anyone or would mind spreading the
What I am after is.
One computer orientated geologist to be trained up to do some 3D modelling.
It would be better if he had some previous experience in modelling software.
One field geologist with one or two years experience, although I would consider
fresh graduates who were not afraid of work.
One field geologist with five to ten years experience.
That is the ideal wish list but in truth any warm bodies would be considered.
The job here is fascinating, the rocks are definitely at the sexy end of
the geological spectrum and going to work looking at gently smoking volcanoes
beat commuting in from Hillsea. Not to mention the girls!!!!!
I am working out here with Chris Bullen another old Portsmouth reprobate.
Do you remember him.
Many thanks in advance. Just ask any interested people to e-mail a cv to
Mark ( email@example.com )
15 Jan. 2011
I am just at a loose end and thought I would send you a career and news update.
have just arrived out in the wilds of Para State in Brazil to do a six
month rig baby-sitting job for Serabi Mining. I thought I had retired a
year ago but with the early arrival of winter my spirit weakened.
I contacted you last I left my job in Nicaragua with Condor Resources.
The excitement was just a little bit too much for my ageing body. I can
handle the “narcotraficantes” driving through the licence area, I can
handle the dead bodies found en-route to the day’s work (shot), I can
sleep through the nightly gun battles in the local village, but when
balaclava wearing and pistol pointing bandits jump out on you on the
way back from trenching a man has to say enough is enough. I don’t know
whether it was political, personal or economic but I just gave them
everything of value and ran home to mum. Mind you I did have a certain
amount of satisfaction when two days later the area was devastated by
an hurricane (serves the bastards right for shooting at me).
a quieter life I took a job with Mano River Resources on an iron ore
project out in Liberia. The thinking behind this was even though they
had only come out of a vicious civil war the year before, at least I
would have the UN contingent to look after me. It was a fascinating
place to work. I was amazed with the total contrast between the casual
laid back attitudes of the Sierra Leonians and the aggressive
in-your-face approach of the Liberians. It is not a place for the shy
retiring sort and would be the career downfall for any fresh graduate.
Iron ore geology is dead easy, dangle a magnet on a string and get a
Thesaurus with 101 words for red. Mano River formed a joint venture
with Severstal which coincided with my father dying (no connection) so
I decided to retire at the age of fifty-seven. I should probably
mention that this decision was also made easier to make when my exit
visa was cancelled after my local driver took me to court for
infringing his human rights. Don’t ask, but I think it was something to
do with me expecting him to work.
Then back to England
to the worst winter for many years. How I suffered, I think I spent the
whole winter wearing every item of clothing I possess.
was spent enjoying myself in England with the odd trip abroad to the
Ivory Coast, Ghana and Mongolia to keep my geological hand in (I am
just weak willed when someone offers me a paid trip to an interesting
I am currently living on a care and maintenance
mine site and am rattling around with twenty of us sharing
accommodation for five hundred. En-suite rooms with kitchens attached,
BBC World, Skype, twenty-four hour internet, all the mod cons that I
find rather strange after years of living in everything from fly-camps
to brothels (I still have a child-like fascination with light switches,
hot water and flushing toilets). I am supervising a small man portable
diamond drilling rig and as long as I can keep up with that I will be
fine. We mobilized drilled for three days and are now shut down for the
Christmas/New Year break so I now have two weeks to log twenty-five
metres of core.
The plan is to have a structured
semi-retirement and just take the jobs that look interesting and are of
short duration. I need some time off to use my new toy. In a fit of
madness I bought myself a carbon fibre recumbent bicycle and am now
putting the fear of god into motorists around the Surrey and Hampshire
As my mother says “when will you ever grow up”.
The answer is probably never.
I am still in touch with Glenys Rugman but that is all.
That is all for now.
I hope you are keeping well.
18 Sept. 2011
Just a quick up-date. I have just changed my personal internet address and the new one is:
you could up-date your records. The Serabi one I am sending this from
is the company one and when I move jobs it will be deleted.
am currently still out in Brazil trying to finish the drill programme.
It is proving to be a bit like Topsy, no sooner do I get the end in
sight than more holes are added. I am not complaining because it means
more $$$ which are always welcome. I may or may not be finishing at the
end of October, after which I may or may not be going to the
Sudan/Ethiopia/somewhere else to work.
My only other
news is that I was at home on leave in July and a bloody car driver
knocked me off my bike and broke my collar bone, a standard and at the
time very fashionable (Bradley Wiggins broke his the same day in the
Tour de France) cycling injury. The result was two months off work and
an hefty claim presented to the other driver. I was lucky that there
were lots of witnesses and he was fully insured. I knew immediately
what had happened having broken the other shoulder skiing. It was
totally pain free (or possibly my scale of pain is a distorted one) and
I was out on my recumbent the next day (I can ride it one handed and it
does not fall over). Such is life, he didn’t mean to run me over and
shit happens, you just have to accept it and move on.
I hope you are well and enjoying life.
Jim Graham - 5
- Married (twice) with three children, ages 9 to 27. Have lived
in Colwyn Bay, North Wales since 1982. Interests – church, hill
CAREER – After graduating in 1974,
spent 6+ years on Zambian Copperbelt (at the same time as Tony
Harbottle, who now lives in Canada), mainly concerned with stability of
underground openings at Luanshya Mine.
Took Imperial College MSc Engineering Geology in 1981-2.
Moved to North Wales to join James Williamson & Partners (now Mott
MacDonald) and have stayed. Work on a broad range of geotechnical
and related projects, mostly in North Wales, specialising in rock
stability and anchorages.
CONTACT – 01492-534601 (work) or firstname.lastname@example.org.
David Maynard - 2
Date: 29 May 2011
leaving Portsmouth I was offered a mud-logging job in Libya on the day
that the last(?) Arab-Israeli war broke out. I was on the verge of
going to the Libyan Embassy with my passport, visa application and
twelve other passport photos when I chickened-out. That was the most
significant, instantaneous decision that I may have ever taken, as it
was the key break between geology and the rest of my life.
did do some ‘undisturbed’ soil sampling for Geo-Research based in
Stockport in 1975(?). Working on a small rig ..the most notable jobs
were the Meols Sewer Relief Scheme in the Wirral and, ‘God forgive me’,
the route of the M3 through the River Itchen’s beautiful water meadows,
later to be trashed by the M3 itself.
Next, I worked
for the Manpower Services Commission in Stockport Job Centre. What an
easy job that was. Within days I had completed all the training (which
should have taken weeks) and was in full control of Women S to Z and
Professional and Executive Recruitment applications. It was then that I
discovered that most people had difficulty reading and writing !
then slid into applying to train to be an Environmental Health Officer,
which I have been since 1979. I worked for
Stockport Council until May 2011 when I took voluntary redundancy and
early retirement as part of the government-induced austerity measures.
am now at leisure, though I am applying here and there for
other positions ... with no response so far. Who knows what tomorrow
My only claim
to fame is that I was a founding director of KFM Radio Ltd. We won the
then IBA franchise in 1990 to run a radio station for South Manchester,
based in Stockport. After a short while we were bought-out because we
had what they call now ‘a poor revenue stream’. The service is now
called Imagine FM and is part of the UTV Radio Group. I designed and
built the broadcast and production studios. We brought together Craig
Cash and Caroline Aherne of the Royle Family / Mrs Merton etc. fame,
neither of which would have hit the TV screens in the UK without KFM as
The upside of
all this is that, in staying in Stockport, I re-connected with
Patricia, the long, lost love of my youth, pre-Portsmouth Poly. We were
married in 1986 and I inherited a ready made family of 3 kids.
So that is it from me so far. If any one wishes to contact me through your forum or e-mail at email@example.com
, then please do so.
Fran Miller (Keeble) - 2
When I left Portsmouth I did a PCGE at CF Mott in Liverpool. Then returned
to Portsmouth (when I married Andrew Miller, former Portsmouth geology
technician) and started teaching at Mayfield Comprehensive. After a couple
of years we moved as a family to Cheshire following Andrew’s work with ASTMS.
After our daughter was born and started school I returned to work (armed now
with a history A level!) mostly doing maternity leave cover for various
secondary schools locally, teaching geography and at one point working in a
partial hearing unit attached to a comprehensive.
Since 1992 I have also been working part time, increasing to almost full time
now, for Andrew in his constituency office. For those who don’t know
Andrew is now MP for Ellesmere Port & Neston, we may not have the wells and oil
rigs - but we do have Shell’s refinery!
So I have ended up as an/assistant/office manager/ secretary/ caseworker/etc to
Jim Munns - 2
6 August, 2009
I thought it was about time I added a few words to the website so here goes 35 years in a nutshell.
I graduated in 1974 with a lower second in Geology. I guess my
claim to fame was walking out of an Igneous Petrology practical and
bumping into Andrew Rothstein on the way out when he said “if you leave
now don’t bother coming back!”. Of course being 19 years old I
just kept on walking! I had to complete the course work on
Igneous Petrology from the text books in the library thereafter; needless to say I did soft rock geology in the third year.
somehow have managed to work 35 years in the Oil and Gas industry
without being unemployed which is a minor miracle in itself. I
did have a close shave in 1999 when BP and my employer Amoco merged and
I found myself surplus to requirements after 20 years with Amoco.
After graduation in 1974 I found myself working as a processing
geophysicist on Saudi Arabian data based in an office in Croydon.
