Supporting the gas industry since 1863
Date12th - 13th September 2018
Time08:45 - 17:30
VenueStamford Court, University of Leicester
Price Free (Members) Free (Non-Members)
All prices exclude VAT

Sponsored By


Stamford Court, University of Leicester, Manor Road, Leicester, LE2 2LH

Contact Details:

Linda Mee email tel 01509 678184

Uniting the gas world for a collaborative future

Speakers and their presentations Day One

Keynote presentations

Mike Thompson, Head of Carbon Budgets, Committee on Climate Change
The CCC is the independent statutory adviser to the UK Government on its climate targets and carbon policy.  Mike’s work includes advice on the Fifth Carbon Budget, which requires a 57% cut in UK greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.  He was previously Head of Indirect Tax Forecasting at HMRC.

The UK Climate Challenge

2016, 2015 and 2017 were the hottest years on record globally.  In the context of the global fight against climate change, Mike will talk about the challenge and opportunities from cutting UK emissions of greenhouse gases.
Emissions from buildings need to be eliminated by around 2050, but in recent years they have risen; insulation installations are down from 95% from 2012, and uptake of low-carbon heating systems in homes – even new homes – remains minimal.  Mike will set out the challenge of decarbonising UK heating including emerging work from forthcoming CCC reports on hydrogen and bioenergy.

Geoffrey Randall, Deputy Director, Gas Network Price Controls, Ofgem
Geoff leads Ofgem’s work on gas network price controls in distribution and transmission.  This includes the development of the next round of controls that start in 2021. He has worked at Ofgem for 9 years and has undertaken a number of roles in networks covering price controls, network charging, interconnectors and large investment project appraisal.

Regulation and innovation

This presentation will focus on the role of innovation in the next round of gas network price controls and the expectation on the network companies.

Gareth Davies, Gas Markets Strategy Manager, National Grid
Gareth has worked for National Grid for over 3 years with responsibility for National Grid’s gas market strategy development; leading the company’s Future of Gas programme which in turn will establish policy, regulatory and commercial strategy to support National Grid’s ambitions. Prior to joining National Grid, Gareth has worked in regulatory, policy and government affairs roles across the energy sector including upstream production, retail supply and industrial consumption.

The future of gas
This presentation will provide an overview of National Grid’s Future of Gas programme; highlighting the challenges to future decarbonisation and how gas can support the future decarbonisation of heat, transport and industry.


Catherine Spriggs, Technical Project Manager, Health and Safety Laboratory

Catherine is a Chartered Civil Engineer and Member of the Association of Project Managers with over 18 years’ experience of working on complex projects in the business, science and construction sectors. Since joining the Health and Safety Laboratory in 2012 she has worked on a range of research and consultancy projects for commercial clients predominantly in the energy, aerospace and defence sectors. Catherine has taken an interest in the future of energy since completing her Masters Degree in Leadership for Sustainable Development in 2000 and has combined her project management experience and technical background enabling her to effectively lead the work of the laboratory on the technical and safety challenges associated with the future of energy debate. Catherine is currently Technical Project Manager for the £6.8m Ofgem funded HyDeploy project co-ordinating the technical input into the safety case for this trial.

The role of science in developing an evidence base for safety
How do you understanding the impact of change on asset safety and integrity? This presentation describes the role that science plays in making this assessment and the emphasis that HSE puts on being able to evidence the effects of change on industry assets. The presentation gives and insight into the evidence being developed for the HyDeploy, H21 and H100 projects all of which Catherine is working on.

Paul Lee, GTO Cyber & Control Manager, National Grid
Paul is a chartered engineer with 15 years’ experience across gas distribution, gas transmission and carbon capture predominantly in project management and more recently investment and project sponsorship. In addition, he has sponsored a number of Building Information Modelling (BIM) initiatives across National Grid.

Gordon Crick, HM Inspector of Health & Safety, HSE
Gordon joined the Health and Safety Executive in 1992 as an Inspector, and has worked across a number of industry sectors. For the last ten years he has specialised in Construction, and now leads for HSE’s Construction Division on adoption of Digital Technology and BIM. For the last 3 years Gordon has chaired the BIM 4 Health & Safety Working Group, a cross industry group which worked with BSI to produce PAS 1192 Part 6 –Specification for collaborative sharing and use of structured Health & Safety information using BIM.

Andy Harding, Senior Design Manager, J Murphy & Sons
Andy is a chartered engineer with a background in mechanical and petroleum engineering and 12 years' experience in gas distribution and transmission design. He is currently working to develop design management, digital tools and BIM integration to improve design and construction phase collaboration.

