Chris Sakalas

Service Manager

Environment Group

Twitterised: Me in less than 140 characters.

Geotechnical Engineer with more than 40 years experience in geologically related fields from major dams, tunnels, deep drilling, contaminated land, deep and shallow foundations et al.

Why I decide to do what I do

I originally planned to accept a flying commission with the RAF but one day whilst potholing and with my face up against a bedding plane I wondered what this strange looking shape was and decided to find out. It was a crinoid and the rest is history.

My potted history

Manc by birth and lived there on and off following obtaining a degree in geology. Worked initially as a site engineer on grouting projects, then mud logging in Libya, then soils engineer on a motorway, engineering geologist on the Kielder Dam and general ground engineering for Fairclough Civil Engineering. Also included a stint in Saudi. Got married and moving first to Warrington (for work with Exploration Associates)) then to Malta via Houston, Texas from where I commuted to Libya on a 3 week rotation working as a drilling fluids engineer on an oil rig in the desert. After 4 years transferred to the technically more demanding UKCS on exploration rigs.

After a massive fall in crude oil prices in 1986 about 75% of rigs in the UKCS were stacked and most of us found ourselves on the beach.

Thus began my second stint in geotechnical engineering from Norwest Holst to Arup to High Point Rendel (then Rendel Palmer and Tritton) where I stayed for 14 years including a period in Singapore working with a Japanese contractor on a major tunnelling job and as Project Manager on the Saltaire Awarded Falkirk Link NATM canal tunnel. There followed some 6 years at Clarke Bond as Technical Director. As things got bad in 2010 I moved to Marriott Drilling as Contracts Manager for their oil and gas drilling division where I undertook management of the York Potash resource drilling with cored boreholes to depths of greater than 1700m.

That brings us up to date joining BWB in April 2013.

The best project I have ever worked on at BWB

In my short time here probably undertaking the GI management and surcharge design for the fast track M&S London Gateway project.

What I like to do in my spare time

Motorcycling, fly fishing, golf and walking. In the past my greatest past time was windsurfing at which I excelled for more than 15 years. I have also found enjoyment scuba diving, skiing and, as mentioned above, potholing.

What I hope to be doing 5 years from now

Making the most of life.

Chris Sakalas

BSc (Hons), CEng MICE, CGeol FGS, SiLC

Service Manager

Specialist Areas