I realised fairly quickly that the path to fame and fortune was to work
for an operating oil company, preferably a large one. I
eventually got a job as a seismic interpreter with Texaco working the
UK North Sea which led me to Houston, Texas for the first time in 1978 to work in their Research Centre on the early versions of 3D seismic processing. From there
I joined Amoco in 1979 as I wanted to work as an Exploration
Geologist. Inevitably my background in seismic processing meant I
migrated back to geophysics but eventually I became an Exploration Geophysicist so finally got make maps and recommend wells to be drilled. I then spent 20 enjoyable years at Amoco including 4 years based in Norway and two years responsible for Northwest Africa exploration. The abiding
memory from that is going to a pre-spud meeting for our first well in
Sierra Leone and the local witchdoctor chanting a spell to ward off the evil spirits away from the well site! It did not work as the well was a dry hole and we came in about 3000 feet high to prognosis. I guess the lesson learned was not to rely on local knowledge.
leaving BPAmoco I joined the Department of Trade and Industry at a time
when the oil price briefly dipped below $10 a barrel and Exploration
collapsed on the UKCS.
The DTI decided that to ensure the continued viability of exploration
and appraisal activity on the UKCS it had to mount a campaign to
attract a new generation of companies into the UK. In 2001 a
small team of 2 was given the brief to market the UKCS abroad to
attract new companies into the arena with an initial focus on North
America as so much of exploration funding appeared to be controlled
from Houston and to a lesser extent Calgary. This was an area
that neither I nor my fellow team member had much experience in so we
faced a steep learning curve and a number of trips to the States and
Canada in “the back of the plane”. One amusing event took place in Houston. We arrived at the office of a significant Independent oil company that
is now a major player in the UK and were shown to the Board Room.
The CEO welcomed us and started to tell us how pleased they were with
their assets in Australia and how they planned to grow their business
there! He also noted that some governments such the UK had recently changed the tax regime for the worse
and this really made it difficult to undertake a new country entry if
the tax regime we unpredictable! We sat there not knowing what to
say and interestingly the other Board members did not correct their
CEO. Suddenly he realised we were not representatives from the
Australian government and seamlessly started talking about his company's interest in the UK, without referring to his earlier comments on the tax regime!
I joined Endeavour Energy as Exploration Director in 2004 as a new start-up company with a business plan to grow in the North Sea. I was their first UK employee and we now have about 25 people in London and Aberdeen. It has been a roller coaster 5 years but we have been reasonably successful having been involved in three discoveries, the largest being the
Cygnus Field in the Southern North Sea. This is a basin which had
its first discovery over 40 years ago but recent appraisal drilling has
indicated that Cygnus could contain reserves of over a trillion cubic
feet of gas and ultimately could be one of the 10 largest gas fields in
the UK sector of the Southern Permian basin. Not bad for a mature exploration play, and I mean the basin not the geologist!
A fairly recent highpoint in my career was when I was elected as President of the Petroleum Society of Great Britain (PESGB) for 2005. It was an honour to be recognised by my peers and contemporaries’ and also to be able to give something back to a profession which has served me so well. On a personal note I am now a proud grandfather to Jacob who is two and on a recent holiday was introduced to the rocks in Northern France just south of Cherbourg, ironically the cliffs were part of a granite body cut by dolerite dykes! I expect Andrew Rothstein had a quiet laugh!
That’s 35 years in a nutshell. If any of the crowd of ‘74 fancy a beer and are in London do look me up. My contact details are below and by the way if Alan Taylor reads this I know I owe you lunch!
7 August 2009
send Alan the email. He will call me asking for his lunch!
Alan is the only one I see relatively frequently. I bump
into Peter King occasionally; he ran his own well site geology company
for a number of years and very occasionally Paul Connell who is working
as a consultant micropalaeontologist. I lost touch with Glenys
and Richard (Pop) Bearman about 10 years ago. I know Clive
Needham who is at ENI but he did a joint degree and I am not sure which
year he graduated.
I have had a
very enjoyable and varied career and count myself very fortunate.
In the last 7 years I have been trying to give something back hence my
involvement with the PESGB. I have also served on the Technical
Committee for 2 of the North West European Geological conferences (the
so called Barbican conferences) and have chaired both Organising and
Technical Committees for PETEX which is the main UK based
conference /exhibition for subsurface geosciences held bi-annually in
I really enjoyed my time in
Portsmouth and feel that the London External degree gave a very sound
framework in geology. It was an exciting time to be an
undergraduate as plate tectonics and sea floor spreading were still
relatively new concepts. I remember the excitement when
“Understanding the Earth“ was published as the format of the book was
I did meet Mike Ridd some years ago but only once or twice.
Best wishes to you and your family and now I have finally made contact I will keep in touch.
Exploration Director, Endeavour Energy UK Limited
114 St. Martin’s Lane
London WC2N 4BE
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7451 2357
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7451 2350 (switchboard)
Fax: +44 (0) 207 451 2351
Glenys Rugman - 2
25 Jan. 2011
Good to hear from you. I hope you are well. Are you still lecturing at Portsmouth?
I haven't seen Mark for years but get a card every Christmas and the occasional email.
am busy with some geology work, trying to learn Welsh (now that I am
living in Wales), rowing and some family history research. I have
competed in a number of rowing competitions over the last few years and
won some medals - I took part in the World Masters Rowing
Championships in Canada last September but only came third in my race.
still seem to spend most of my geology time on African mines and
projects although I have been to Brazil and Peru for short periods. I
have been involved in a wide range of minerals over the years and a
selection of mining methods including underground and surface
operations - usually mines but some exploration around existing
Alan Taylor - 2
Have finally got round to an update. See below for a light hearted and more anecdotal CV, far more interesting!
Trust all is well.
1974-79: Robertson Research, sedimentologist
1979-81: Total, exploration geologist
1981-89: Phillips Petroleum, Chief Geologist
Hamilton Oil, latterly BHP Petroleum, Exploration Manager
1998-present: ATenergy, Director Upstream Business Development
had an interesting career, starting out when the North Sea oil province
was opening up. I particularly remember working on the first regional
model for the Brent facies and trying to figure out T-Block and the
intricacies of the Upper Jurassic boulder beds – the analogous
Helmsdale Boulder Beds remain one of the most bizarre and intriguing
sedimentological phenomena in the UK. I did many trips to the Moray
Firth in those early years and have fond memories of Brora and
Helmsdale, but not forgetting of course the Clynelish distillery.
Whilst on the subject of bizarre field trips, I would like to remember
my good friend and colleague at Phillips, Giff Kessler who sadly passed
away a few years ago. He would have been most honoured to have this
1978 photo of him published, demonstrating the mass flow model!
Giff, 'Fearless on the Helmsdale Boulder Beds'.
Phillips Petroleum was a great place to work, that was until T Boone
Pickens and Karl Ikon did their worst in 1985. Phillips never really
recovered its former eminence from those corporate battles and in 1989
the lure of Hamilton was too great.
Hamilton was something else; a smaller company but fantastic
camaraderie and a reputation of getting the job done. Such was my
experience – within a short while of joining I was presenting the
results of the first Liverpool Bay discovery well to Fred Hamilton, an
experience I shall never forget. Fred stopped me after only a few
minutes and said “Alan, I can see what you are about to say (the
brightly coloured and felt pen annotated faxes received that morning
and strewed across the wall gave the story away). Stop the well and
drill an appraisal.” Within two days we were ready to suspend the well
and move to the appraisal location, only to hear that the next rig
operator had withdrawn its consent for us to keep the rig for another
slot. We had to wait a while before we could drill again but this time
not an appraisal, the Douglas discovery. In 1990 Hamilton participated
in something like 12-15 wells and discovered oil or gas in just about
every well it operated; the only total dry holes were farmouts! Malcolm
Pattinson, our Exploration Manager and hero of the day duly picked up
(metaphorically speaking!) the UK Explorer of the Year award.
I moved on from the comfort of the North Sea in 1993 and as Exploration
Manager for the Middle East I spent a third of my time working in
various Middle East countries (another third was spent in the UK and
the other third in aeroplanes!). We worked on projects in many
countries and I got to make many new friends throughout the area. I
remember well the first visit to Iraq in 1995 – an old, a very old,
Iraqi owned and driven GMC Suburban picked us up in Amman and delivered
us 14 hours and many breakdowns later to the Rashid Hotel in Baghdad.
Over 40 visits and many years later I am still learning about Iraq and
the Iraqis; a shame a few politicians hadn’t done the same! To me Iraq
is a fantastic place of incredible beauty, of dusty and dirty waste, of
squandered opportunities, of human suffering and of great and warm
people. The real squandered opportunity was in early 2003 – the
opportunity to settle disputes over the table. Unfortunately that was
not to be, the rest is history.
Since setting up ATenergy in 1998, I have continued in the Middle East
and North Africa, and in particular have maintained friends and
contacts in Iraq (and out of Iraq as sadly the migration of highly
qualified and capable Iraqis continues). Most of my work with ATenergy
is commercial and project management, and we’ve had a few successes but
being a consultant those have to remain under the belt for now.
photobelow is interesting. I took it en route to Erbil. Shows a
NW-SE trending anticline and the surface expression of the Hamrin oil
field in Iraq. The field is about 1,800 million barrels reserves and
yet to be developed. Note in the distance the anticline is cut and
offset by a NE-SW trending reactivated basement fault - the river
Tigris passes through the weak point. The continuation of the anticline
forms another oil field, the Makul field (also undeveloped but only
30mmbo). Where the Tigris flows to the left (southeast) is the town of
Baiji with its large oil refinery (Iraq's largest) and pipeline pumping
stations. It is from Baiji that Kirkuk oil flows north into Turkey
(ultimately to Ceyhan) for export.
still maintain an involvement in NW Europe with ongoing exploration and
oil & gas field development projects (mainly UK and Ireland).