Adopting PAS1192:6 – Specification for collaborative sharing and use of structured Health and Safety information using BIM
National Grid has completed a number of Building Information Modelling innovation projects and shared the outputs to support the development of PAS1192:6 “Specification for collaborative sharing and use of structured Health and Safety information using BIM”.  Working in collaboration with the supply chain of Murphy’s and Premtech, Bacton Terminal Asset Health project is the first gas transmission project to adopt and benefit from PAS1192:6. The presentation will share the learnings and benefits aligned to the respective duties under CDM.

Richard Wiseman, Property Investment Manager, Taunton Deane Borough Council
Rich leads the property investment section at TDBC, responsible for delivery of an annual £8m capital programme, Asbestos management & removal and Mechanical & Electrical cyclical maintenance, including 4,500 gas heating systems. Prior to this Rich was Head of Development at a G15 Housing Association, with responsibility for the maintenance and repair of over 2,000 new build homes.  At TDBC Rich and his team have transformed the gas engineering service in less than 12 months from an underperforming outsourced contract to an award winning in-house delivery team achieving 100% compliance month after month.

Mike Brits, Product Director, Gas Tag
Mike has spent the last 10 years developing start-ups, including technology, design, photography and marketing in Africa and the UK.  His passion at Gas Tag has been to innovate a modern approach to a traditional industry, fusing beautiful design with well-crafted technology

Safety through technology
Gas Tag and Taunton Deane Borough Council will demonstrate how in implementing the Gas Tag system, the council now has a complete and thorough overview of its property portfolio.  This allows it to make more informed asset management decisions, gain access more frequently and provide safer homes for tenants.


Wez Little, Innovation Director, Synthotech
Wez Little is a degree qualified (BEng) chartered electronics engineer (CEng MIEE), with nearly 20 years’ experience across a number of different and diverse business sectors, with a background in project, production, and operations management currently working for Synthotech Ltd a UK based SME specialising in ‘Must Have’ technology for the Gas Market.  Wez is responsible for the identification, development, funding, collaboration and management of a portfolio of innovation projects. He was named “Manager of the Year 2018” at the IGEM and EUA awards for his contribution to the gas sector and innovation.

STASS (System Two Assess and Seal System)
The presentation will focus on the collaborative development (Synthotech, ALH Systems, and Northern Gas Networks) of a robotic platform that allows the visual inspection and sealing of joints and features (Flexspray) under “live” gas condition. This innovative project has brought together “Best of Breed” and harmonized four existing technologies to provide a new solution to the UK Gas industry focused on larger diameter pipes (12” to 48”), with a minimised dig “keyhole approach.

Mike Ennis, Applications Specialist (NDT),  James Fisher NDT
Following 7 years in the British Army Air Corps as an Operations Officer on Apache Attack helicopters, Mike made the transition to civilian life in 2007.  Initially working in non-destructive testing for Shell UK at the Stanlow Refinery and for the last 9 years he has specialised in advanced ultrasonic inspection through the UK and international upon onshore and offshore facilities.  Has been with James Fisher NDT for two and a half years.

Corrosion mapping utilising the Orpheus bespoke scanning device
James Fisher NDT working closely with SGN and Saith Ltd, has designed and manufactured a robust ‘Bespoke Scanning Device (BSD)’ to safely and effectively carry out Non-Destructive Testing(NDT) inspections of buried Orpheus gas regulator modules.  Under the Pressure Systems Safety Regulations (PSSR) 2000, these modules must be regularly inspected. This new inspection technique involves accessing the module from above ground, placing a scanner internally between the inner and outer vessels and utilising ultrasonic corrosion mapping.  This eliminates the need to excavate, grit blast and externally inspect the buried regulator modules, which is the costly inspection method currently used.

Ian Butt, Director, Premtech Ltd
A Chartered Engineer, Ian has over 25 years’ experience working in the gas industry at senior management and director level.  Following graduation from Loughborough University he started his career with British Gas as a pipeline design engineer before forming successful design consultancy companies which included GEL Group (now part of Mott MacDonald) and Premtech.

Mobile Virtual Reality Modelling
This presentation covers how virtual reality (VR) and Mixed Reality (MR) can provide significant benefit and opportunities for the development of projects and the management of operational assets. VR and MR have the power to transform the way we manage our projects, assets, businesses and the way we engage with stakeholders. Combining VR and MR technology along with 3D visualisation software, allows interactive and engaging training environments. Virtual training can provide hands-on participation in environments that mirror the real world in both form and function, providing ‘learn by doing’ in safe and controlled environments.


