Nottingham’s Caulmert bolsters environment and waste team with new hire

A civil and environmental engineer, who once rode through Thailand on a motorbike to measure air pollution, has been appointed by engineering, environmental and planning consultancy, Caulmert.

Dr Chris Crosby has joined the firm’s environment and waste team at its Nottingham base as a principal project engineer.

Now 42, Chris spent a number of years in academia prior to working in industry.

A geography graduate from the University of Wolverhampton, he went on to complete a PhD in civil and environmental engineering and subsequent postdoctoral research at Loughborough University.

His postdoctoral research honed his geotechnical skills while investigating clay fill materials used in transport infrastructure projects. During this time he developed technology to enable automated measurement of permeability in clay materials, which resulted in more efficient and accurate results.

Chris also looked at the effects of climate change on transport infrastructure in Thailand.  Partnering with the Asian Institute of Technology, where the research involved investigating air quality.

Chris said: “I developed some sensors, attached them to a motorbike and rode from the north to the south of Thailand, covering more than 2,000 miles in five days.  I found that the air quality is as bad in the countryside as in the cities. This is because people in rural communities still burn charcoal to cook food, and this produces very small particles that pollute the air and can significantly impact health.

He added: “The purpose was to develop technology that could detect poor air quality, but which had to be affordable and that people could easily have access to.”

Whilst completing his PhD, which he self-funded with the aid of three part-time jobs, Chris also qualified as a teacher, and lectured in civil engineering at Dudley College.

He moved into industry in 2016 as a geotechnical engineer, carrying out geotechnical assessments, site investigations, and managing the submission and approval of construction Quality Assurance Plans in the design department at FCC, before transferring in the same role to Sirius Environmental.

The move to Caulmert enables Chris to learn about project management for the first time.

Chris, whose areas of expertise include slope stability and landfill development, said: “I’m using my academic skills to help inform what I see on the ground, while conducting site investigations, to report what I have found.

“I want to learn as much as I can and translate that into usefulness for client projects, as well as for the Caulmert business. The work here is very varied and there is plenty of support when you need it.”

Working closely with Caulmert associate director of engineering Jon Clark, one of Chris’ first projects is to conduct investigations at a Viridor site in Croydon, ahead of a scheme to replace concrete underground compost tunnels.

Caulmert director of project management Chris Davies said: “Chris has lots of geotechnical and environmental engineering knowledge and expertise. He’s a good fit to the specialist environment and waste team we’re developing in Nottingham.”