Please note that friends, clients and colleagues will no longer receive
Christmas cards from us; we now make an annual donation to Care
International. A very admirable and gentle lady by the name of Margaret
Hassan was working in Iraq as the country manager for Care
International – working on such humble projects as the supply of clean
water to local communities. She was abducted in November 2004, never to
be seen again. I met her and her Iraqi husband a couple of times in
Baghdad and was most impressed by her caring nature and her total
commitment to help others. Care International is one of those charities
specialising in local infrastructure projects and helping local
communities to help themselves. They are also a charity which puts a
high percentage of donations into actual projects.
Alan Bell - 2
I retired as field trip secretary of West Sussex Geological Society in February. I had been doing it for 11 years and
needed to resign because things are very busy at work at the moment, especially
as we are about to transfer to CapGemini from EDS. It could be interesting times
ahead. Luckily I still find the job quite interesting especially the Customer
Bogdan Dobraszczyk - 3
Date sent: 05.09.06
nice to hear from you. What are you up to these days? I guess you have retired to the wilds somewhere interesting.
interesting to see what the others have all been up to since they left
Pompey. They all seem to have had much more interesting lives than me!
Anyway, here's a brief summary of what I've been up to since 1975.
from Portsmouth in 1975, I decided on a change of direction and took an
MSc in Materials Science at Thames Polytechnic (now grandly called
The University of Greenwich!). After that I went to Bath
University to do a PhD in Materials Science looking at fracture
mechanisms in wood using acoustic emission and really liked Bath,
got married to a pharmacist in 1983 (good for the pills!) and took a
PGCE teaching certificate. 1982-1985 I was a lecturer in Science
at a private college in Bath teaching chemistry and physics to
rich arabs - most of them had more expensive cars than my house! In
1985 we moved to Reading, where I did a postdoc in fracture and cutting
of frozen meat, and in 1987 I got a job as a scientist at RHM (Rank
Hovis McDougall) Research Centre in High Wycombe - my first proper job,
my wife said!
I stayed at
RHM for 10 years until 1997, working on how to make bread more cheaply
so they could give it away in the supermarkets! In 1997 I went back to
the University of Reading as a Senior Research Fellow in the Department
of Food Biosciences, where I am happily but insecurely existing on
any grant income that I can generate. Most of the work has been
on characterisation of the gluten proteins that occur in wheat and
their role in stabilising the gas bubbles that give bread its volume,
and along the way I have achieved fame (but not
fortune) inventing a test machine that measures the expansion
properties of these bubbles in dough - used by bakeries worldwide.(http://www.stablemicrosystems.com/
Dr Bogdan Dobraszczyk
Principal Research Fellow
School of Food Biosciences
The University of Reading
PO Box 226, Whiteknights
Reading RG6 6AP, UK
Tel. +44 (0)118 378 8714 (direct)
+44 (0)118 926 7240 (home)
Fax.+44 (0)118 931 0080
Richard Holt - 2
1975 - 78: PhD Open University - Geotectonic
Evolution of the Pan African Anka Belt in NW Nigeria
1978 - 82: Postdoc Open University - Structures,
Geochronology, Metamorphics - Archaen of South India
1982 - 84: Consultant to the then CEGB - Seismic
Hazard Working Group
1984 - 94: Joined Phillips Petroleum UK and,
rising to Exploration Manager, sorted the Exploration department out and
found some oil and gas after Alan Taylor,1974 left.
1994 - Present: Founded and developed Earthworks
at www.earthworks-jobs.com the
world-leading on-line database of jobs for Geoscientists.
Dave Mellings - 2
BSc Geology (2:2), Portsmouth Polytechnic, London External, 1975. MSc
Petroleum Geology, Imperial College, London, 1984 (Distinction). MSc
Sedimentology, Birkbeck College, London (Distinction), 1993.
My first real job after graduating at Portsmouth was working for Hunting
Surveys on a soil survey in Saudi Arabia, looking for potential farmland. An
interesting year, travelling and working all over the desert. Waking up in
the morning and seeing the beautiful majestic giant red sand dunes on the
edge of the Empty Quarter was a wonderful experience. After Saudi, I joined
Core Laboratories, and went off for mud logging training in Dallas, Texas,
after which I was assigned to South America, working mostly in Brazil on
offshore exploration wells. I lived in Rio de Janeiro for three years and
got married there (in Copacabana) to a Brazilian girl, Lucia.
After a few years mudlogging, I took a job as a Staff Geologist with
Cities Service, in Houston, where I was involved in oil exploration work in
Kenya and Angola. After two years there, I decided to do an MSc course in
Petroleum Geology at Imperial College, which I enjoyed immensely. After
getting that, I joined Amoco in their London office and worked as an
Exploration Geologist in the North Sea, responsible for four quadrants
(21,22,29 and 30). My main task there was making exploratory well
recommendations on what later became the Everest Field. Then 1986 arrived
and I was laid off in the downturn of that year – an infamous year in the
oil industry! It was major decision time then. I decided I wanted to stay
working as a Geologist, so I looked around and found geotechnical work with
Wembley Laboratories, working on site investigations, for two years. The
work was interesting, especially on sites in Central London as we frequently
uncovered human Roman remains during trial pitting. But one wet soggy day on
a piling rig site, caked in grey London Clay, I decided to reply to an Ad
for Mining Geologists in Zambia. I got the job and worked in the Luanshya
Copper Mine for a year. Interesting work and even more exotic holidays
followed in Africa. Lucia and I spent a whole week on safari in Zambia’s
Luangwa Valley. We saw most types of wildlife, apart from Rhinos. And all it
cost us was fifty quid each (food included). Incidentally, another
Portsmouth graduate joined us on that holiday in Zambia – Nic Browne, 1975.
I then returned to the UK, worked in geotechnics again for a while, and
did some contract work in Sedimentology in Holland and in Nigeria. Then I
re-entered the oil industry as a consultant Wellsite Geologist, working
mostly in the North Sea, with a couple of trips to Trinidad for British Gas.
I clocked up about five years working in the North Sea, during which time I
enrolled at Birkbeck College, London to do yet another MSc ( in
Sedimentology), part time over two years. I enjoyed it enormously. Theres
some fascinating topics in the world of sedimentology. I was especially
interested in "saline giants" and in carbonate platforms (and why they
drown). Indeed, I made this my research topic on the course and went off to
Majorca for a month to study a Jurassic drowned carbonate platform there.
The fieldwork was fun, but to be honest, I probably spent more time in the
tapas bars than up in the mountains looking at rocks. Nevertheless, the
project helped earn me a distinction on the course.
In 1995 I was accepted for some exploratory well drilling in Vietnam,
with JVPC (Mitsubishi Oil). I worked as a consultant wellsite geologist for
them for two years, on a Japanese rig. I found the Japanese very interesting
people and liked them a lot. Actually, Japan is right at the top of my
yet-to-go-to places, but I will one day, soon. We discovered oil in
fractured weathered igneous and metamorphic basement rocks. I also worked
for the Koreans and the Malaysian oil companies out there. Later on I sat
the deepest exploration well drilled in Vietnam. Seven busy weeks offshore,
but I made up for it and stayed for six weeks afterwards in Vung Tau,
partying and having a jolly good time.
While working in Vietnam, I based myself in Thailand, for a total of four
years (another tough assignment), first in Hat Yai right at the south end of
the country, then in Bangkok. I also sat exploration wells in India,
Bangladesh and China while I was out there.
One day, I got into a taxi in Bangkok and it crashed, breaking my left
leg. After two weeks in a Thai hospital, I returned to the UK to recover. It
took a year for my leg to mend. My experience in the Thai hospital was very
painful, yet interesting. I wasn’t given the usual hospital food. The taxi
driver’s wife came to the hospital everyday to give me Thai Red Curry for
dinner. I lost my shoes in the accident and the head nurse bought me a nice
pair of shoes out of her own money. A lovely kind gesture. And then there
were the sixteen year old trainee nurses to chat with everyday, to cheer me
up. They used to ask me questions like "who do you think is more beautiful,
me or my friend?" A very dangerous question indeed. I played at being a
politician and dodged the question – a wrong answer and I could have ended
up with two broken legs!
Luckily my broken leg coincided with a recession in the oil industry.
After the Millenium I started work again as a consultant Wellsite Geologist,
sitting wells in Ecuador, Brazil and Vietnam again. I recently completed
three years in Chad with Esso and the photo I have submitted is of myself in
Chad examining sidewall core samples.
I an currently contracted to Chevron in Angola, which brings me bang up
to date. Wellsite Geology remains my bread-and-butter work. I was tempted to
become a Sedimentologist but I don’t want to give up my six months off a
year and loose my current lifestyle.
Looking ahead, when the next recession comes in the oil business, I will
probably move back into geotechnics, or go and teach English in Japan,
perhaps. The job market for Engineering Geologists appears to be very
healthy. And I’m not discounting going back to university to gain a
geotechnical qualification, perhaps half an MSc, without the dissertation. I
will be learning something or other till the day I leave this world and I,ve
long believed that education shouldn’t just be the preserve of the young.
Now who was it said that everyone has a public life, a private life and a
secret life. Well, here is a bit of mine, more about me as a person. I am
now 51, I,ve thoroughly enjoyed my working life and my personal life. I have
travelled very extensively, been to a lot of exotic places, eaten a lot of
exotic food and met a lot of exotic people. And I,ve got geology to thank
for that. Its taken me all around the world. I,m very thankful for picking
up that book at the children’s library when I was about 7 years old that my
father took me to one day. It was a pictorial book depicting weird and
wonderful sea creatures in a Palaeozoic sea (the bizarrely beautiful
trilobites). I guess, looking back, that was what sparked off my interest in
geology. I,ve always been attracted to exotic things. I’ve worked and
studied hard (and played even harder). In the first half of my career and
life I tended to live to work, nowadays the emphasis is definitely on
working to live. I have many hobbies and interests to persue in my
(typically) six months off a year: Roman Archaeology, wine and wine tasting,
modern art and abstract metal sculptures, gourmet cooking etc. I find people
interesting and love reading biographies of people who have lived
interesting lives or people who have interesting things to say about life
(especially artists). Peggy Guggenheim and Talulah Bankhead are my next
biographical reads. If I ever write my autobiography I,d probably call it
"What’s for Dinner", my calling sign whenever I call home. I love reading
the British newspapers (The Telegraph and the Times), and occasionally some
of the more scandalous newspapers.