Tatiana Prieto-Lopez, Project Manager – Innovation, Cadent

After graduating from Birkbeck College, University of London, Tatiana gained an MSc in Environmental Monitoring, Modelling and Management at King’s College London.  Following a career including working at University of Birmingham, E.ON and Aligneat, Tatiana joined Cadent as Project Manager- Innovation managing a variety of innovation projects including 3 within the repair theme.

PE repairs
Cadent is leading a collaborative project with SGN to explore the best techniques to use for permanent repairs. We’re focusing on methods that can be done without stopping the flow of gas as well as solving a range of different problems, such as holes, cracks, and leaking joints and fittings.

Simon Buckley, Technical Sales Manager, Sarco Stopper Ltd
Simon joined Sarco Stopper in January to support developments, deliver new products and support existing customers, specialising in gas distribution. With a Mechanical Engineering degree followed by a little more hands on career working for SMEs supplying and supporting the networks he’s proud to say he works in the gas industry.

Gas stent
Sarco Stopper have been delivering innovative solutions for over 50 years. As a current NIA project led by SGN and with technology partners Synthotech and WASK, Sarco Stopper are pioneering inflatable stent technology within gas distribution.
Whether it’s through accidental third-party damage, failed joints or fractured pipes, high volume gas escapes risk the health and safety of both operatives and the public. They can disrupt customer supply, have high environmental impact and negatively affect corporate image.
Using a medical technology transfer this Sarco can enable temporary internal pipe leakage control while maintaining network supplies and giving operatives time to undertake the most appropriate permanent external repair.


Elliot Ross, Technical Support Manager, Steve Vick International
After graduating in Product Design in 1999, Elliot began his career in Transco Connections Cardiff and very quickly found himself managing the Wales and South West department for Design and Connect.  At Steve Vick International Elliot manages a team that provides support for all SVI techniques and products including NIA development projects, whilst liaising with best practice for the GDN’s. They have been heavily involved in the evolution, growth and adoption of live mains insertion into all UK GDN’s and internationally, most recently in the Netherlands.

Live mains insertion
Live mains insertion is where a live PE main is inserted through a Glandbox™ into an old metallic gas main under live conditions. Customers are transferred to the PE main using foam kits which significantly reduce the time off gas and usually off gas just once. The process is into its fourth decade and has seen many enhancements such as the Hexi 500m coil trailer, excavator mounted Pipe Handlers, sleeker looking Glandboxes™ and our range of Macaw Pipe Crackers. Recent funded developments like the Rapid Pipe Cutter substantially reduce the time to cut a window into problematic ductile iron gas mains.

Elmar Koch, Senior Project Manager Nodig, TRACTO-TECHNIK
Elmar trained as an industrial mechanic and then studied machine engineering at the University of Applied Sciences in Meschede.   In his current role he is responsible for numerous new development projects. He has taken part in several national and international research projects dealing with trenchless technologies and is involved in the development of keyhole technology in partnership with SGN and other national and international utility companies.

Mains and service keyhole (iCore)
Costs resulting from open trench methods were the mainspring for developing a new minimally invasive technology for establishing property service connections for gas, water, power and telecom. In the gas market in particular high installation costs and impairments caused by construction works on the property have negative effects.
The solution for this is the Keyhole technology by TRACTO-TECHNIK. The presentation describes the development of this technology within the ‘iCore’ Project, explains the working principle and illustrates the minimal-invasive installation and replacement of property service connections using practical examples.

Derek Muckle, Director of Innovation and Technology, Radius Systems Ltd
Over a period of more than 25 years Derek has worked in the field of pipeline engineering for gas and water distribution technologies in the United Kingdom.  His career started with British Gas in the early 1990’s before transitioning to the manufacturing sector and to the company in which he is presently employed.  Derek is currently Director of Innovation and Technology for Radius Systems, a company specializing in the production of plastic pipe and fitting systems for below ground networks.  He is also Managing Director of Radius PLUS, a service company he created to perform live pipeline engineering works, and following the acquisition of Subterra, specialist renovation works. 

Preparing for a hydrogen future – polyethylene pipe networks
The benefits of hydrogen have been widely debated in recent years and form a potential pathway to a low carbon future.  And in realising the potential of this energy form, the majority of the distribution network through which it will flow to households around the UK will be made from polyethylene. Projects at the moment are generated on evidence base to support the science that says this will be absolutely fine, and the presentation will briefly review the key elements of this.

Neil Atkinson, Chief Executive Officer, IGEM
Prior to joining IGEM, Neil was Executive Director at IChemE, responsible for membership, qualifications and international development.
During this time, he oversaw an expansion of the Institution's professional qualifications suite whilst also developing interest from chemical engineers in sectors and countries beyond the traditional UK-based oil, gas and chemicals sectors.

IGEM- leading the way

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