My strong interest in modern art takes me all over Europe and I’ve even
started buying original works of art. I spent several thousand quid in
Krakow recently on a painting and a metal sculpture mounted on a block of
solid black rock – please don’t ask me what the rock is – I,m only a
geologist! Favourite art galleries: Tate Modern in London and the Pompidou
Centre in Paris. Cubist art and buildings in Prague. The Doges Cathedral in
Milan, Sagrada Familia in Barcelona (I see it everyday – I live only two
blocks away from it). I like the Guggenheim in Bilbao, the City of Arts and
Sciences in Valencia. The Dinosaur rooms at the Natural History Museum in
Milan are truly magnificent, too.
I,m also interested in aspects of peoples Personalities. I am a
Myers-Briggs ISFP and though I,ve long since been interested in art, I only
discovered my artistic streak Christmas 2004, when a "sketching war" broke
out in my mothers living room amongst my army of brothers, sister and
nephews. I was quite pleased the way some of my drawings of family members
turned out and so now I have added drawing and painting to my list of
hobbies. I only really like sketching peoples faces / portraits. Bowls of
oranges don’t really inspire me. One can have real fun and have a good laugh
sketching people. Both my Brazilian wife (Lucia) and my Colombian girlfriend
(LuzMaria) pose for me (but not at the same time). I intend going to art
I have a lot of holidays, I make frequent trips to Italy to indulge my
interest in Romans. Once again, its Roman people that interest me. My
favourite places in Rome and Italy include the Philosophers gallery and the
Roman Emperors ( and wives/girlfriends & boyfriends) gallery at the
Capitoline Museum, the Vatican museums, Nero’s Golden House, Nero’s second
wife Poppeaea’s villa at Oplontis ( complete with swimming pool), near
Pompeii. Pompeii and Ostia are both utterly stunning. Pompeii has to be one
of the most fascinating places in the world (with or without Frankie
Howard!). I recently led a "field trip" with a couple of young nephews to
show them around ancient Rome and the people who made history there.
My politics is Right wing (in complete contrast to my student days at
Portsmouth). Favourite food: Chinese, Italian and Lebanese. Every time I
come through London I like to eat at my favourite Chinese restaurant, "The
Magic Wok" in Bayswater. Favourite music: a bit of everything really,
everything from Jazz to Opera, Classical (Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin),
through to Heavy Metal and Goth Music.
Although I still keep a house in Staffordshire (voted recently as the
dullest place in the UK to live by "Country Life" magazine – not true by the
way – just ask Jeremy Clarkson!), I have been living in Barcelona for the
last four years. A good place for bohemians and for art lovers.
Should anyone wish to write, I have a couple of email addresses I use:
firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
Philip Morgan - 1
from Virginia -- sounds like you're doing well. Geology at Portsmouth
in the early 70's seems like a life time away --- which indeed it was.
You may recall that after graduation Carol Burrows and I (Philip
Morgan) were married. We have lived in the US since 1984 and have three
grown children. Carol works at a local OB/GYN and I am Chaplain at a
boarding school and Vicar of the nearby parish.
Kind regards to you,
David Atherton - 5
Position: Partner with Peter Brett Associates.
Year of Birth:
BSc (Hons) Engineering Geology & Geotechnics, Portsmouth
MSc Foundation Engineering, University of Birmingham, 1977
Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers, 1999 (Member, 1987)
Fellow of the Chartered Institution of Water & Environmental Management, 1999 (Member, 1992)
Fellow of the Institute of Materials, Minerals & Mining, 1999
Member of the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management, 1999
Chartered Engineer, 1982
Chartered Waste Manager, 1999
Chartered Water and Environmental Manager, 1992
Chartered Geologist, 1990
Fellow of the Geological Society, 1989
has over 25 years experience in geotechnical and geoenvironmental
engineering, waste management and environmental consultancy. His
experience is particularly relevant to the regeneration of derelict and
despoiled industrial land, landfills and areas of mineral
workings. David is also actively involved with waste management
and mineral projects per se. He became a Partner in 1996 and is
head of the Water and Environment Division.
David has previously
worked with specialist contractors and consultants and has considerable
experience in the UK, Continental Europe, Africa, Middle East and the
David’s major UK projects have included: redevelopment of 1000 ha of
brickpits for 8000 houses; environmental management of 3No Channel
Tunnel Rail Link Contracts (c. £300m value); stabilisation of chalk
mines in Central Reading; coastal protection schemes; integrated
gasification, composting, landfill and industrial schemes.
David has been an expert witness in litigation and public inquiries for
building failures, integrated waste facilities (100 ha), slope
instability and gravel extraction. He lectures extensively to the
Institution of Civil Engineers, the Geological Society, CBI,
Environment Agency, Institution of Structural Engineers, RICS,
planners, loss adjusters, universities and schools.
Major developments up to 8000 houses and 600,000m2 of industrial,
commercial and offices.
Environmental Management of 3No Channel Tunnel Rail Link (CTRL)
contracts including Thames Tunnels, and design, supervision & CQA
of a 400,000m3 landfill.
Structures; from housing to multi-storey buildings with basements; underpinning and remedial schemes.
Expert witness for foundation and slope failures, contaminated and
gassing land projects, mineral workings and integrated waste management
and industrial facilities.
Integrated waste management, landfill engineering, waste to energy
projects, biomass schemes.
Contaminated land evaluation, risk assessment & remediation.
Mineral assessments. Coastal, estuarine & fluvial protection
schemes. Coastal, estuarine, & river defences (inc. 300 km
survey); armourstone specifications and landslide remediation.
Hydrogeological studies (including leachate plume studies, groundwater modelling, & Regulation 15 assessment.
Dam design in accordance with the Reservoirs Act (1975).
Integrated waste management, waste to energy schemes & biomass
incinerators – EIA’s, costings, etc.
Landfill engineering (up to 3 million m3) including GCL’s, CQA and gas
Investigation of methane, carbon dioxide, radon and natural gas and specification for remedial works.
Contaminated land: assessment of contamination, risk assessment, and
design of remedial works.
Foundation design: analysis of settlement and heave; piles and
Earthworks: specifications for multi-million m3 of fill; for dams, roads and landfills; cement and lime stabilisation.
Ground treatment dewatering, vibroflotation, dynamic compaction,
vertical drains, grouting, VCC’s.
Slope stabilisation design for rock slopes and clay slopes with relic
landslips including soil nailing and ground anchors.
Ian Moore -
in a nutshell is a tricky one, as you know I did my PhD at Glasgow University
graduating in 1979 in Geochemistry - NE Scottish granites!!!
I joined the BGS in Edinburgh for 2 years where I was seconded out to Cyprus for
the summer in 1981 - honestly!! But most of the time was spent drilling the
shallow marine boreholes in the North Sea.
the BGS to join Chevron in the autumn of 1981 to drill deeper holes in the North
Sea and Spain - stayed with them until 1997. By then I had moved into supporting
the Capital Project Teams putting the Alba Field facilities in place - spending
most of my time out in a shipyard in Northern Spain - Ferrol.
Chevron in 1997 to join Ernst & Young Management Consulting - then our bit
got taken over/sold to Capgemini - so now I lead the Upstream Centre of
Excellence for this side of the Atlantic - I've highlighted some of the things
that I've been up to while being a Management Consultant - as you can see I
don't get much time at home!!
the Upstream Post Merger Integration programme for a major East European Oil and
Gas company - based in Bucharest, Romania
support – provided SME support to team developing a new Strategic direction
for a major offshore engineering contractor - based in Esbjerg, Denmark
support – Member of the team reviewing a suite of an oil majors E&P
projects including Real Time Architecture Process (RTAP) and Hydrocarbon
Accounting - based in Aberdeen.
merger integration (PMI) – led the PMI programme for the world’s second
largest drilling contractor - based in Aberdeen
management – delivered an oil majors Euro implementation programme - based in
management – seconded to the UK Government Cabinet Office for 2 years to lead
the Oil & Gas contingency planning during their Year 2000 programme, and
business continuity plans for oil stocks. Worked with all the Regulators.
Reported to the Home Secretary over the actual date change - based in Cabinet
review – developed and delivered for a global Upstream contractor a market
review and potential acquisition targets - based in Oslo, Norway
support – ran key industry workshops chaired by the UK Energy Minister to map
out the way forward for the Industry Leadership Team (PILOT) and the UKCS -
Management – Led the review of a leading European Upstream company’s IT
functional support to the Operations Group, Governance, Collaboration and
SmartField workstreams - based in Hamburg, Germany. Married
to Janet, and have 2 kids Gregory (8) and Ellen (5).
Global Centre of Excellence
+44 870 366 0474
+44 1483 788 417
15 Feb. 2011
Happy New Year!!
can I say – still in the same role with the Capgemini Global Oil and
Gas Centre of Excellence, helping our clients around the world – be it
in South America, West Africa etc – in fact anywhere in the world where
there is oil and gas. For my sins I sit on the Programme Committee for
the SPE organised Intelligent Energy Conferences – for the past 6
years, the next conference will be in Bahrain in October, it will be
another great opportunity to learn more about what people are doing
around the world in the area of digital oilfields. I still get the
occasional paper published and/or presented at various conferences.
family are all growing up – Greg is 14 and Ellen 11, Janet is still at
Woking High School. Outside of work I’m a RYA qualified inland
waterways instructor, and also hold a Maritime and Coastguard Agency
skippers licence for Class 5 passenger vessels – up to 250 passengers.
Keeping on the nautical theme – my parents are currently on a world
Last summer we went to Cornwall for our family
holiday – took the kids down Poldark Mine, and also around Geevor, this
complemented our trip the previous year down the Big Pit coalmine in
Wales, but it doesn’t look as though they are interested in Geology L.
I think that the highlight last year was at Easter taking a boat from
Inverness to Fort William (and return), and no we didn’t see Nessie!
Though Ellen did do her best Kate Winslet impression coming into the
locks at Fort Augustus – she was holding the bow ropes ready to pass up
at the lock side.
I exchanged emails a couple of weeks ago
with Carol Speirs, so in the summer when all the building work on our
house has been finished Carol and Bob will come over from Reading – if
they came any earlier it would have to be a takeaway! Actually we
should move back in after five months renting next week – going a bit
green by putting in solar collectors for the hot water – we had the
loft converted and few other things done.
All the best – keep in touch.
Ian Moore / Capgemini UK / Woking
Principal Consultant, Global Oil and Gas Services Centre of Excellence
Telephone +44 870 366 0474
1, Forge End, Woking,
Surrey. GU21 6DB
An excellent reunion
of 1977 Portsmouth Geology Graduates was held in Portsmouth on May
17-18, 2014 (40 years since they started as students), organised by Tim
Herrett. Nineteen graduates attended plus 4 lecturers and 15
Ron Birch - 4 ( See also Tim Herrett - 1978 graduate )
29 April 2010
Really nice to hear from you, and glad that you are well and “active”.
Yes, some of us continue to stay in touch 30+years later.
You might want to add Dave Rogers to your list firstname.lastname@example.org
and I shared a house in Portsmouth in 1975 and have worked for the same
companies on and off ever since we joined Core Laboratories in Dallas
Dave is now based in Perth Australia and has gone completely bush.
I am currently living near to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
have followed the usual nomadic oilfield existence living in various
countries, generally staying one step ahead of Interpol.
seems three years is about maximum in this business so my kids have
been educated in Scotland, Italy, Egypt, Malaysia, Canada, Colombia,
Texas, Abu Dhabi, Austria and finally Pennsylvania.
We sincerely hope our youngest gets to graduate high school here….one year to go.
Anyway, best of luck and stay in touch.
Ron Birch and the one that nearly got away! - 2010
Ian Gummery - 4
3 November 2011
Brian - how are you!! Good to hear from you. Not sure what sort of
thing you need for the graduates website - to cut a long career as
short as possible . . . from Portsmouth I joined the oil industry with
a French company and worked as a geologist in various parts of the
world. However I found that geology in practice was not quite as
exciting as you guys made it at Portsmouth, so moved across to drilling
engineering. Here I spent many years working in all corners of the
globe for the French outfit and then as a consultant. Simultaneously I
carried on an amateur career in sport (triathlon) and sports coaching.
This led to an MSc in Sports Science & Sports Coaching at Brunel. I
have now put my travelling shoes away for a while (though I do miss the
adventure) and work at a local sports college in Essex where I head up
their BSc course in Sports Coaching and Physical Education. 30+ years
in a nutshell eh.
Hope you are keeping well - still at Portsmouth?
Take care - Ian
Brian Jones - 3
20 May 2011
Brian, Im not into this Facebook lark myself because I think it's a bit
Big Brother and an ideal source for identity theft. Hence I don't
repond to 'add as a friend'. Hope you are well. Aren't you fed up with
Geology yet?. You should get a more relaxing hobby such as plucking
live chickens - blindfold. I'm still working as a Senior Engineering
Geologist near Dublin, but redundancy is looming if things don't pick
up. Nice to hear from you.
Mike McMahon -
have been working with
1979 for a couple of months now. It was
strange how we both re-met. I was offshore on the Bredford Dolphin attending a
safety meeting and I was chatting to him over lunch and it transpired we were
both at Portsmouth.
have been working at Total in Aberdeen for the last 10 years (consulting of
course)! Currently looking after the Stena Spey which is carrying out workovers
on our Otter field way up North.
have recently re-married (two years ago) to a girl from Limerick in Ireland
(Total sent me over there in 1997) and have a young son Connor aged 4.
(0) 1224 297397 Fax
(0) 1224 296812 email@example.com
E&P UK PLC, Crawpeel Road, Altens Industrial Estate, ABERDEEN AB12 3FG
A big wave - photographed by Mike McMahon.
Dave Rogers - 3
10 May 2010
Well done for keeping the website going, glad to hear you are well and enjoying retirement.
It is amazing that it is now 33 years since the class of 77 graduated and we all set out to travel far and wide
never did make it to my graduation ceremony as I was already working in
Texas, soon to be followed there by Ron Birch and Les Burgess to start
Mud Logging with Core Lab .
My 1st posting was to
Trinidad, followed by Messrs Birch and Burgess. They split off a couple
of years later and I stayed in Trinidad until 1985 having married
Chris, with whom I celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary this year !!
Work took me to Colombia, Venezuela and Surinam. Fellow ‘77Pompey
graduate Pete Hill-Cottingham and family coming down for a visit.
followed a stint thru Dallas and then to sunny Aberdeen, where 3 weeks
earlier Ron Birch and his family had arrived, we soon met up with Big
Ken Johns another Aberdeen resident. Over these years I managed to keep
in touch with Pete Fearn , Cotto, Tim Herrett & Kev Lander to name
but a few, plus if my memory serve me, Marcus Chandler on one of
his visit to the UK.
Ken John left for Singapore and a
little while later Ron Birch departed to Egypt and he soon called for
help, so with a stint of unemployment and life outside the Oil
& Gas industry under my belt , this made that decision pretty easy.
So off we went to join Ron in Cairo and it was a whole new career in
drill bits. After a year or so Ron transferred out and I took over as
manager, developing markets in Syria, Tunisia and Turkey as well as
thoroughly enjoying living and working in such a fascinating country.
to North Sea manager followed and then starting in 1993 I went
into business development (same company) in India and then
in ’95 Russia . The latter was interesting as it was very undeveloped
in the early days and travel intra Russia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan ,
Ukraine and a bunch of smaller Stans was a “challenge”. With an
average of 100 flights / year for each of the past 5 years it was
time for a change.
By now the company I was working for
(ReedHycalog) was a part of Schlumberger and Sept 2000 saw the Rogers
family departing to Adelaide where none other than Les Burgess was
living and working as a wellsite Geologists in the Cooper Basin
(a small world !!).
2004 saw us headed to Perth and
deciding to take out Australian Citizenship to be able to stay in
Oz and finally stop globetrotting -except for vacations and meetings !!
I am currently looking after NOV
Downhole's operations in Australia, New Zealand and PNG. Where we
provide drilling tools ,drill bits and Coring services to the Oil and
Gas industry. This means I have the occasional trip to Adelaide,
Melbourne, Brisbane and New Zealand, with the occasional trip to
Singapore , KL or Dubai. Life is good !! ( I still have not discovered
a poor Australian City or bad drop of Ozzie red, but I continue to
search diligently for both)
I did see Pete Fearn
in Houston a couple of years ago and to my knowledge Ken Johns is still
in Thailand, Ron as you know is in Pennsylvania and Les Burgess is
still in Adelaide . Not sure about anyone else,
Thanks for keeping the website going and I hope we can catch up at some stage.
Keith Saunders -
July 1977 Graduated (age
45) with Joint Hons Geology/Physics.
Sept '77 Joined Physics Dept
Littlehampton School (11 - 18 comp, 2000+ on roll) Teaching physics to 'A'
level + some chemistry and materials science etc. Also continued teaching
'A' level geology at Chichester College of F.E. (evenings).
Feb '78 promoted official
No 2 in Physics dept and made responsible for introduction of computer into
curriculum (with ONE BBC computer with 16k RAM soon upgraded to 32k). 'How
could we ever use all that memory', I remember thinking!
Jan '82 Hulme Grammar School
for Girls (11 - 18). Oldham as Head of Physics. A selective, mainly
fee-paying school' this was a great contrast to L'hampton.
Designed new laboratories and associated
facilities. Introduced electronics course. Joined in expedition training for
Duke of Ed. award scheme. Joined and helped run CCF, R.A.F.section at
associated Boys' School Continued with this activity, except when overseas,
until age 65.
Jan '87 - Aug '88 Voluntary
Service Overseas (VSO) post as Head of
Physics, Inst. of F. E., Grenada, West Indies. Was effectively Head of
Science and only 'A' level physics teacher on Grenada main island. Designed
and organised EU funding to equip complete suite of new laboratory
facilities. Represented I.F.E. on building site committee for these
labs. Designed a science equipment package for all Grenada's secondary
schools and procured funds for these through ODA (now DIFED). Introduced BBC
computer to IFE (ODA funded).
Oct '88 - Jan '90 University of
West Indies (UWI), Barbados Campus. ODA funded post as Project Manager for
pilot project to introduce computer as teaching tool for science/maths at
pre-degree and 1st year degree level in 9 'non-campus' East
Caribbean islands. A very intensive period involving much travel and
negotiating at ministry level in the various disparate islands. I learned a
Feb' 90 - Mar '04 On return to
UK joined Special Needs Education service in Oldham. Worked in a variety of
settings including schools for young people (11-19) with severe learning
difficulties; moderate learning/behavioural difficulties; severe
educational/behavioural and main-stream support units. Also a couple of
terms and supply work teaching Maths at Chichester High School for Girls.
I forgot the Cambodia and Tanzania
Mar - Jul '97 VSO post,
Ministry of Education, Phnom Penh, Cambodia.Adviser for Strategic
Plan to implement government policy for national secondary Science and
Maths education. Also adviser to Science text book writig group.
(Cambodia had no text books and few teachers post the Kmer Rouge
regime). Posting ended soon after the July armed government coup.
Nov '97 - Feb '98 Hirani
Ratcliffe Development Consultants (HRDC). Assistant to lead consultant
Mike Ratcliffe on Education Development Programme (especially science
and maths) for Government of Tanzania.
During this period increasingly involved with
outdoor pursuits. Also undertook several Charity Challenge Treks, the most
recent (Nov'04) being to Torres del Paine, Chile to raise funds for SCOPE
(for people with cerebral palsy). See also - http://members.aol.com/menpatrek/pubpage.htm
Jan '05 - present Leased
11 acres of pasture near house to run a small flock of sheep (Jacobs and
Black Wensleydale), produce hay, try minimum fertiliser methods. In
particular I want to experience 1st hand, if on a small scale, the
difficulties of modern farming, especially those associated with the recent
major changes in the EU Common Agriculture Policy and its implementation.
Involved with River Colne Environmental Project
and in running the Saddleworth Pedestrians walking club (150 members).
Main other continuing interest - photography
Granite peaks at Torres del Paine - Chilean
Patagonia. Photo by Keith Saunders
5 March 2011 (Keith - 79 this year!)
I've just looked back at your earlier emails and realise I'll be in the
Lake District with the 'Peds' 25 - 28 March so will miss your 'Big One'
in Bosham. Hope all goes well with the show!
I'm still waiting for my last few ewes to lamb. The 22 are doing well -
the eldest will be 9 weeks old on Monday. and feeling very adolescent
Had a busy week: recced a walk in glorious weather on Tuesday that I'll
lead tomorrow; to Colne Valley High School Wednesday to help get a
gardening/orchard project going; took friends out Thursday (a lovely
couple but the husband is quite ill) to a place they can take their
dogs (2) and park away from a road and then do a steady walk in
beautiful moorland near a reservoir set partly in woodland; yesterday
in support of a friend (Fred) doing navigation training for 6th form
college people on their first outdoor training exercise for D of E Gold
expedition. Did they need support! All 3 groups of 5 got mislaid (if
not lost) within half an hour of setting out! So long as they learn
from their mistakes they'll be fine; today I've been 'chief carver' for
the Linthwaite Methodist Church's 'Old Folks Treat'! This was the 150th
successive year they've run this event where all pensioners in the
parish are invited to a fine 2 course lunch followed by an afternoon of
entertainment. I first learned of it when invited as an old gaffer some
years ago. I replied that I didn't feel I qualified yet so for several
years now (excepting last year) I've been carving the meat for about
120 folk'. I get to eat with the second sitting. The event takes place
in the fine church hall (they knew how to build'em, those 19th C
methodists!) and the tables are laid beautifully - linen cloths, fresh
flowers etc and the service to table runs like clockwork - well it
should after 114 years! I've never stayed for the entertainment, but
it's professional stuff and folk speak highly of it.
So, after that it was home for a bit of outdoor work. It's been a
pretty gloomy day - drizzle this morning, cold and clammy, and the
cloud has never cleared. It should be better for my 12 mile walk
tomorrow. In between all that I've been working on my shed and the
preparations for the Bands, Barbecue and Country Games event in
Slaithwaite Spa Park. Lots to do before the event on 21st May.
Love to Joyce.
Hillard Zylstra - 3
22 April, 2014
really good to hear from you. I was really pleased too to look up fellow grads
from 1974 - 1977, and intriguing how many of us have similar stories
covering similar parts of the world esp Egypt, Turkey and the Middle East; we
probably have been in the same streets just at different times!!
I'd give you a very brief summary of my time since graduating, to cut and paste
into your/our website if you so please:
Since Portsmouth I've been on
life's great adventure and very proud of what I've achieved, I've bumped into
others along the way even in the most unusual of places, like with Marcus in
the North Sinai while I was on an Oil Exploration Team with GSI and he was
drilling for water!! So, in brief it's been like this:
north sea rig, Transocean 5? Didn't like 2 weeks of fog, nothing much to do, no
local exploring! So straight onto next job offer:
Bedford first, then Sinai desert work followed by Geophys Processing and marketing
in Cairo plus birth of daughter, Deano visited us there, then more in Ankara.
mid-late 80's the Barrel of Oil price slump plus desire to return home for
kids sake plus change of career into International Personnel management.
greater focus on management training via an R&D Telecomms outfit led to
years consultancy designing and training great fun residential courses for my
own clients but largely for Roffey Park and Civil Service College as was.
to retire at 55 but you know how things change but I'm retired and 62 the
end of this July, fully retarded now (as we say in Suffolk) and
I'm happily pursuing various hobbies and UK/Continental travels with my
second wife (sadly I divorced my first wife after 25 years together). I have 3
children of my own: an accomplished London City Architect; an Osteopath
and an IT specialist. My wife has two children, ours all went to the same
schools, one is an amazing Primary School teacher, the other is currently a mountaineer
cleaning skyscraper windows in Sydney; I have one Grandchild!
It's very unfortunate that
I'll be missing the May14 reunion but a family reunion in Holland was arranged
for the same period. I'm sure you'll all have a great reunion, I shall miss you
all especially those I hung out with at times. I'll keep an eye on your website
and hope more of the others submit brief summaries too.
look forward to your call as mentioned before, to arrange a local meet up to
hear your stories.
and all the best - Hillard
life in retirement is great. I am presently preparing my Drascombe
Lugger sailing boat for this coming season on the beautiful Deben
river, I hope to catch some Seabass and well as some more relaxing
sails, perhaps even stopping off at The Ramsholt Arms quayside for some
welcome libation! Otherwise, bbq'ing at our beachside beachut, or
having fish n chips with white wine, or simply good clean family fun!
Then there are the travels my wife and I do and more.
forgot to mention before that I was the youngest Oil Explorationist in
North Africa pre-Poly, where I surveyed the Tunisian Sahara Gravity
field right up to and including the Atlas mountains - those were such
formative experiences for me and set my course for the rest of my
life!! My motto's always been: Make brave decisions and never regret
them (they are usually never the easiest paths to take but what an
promise to keep in touch more effectively, my wife and I did visit
Pompey last June, I think, Poly/Uni was shut by then. I was amazed at
how much had changed, l couldn't find Mike Barker's Paleo labs,
the ones that were stables condemned for the old fire service horses
but good enough for us students. Mercantile House and the Geog dept and
Chem block (without prefab huts surrounding it) were easier to find. My
wife loved it all and Southsea, we lunched in the Still and West, then
later the Spinnaker and did the Queens walk (well, my wife walked, I
cycled on my Brompton as my left knee troubles me more these days). We
shall return much sooner and let you know when, it would be good to
meet your good gentle self again - I distinctly remember those
wonderful Structural Geology booklets we worked through with you:
outcrops, dips, strikes etc etc. great stuff!
recall going to a huge 'all years' Geology get together, was it the
dept's 50th anniversary or similar, a decade or two ago. Life has
been so full and busy - this retirement lark's a blessing, I still find
it hard to believe, every morning, that I don't need to rush off to
work somewhere, even if I did thoroughly enjoy the bulk of it, and
instead rush off to some hobby activity or socialising, etc.
Till we meet again Brian
thanks for that great photo, a brill momento; it stirred so many
memories, good ones! I feel a song coming on . . . 'I'm a Geologist and
I'm OK, could someone complete this!!?
Very best to all - Hillard
Sure, that's fine to add my latest to the website too.
used to sail a Wayfarer too, nice boat, reasonably stable yet raceable.
As a youngster I was quite a competitive Dinghy helmsman, I came 4th in
the Junior Nationals in the Heron Class; and in my 3
years in Cairo, I became best helmsman on The Nile Maadi
Yacht Club in a similar Class boat to the Wayfarer!! It was great fun.
I'm not normally so competitive in other walks of life!
If you are ever this way again, let me know and I'll catch up with you if you like.
Till we meet again - cheers!
1978 B.Sc. Geology Graduates - Photo link.
David Cowen - 3
18 April 2010
Brian! Great to catch up with you after so long!... how are you? Can't
say I use Facebook much (or trust it – hence the 1st April
birthday!)... but it seems to be growing! I did see the “Burnaby
Bandits” photo in a publication – which is great! Got me trying to see
who I could name after all these years!
Been good to gradually
catch up with some of the "old" ex Poly folks! Still keep in touch with
a few… I see Phil Cornell regularly… normally spot Ted Finch at one of
the conventions – he’s still in the seismic processing side… Came
across Dave Myers more recently, who works at Paradigm.. and I bump
into Herrett once in a while! Sadly, the industry being it’s volatile
self has lost a lot over the years, and I’ve now lost touch with Sid
Howells, Steve Armstrong, and Rich Allen…..
What of me? Well, when I left Portsmouth, I didn’t fall into the well
logging saga that many did, and ended up working in Saudi for GSI. In
fact I was waiting to attend graduation when it all popped up out of
the blue, and bang, I was gone the following week! It was there that I
found that I had an affinity of combining the geoscience side with
computing…. And that’s been my career ever since! I spent some time at
BNOC, then Marathon, before staying 15 years at Texaco, all in that
similar vein, and one I’v’e found very rewarding. And like many in the
industry, have had a great many chances to travel the world and enjoy
the many varied and wonderful things that are out there (and yes, the
occasional less then wonderful experience too!).
I still look back very fondly on my days at Portsmouth. I have to say I
found it a hard course – probably because my Geology level when I
joined was somewhat less that what others had. But, I somehow made
exactly the right choice…. And I don’t mind hard work – and I seem to
remember we partied just as hard too! And the combination of field
courses getting everyone together was great. I visited so many places
across the UK I knew nothing about – and have been back to a few since
to rediscover old memories. Indeed it’s been great to see my son coming
back with pockets full of stones, much to my wife’s chagrin! Not sure
he’ll be a geologist though! Lots of stories that still sit with me
from those trips, and some great memories…. I have to give a big vote
of thanks to you folks at Portsmouth… not sure where I’d be if I hadn’t
gone there! And it was Fun! I’m not sure in the modern age whether it’s
still like that? I hope so!
As it happens, I’m currently working at Tullow Oil - and had one of the
Portsmouth geology students in for a day last summer.... lovely lass!
Seems they/you still produce some quality people! Long may it last!..
Dave Cowen….you remember, the stupid one that supported Sunderland AFC…. That’s another long story!!....
Jim Cox - 3
Hope you're well and enjoying retirement.
I'm contacting you because I was in touch with Stefan Wozniak recently
& he reminded me that this year is year 30 since we graduated. We
thought that it would be a good idea to try & get in touch with others
who graduated in 1978. We've got contact details for Adrian Doleki &
Richard Hill but that's about it I'm afraid. I've noted Tim Herret's
details from the website, but I was wondering whether you had any
other details that you could let me have. If you have, I'd be very
As for me, I still living in France working as a self-employed English
teacher in the "Grandes Écoles" and universities. Back in 1996 the
British Council sent me to Botswana to teach at the geological survey
there for a couple of weeks and my dissertation for a Masters in
teaching English for specific purposes was based on work I'd been
doing with PhD students at École des Mines in Paris. So there's still
a bit of geology now & then!
I'm very keen on photography and I'm now doing a bit of English
teaching too at the École Louis Lumière just outside Paris. If you'd
like to have a look at some of my photos, here a link.
Anyway, looking forward to hearing from you soon. Any information or
suggestions you have would be very much appreciated.
All the best,
21 Nov. 2011
Hope all's well with you.
Just writing to let you know that a group of us from '75-'78 are
meeting up in London on 17th December. We're going to the Dicken's Inn
at St Katherine Docks and have arranged to meet at 1pm :
If you, and any of the other lecturers from that period, are around it
would be great to see you again. I've not seen anyone since '78, so
it's going to be a bit of a surprise!
Cheers for now,
Portsmouth Geology Graduates reunion December 2011, left to right, back
row - Pete Hellier, Ted Finch, Adrian Clarke, middle row - Carlo Mysko,
Arthur Woolard, front row - Richard Hill, Stefan Wozniak, Jim Cox,
Adrian Dolecki - 3
19 May 2010
graduation in 1978 I went to work in Saudi Arabia for Al Hoty Stanger
as a geologist working on the site investigation for the Riyadh to
Damman Expressway and ARAMCO oil and gas facilities, often camping for
several weeks at a time in tents in the desert. After three years
I returned to Leeds University and completed a Masters degree in
Engineering Geology. I then went to work in London for John Taylor
& Sons (now Hyder) and made many return trips to the Middle East,
working on the geotechnical aspects of water supply projects (new water
wells in Aden, Yemen), water storage reservoirs in Bahrain,
desalination plants in Kuwait and latterly 500km of water pipelines
supplying railway stations in Iraq, which I visited during the
Iran-Iraq war in 1984.
returned to Wales in the mid 1980's to work with Thyssen, the UK arm of
a German Mining and Tunnelling company as a Senior Engineering
Geologist and for 3 years worked in underground coal, tin and gypsum
mines in the UK. In 1987 I joined Applied Geology, a small
Consultancy and went to work in Istanbul, Turkey, returning to open a
Swansea office in 1988 and becoming Managing Director of the local
office/subsidiary company. We grew the company in three locations
in the UK from 5 to 50 staff in 6 years, then sold it to Waste
Management Inc in 1993, a large American Contracting firm and moved the
office to Cardiff. In turn the management did an MBO and then sold
again to US based Parsons Brinckerhoff in 1998, a then employee owned
firm that dates back to 1885, when they designed the New York metro,
who were 13,000 staff before we were acquired by UK Infrastructure
giant Balfour Beatty in 2009 with 17,000 professional staff and 50,000
in total around the world. I remain a Director of that company
(PB) today and over the years I also worked in Peru and Borneo,
before opening a PB office in Warsaw, Poland in 2000. My current
role has broadened from geology to the 'Environment' in general and I
am responsible for PB’s environmental projects (water and
wastewater treatment, waste management - landfills, contaminated land
and urban regeneration, mining and geosciences, earthquake
preparedness) undertaken in Europe, Africa and the Middle East region,
where we work for organisations such as the European Commission (in any
of the 80 countries where the EU provide external aid), the World Bank
Group etc. I currently manage project work in Turkey, Egypt,
Cyprus, Romania, South Africa and Kosovo.
So to sum up then - 'have hammer will travel'.
Greg Heath - 3
29 April 2010
for your email and the link to your excellent website. I was one of the
1975-1978 Portsmouth Polytechnic Geology graduates . I remember in my
youth suggesting the idea of a “Poly Jolly” shirt, but in retrospect it
was just as well that no one liked that idea. I had not studied Geology
at “O” or “A” level and remember sending off for University
prospectus’ and trying to decide what I wanted to study. Of all things
I was particularly taken by a photo’ of a bunch of geology students
using a hand auger out in the field somewhere. I wanted something that
would lead to outdoor activities and travel, but I don’t think I have
ever seen a hand auger since. So, just as most oil is found for the
wrong reasons or by mistake, choosing geology for the wrong reasons
turned out to be the best mistake I ever made. I was on a steep
learning curve and I remember that geology at Portsmouth was a
When I was younger I could not sit still for
any length of time, but in my middle age I am at last suited to an
office job. I particularly enjoyed the field trips around the British
Isles while at Portsmouth and have good memories of my time there. It
has been interesting recently to hear a little of what my peers have
been doing. I would like to say a belated thank you to you and all of
the lecturers who helped with one of my most fortuitous mistakes and
gave me an excellent grounding for a career in the oil
A potted history:-
joined EXLOG immediately after graduating in 1978 and after a trip to
Holland and one to Egypt, was transferred to the North Sea, because I
made the mistake of living with my parents near Norwich airport. I saw
some unforgettable storms (60’ waves and 90mph winds) that most people
will not believe, from the relative safety of semi-subs. After 18
months I volunteered to go to Canada to work in the Beaufort Sea. I
loved Canada, obtained permanent resident status and then citizenship
in 1983. I also managed to work on the north slope of Alaska, Senegal
and Ghana with EXLOG.
In 1985 I bought my first house and
then resigned from EXLOG with a mortgage and no job to go to. Another
good mistake. With a stroke of good luck I was back at work two weeks
later on the rig in the Beaufort Sea that I had just left and a career
as a wellsite geologist was launched. I stayed in Canada until 1997
working in the Beaufort off and on until 1990 and also working all over
Western Canada through Decollement Consulting of Calgary, now RPS. I
survived two shallow gas blowouts offshore, complete with rig
evacuations in which no one was hurt. These were drilling related
problems I hasten to add. Decollement also sent me to Gabon, Congo,
Argentina, Yemen and Vietnam. I became interested in petrophysics and
was able to do some petrophysical work on clastics and carbonates, at
the wellsite for BP Canada.
Vietnam opened my eyes to
the life of an Expat and also to the natural elegance of the Southeast
Asian lady and I was driven from within to make another fortuitous
mistake. In January 1997 I sold a house, put everything in storage and
moved to Bangkok, Thailand on the strength of a 6 month contract for a
small company called Pogo Producing, who were operating in the Gulf of
Thailand. I have now been in Thailand for over 13 years. My wife is
Thai and we have two children, Eileen (9) and Thomas (4) as of 2010. In
1999, Chevron gained operatorship of the concession in the Gulf of
Thailand and I have been working for them as a consultant
Petrophysicist and Operations Geologist ever since.
All The Best,
Petrophysicist / Operations Geologist B8/32
Chevron Thailand Exploration and Production Ltd.
4th Floor, Tower III, SCB Park Plaza (East Bldg),
19 Ratchadapisek Road, Bangkok 10900
Office: (66) 2 545 6578 Mobile: (66) 81 645 3365
Greg and family in 2008
Tim Herrett - 3
some time since I have written and I’ve left it longer to reply than I
should have. Firstly I am doing fine. I left Cambrian in 2000 and have
been working on my own and not been short of work. After I left I
worked wellsite on an HTHP well in Norway for ExxonMobil. They liked the cut of my gib I think and I went over to Houston
to work (as a contractor) in their core operations geology group. This
was initially for two months but I commuted back and forth their for
nearly four years as I worked on their new Abnormal Pressure Technology
manual and then their Operations and Wellsite Geology procedures
manuals. I then did some pressure projects on Gulf of Mexico data before ExxonMobil decided to get rid of all their contractors.
was at a loose end for a couple of months but ever since I have been
working for BP as a senior wellsite geologist. The first well I did for
them was a deep water HTHP well off the mouth of the Amazon in Brazil. This was a long commute but it was fantastic scenery en-route and I also got to stay in Rio
for a couple of weeks. I did plenty of quality control on the food and
drink and it was all good. We stayed in an apartment a block away from
Ipanema beach which takes some beating. Unfortunately the Brazil well was a duster but then since then I have been working on a deepwater high pressure well in Turkey. This was the first well drilled to any sort of depth in the Black Sea
(there aren’t many undrilled basins left) and was, again, fantastic
experience. I am just finishing off the end of well report for the well
and sitting in a very cold and snowy Ankara. I have already been signed up for two HTHP wells in Egypt starting in the autumn.
you probably are aware the oilfield is booming at the moment so you
have to make money while the sun is shining. I now have my own company (www.timherrett.co.uk) which is me, I lecture part time on the Petroleum Geoscience masters degree at the University of Manchester and also on a diploma course at the University of Derby.
Along with my programmer friend I have developed some programmes which
we sell together – for pore pressure evaluation and sample description
and we are now getting to sell these after several hard years of
So life is pretty busy. My wife and I (who was at the Bishop Otter Teacher Training college in Chichester)
had our silver wedding anniversary a couple of years ago and my
daughters are now both through college (degree level). My son is now
just starting the two year GCSE syllabus and, sadly, none of them have
had the slightest interest in geology. Mind you when my younger
daughter was talking to the careers people before leaving the sixth
form she (being scienced based A level subjects) was asked if she had
thought of doing geology at college. She ended up doing Biology at York and did very well. Both my daughters are now looking to do MScs. Which is more than I did, much to my eternal regret.
how are you and yours Brian? I heard through the grapevine that you had
been unwell but it was only what had been passed along and you know
what Chinese whispers are like.
Let me know your news and sorry for not writing sooner.
Brian - 24
May 2013 Tim Herrett is organising a reunion for Portsmouth
geology students who started in 1974 to be held in Portsmouth on 17/18
May 2014. Contact Tim on firstname.lastname@example.org
to know you are still out there! We’d all love to see you and any other
of the old lecturers who can make it. Pass the word. I don’t know if
you caught any of my previous e-mails but we are spread throughout the
world. I still see Peter Fearn (now President of RPS USA) and Peter
Hill-Cottingham regularly and am in regular touch with others by e-mail.
taken a while to get hold of everybody and quite a bit of investigative
work. There are still a few that are impossible to find or haven’t
replied which is a shame but if you know where they are then let me
know. However, there is still a year to go so I am hopeful we’ll get as
many to attend as possible.
Thanks for the website address update!
the way I do mostly lecturing and training nowadays and, surprisingly,
I seem to have a flair for it. I lecture for a week or two on MScs at
the Universities of Manchester and Derby and am heavily involved with
training at BP. With BP we actually do a field trip along the ‘Jurassic
Coast’ and go to Lulworth. Every time I go it always brings back happy
memories of the Portsmouth field trip we did all those years ago. With
BP we look at the rocks but as much from a drilling perspective.
also work for a couple of other training companies (HOT, based in
Austria and PetroSync in Singapore). My topics are Operations and
Wellsite Geology as well as Pore Pressure Evaluation which I have many
years of experience in.
I really of enjoy the training side of things and don’t miss going offshore anymore!
Richard Hill - 3
Date: 04 April 2010
Ive found that FaceBook has been a really good way to get back in touch
with classmates from the Pompey Poly Geology Class of 75-78. Its been
really interesting to see where we all ended up plus how much hair we
have collectively lost and pounds added!
I (like so many others) ended up becoming a Mud Logger and then moved
into the PDC bit side of drilling. I spent 16 years in Aberdeen before
taking the plunge and becoming an ExPat. We moved to Malaysia in 2002
for a couple of years and then moved to Dubai for 5. Currently we have
been back in KL for a year and plan to spend another 3 years here
before returning to the UK.
My promise to my Children Luke and Faye was to get them through University debt free and Im almost there!
Thanks so much for getting in touch and I wish you well,
Stefan Wozniak - 3
7 May 2010
Great to hear from you and know that you are keeping well and enjoying
your retirement. Are you still driving an MG (if my memory serves
me correctly). Yes, it has been over 30 years since graduation
and, during a recent house move, I came across some old photos from
that era. I'm currently working in Oman as a directional driller
and when this hitch is over at the end of June and return to Blighty,
I'll scan the photos and post some on the website with an update of my
All the very best
23 December 2010
I hope you are keeping well and continuing to enjoy your
retirement. Also hope that you are surviving the cold
weather that has recently gripped Blighty.
All is fine with me, more-so, because I managed to dodge all
the travel disruptions yesterday, and arrived from Oman to
spend Christmas with my family in King's Lynn.
I'm starting another month off, after spending six weeks working in
the Omani desert. The weather there is great this time
of year - a 'cool' 28 deg C during the day - which compares
to extremes of 50+ deg C, during the height of summer.
Having said that, the current night times temperatures drop low
enough to require 3-4 layers of clothing to keep
On my journey back from the Interior to Muscat, two days ago, we passed
through one of the areas where ophiolites are exposed.
For those who've not been to Oman, it really is the jewel of
the Middle East - with some spectacular scenery and extremely
friendly people. Plus it offers one the best locations
in the world to study oceanic crust, so I'm told.
Seeing these ancient rocks always brings back fond memories
of our days at The Lizard with good old Dr Rothstein.
As promised earlier in the year, Brian, I'm sending a
few photos for your collection from the good old days of 1975-78
at Pompey. I have already sent these to some of the class mates,
but if you can please post them on the Facebook Website, it will allow
others to view them too.
Speaking of others, I hope you managed to track down a few more of
the two hundred students you are trying to locate.
Well, I'd better sign off now to head into town do some last
minute shopping. I wish you and your family a Merry
Christmas and Happy New Year
Take good care.
John Huckerby -3
I finished my PhD in gold mineralisation in Saudi
Arabia in 1984, moved to the oil industry and worked for Amoco in London (on
North Sea, Denmark and onshore UK - with Dave Mellings
,1975 graduate), before transferring to Houston in 1992, where I worked
on Eastern Europe! I left Amoco and moved to New Zealand in 1995, where I worked
on the exploration, appraisal and development of two gas-condensate fields for
Fletcher Challenge Energy. I left them in 1999 and set up my own company, now
called Power Projects Limited, providing strategic advice, business development
opportunities and operational project management to potential investors in NZ
oil and gas, as well as government and public sector organisations. However, I'm
moving away from the oil industry in New Zealand now and working for Australian
and non-oil organizations. I married Liz in 1987.
Glad to hear from you. Also good to hear that you're still energetically
involved in geology - the tours sound like a good idea. I've just returned
from Australia and it's a great place to be a tourist (although I was on
business) but you really have to see New Zealand, particularly if you want
to see active geology (volcanoes, neotectonics, active uplift and faulting).
In fact, Liz and I had a recent ex-Portsmouth visitor - Tim Spencer (also 1979). I
haven't seen Tim in 20 years but he and his wife live in Perth and were over
doing some of the famous long walks (Milford and Abel Tasman tracks). He's
still into seismic processing in Perth. Haven't heard of or from any
in the last couple of years.
I'm still self-employed and usually work for foreign firms interested in
investing in NZ energy projects. I say energy as I've started to work in
renewable energy projects, waves, wind and others. This has been a good
year, even though I had a quiet spell in June and July. I even managed a
flying visit to the UK at a client's expense in October. Sadly, I spent
almost all the time in a meeting room or on transport so I wouldn't have had
the time for a trip to Portsmouth.
This has been a special year for me as I've just finished a 3 year MBA (with
Henley Management College in the UK). I expect this will be the last major
qualification I undertake but I enjoyed the learning process and I'm keen to
try something else next year.
Hope all is well and look forward to seeing you in NZ. Remember it's
expensive to travel to NZ but it's very cheap once you are here!
Please pass on my regards to any of the Portsmouth crew - staff or students
that we both know.
Update: Christmas, 2005.
This year has been the 'International Year
of the Visitor' to the Huckerby household! Our house overlooks Wellington
Harbour with a glorious view. Much work remains to be done to modernise it. Liz
is still manager of corporate services for the tax department, with country-wide
responsibilities for support services. I moved office into the central city and
now look back across the harbour during the day. Plans for next year include a
trip to Perth, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore to promote some marine energy
initiatives. Leisure wise - long distance cycling for me and mini-triathlons for
Liz! We will be in Europe and the UK in 2006, so may catch up with you. Dates
are likely to be late summer/autumn. Meanwhile, book now for your 2011 Rugby
World Cup visit!
Graham Mitchell - 3
Hope all is well with you, find below a
short recap of
my career since leaving Portsmouth, incidentally, on
arriving in Aberdeen I bumped in to another ex
Portsmouth Geologist...Mike McMahon...it's a small
After leaving Portsmouth in 1979 worked for
Exploration logging as a logging geologist in the
North Sea (Norway and Holland), Egypt and the
During this time I moved to France and settled with my
wife. Took French nationality in 1990.
In 1981 changed direction and started working for
International Drilling Fluids as a mud engineer in
Holland, W. Africa and the middle east.
1989-90 Technical Manager for IDF in Paris
1990-1993 N & E Europe Sales manager for SPOT Image in
Toulouse working with remote sensing.
1993-2005 : Mud engineer with IDF, Schlumberger and
2005- Consultant Fluids Supervisor with Total,
actually in Aberdeen.
Mick O'Hare - 3
Nice to hear from you: seems strange that so many of my former lecturers are now
retired - not sure where all the time has gone!
I'm still working in the oil industry, now a full-time employee of Nexen based
in Uxbridge, after 15 years consulting. I saw John Huckerby's address recently in the PESGB
Nexen Petroleum UK Ltd.
Tel.: 01895 274819