Geospatial Engineering Panel

Geospatial engineering is all about multi-dimensional mapping and organisation. It's applied in many sectors, and is a particularly important area for asset managers such as local authorities.

The Geospatial Engineering Panel (GEP) was formed jointly with the Chartered Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors (ICES).

The Panel meets quarterly, and its members consist of representatives from ICE and ICES who monitor the delivery of the annual action plan, develop future programmes and provide expert advice on a range of geospatial engineering topics.

Meet the panel

The Geospatial Engineering panel is made up of a variety of industry experts. Find out more about our panel chair and details of the panel’s members.

  • Panel chair: Chris Preston

    Geospatial Engineering Panel

    Chris is currently a Senior Engineer for Network Rail. He became a Chartered surveyor in 1985, a Fellow of RICS in 1998 and of CICES in 2002. He has had several roles for the RICS; is the Junior Vice president of ICES and chairs the ICES geospatial engineering practices panel. He was the first chairman of GeoBusiness in 2014.


Other panel members

Panel member name Employer
Ian Bush Black & Veatch and Vice President of the
Chartered Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors
Marc Hobell Pitney Bowes Software
Mike Sutton Independent Consultant
Alexandra Grounds Independent Consultant
Neil Sinclair Retired Geospatial Engineer
Rebecca Dickson Field Engineer Crossrail
Ali Bayyati London South Bank University
Nicole Metje University of Birmingham
Miranda Lui Director, MES Services Limited and Chairlady, ICES Hong Kong
Andy Rhoades Independent Consultant
Holger Kessler Geoscience Technical Adviser,
Geospatial Commission, Cabinet Office

What are we working on?

Past and present work include:

PAS 128 - It is vital that we hold accurate information about underground utilities. This need is becoming greater as our demand for ever more complex infrastructure increases. Historically, detecting and locating underground infrastructure has proved complex, and often inaccurate. To make this more effective, the panel worked with the British Standards Institute (BSI) to develop PAS 128.

PAS 128 aims to provide a clear and unambiguous provision for those engaged in the detection, verification and location of active, abandoned, redundant or unknown utilities. It applies to surveyors, geophysicists or subsurface utility engineers as well as engineers, constructors, project managers and utility owners who are responsible for recording information about underground utilities.

ICE and the BSI launched this new standard in 2014. The panel is now working with the utility sector and BSI to review the use and success of PAS in the industry and help to deliver changes as required.

PAS 256 - Buried services and underground apparatus - The panel took its work on PAS 128 forward and again collaborated with BSI to deliver a new common standard on buried apparatus for application across the UK. PAS 256 was published on 31 March 2017 and launched at the ICE headquarters on 11 April 2017.

This PAS provides the framework for those owning buried assets to:

  • drive towards improved accuracy when capturing and recording information
  • share more accurate records collaboratively with those working in the vicinity of their buried assets
  • improve the linkage between assets that are part of the critical national infrastructure with initiatives such as Smart Cities, and building information modelling (BIM)

This PAS sets out a consistent, accessible data protocol to enable effective recording and sharing of the location, state, and nature of buried assets, and recommends how existing asset records should be updated, recorded and collated.

This PAS also covers:

  • the gathering of geospatial data using absolute or relative accuracy, plus associated evidence (such as photographic evidence);
  • measurable deviations from straight line installations, where appropriate;
  • the absolute depth of the asset;
  • the number of days to record and make available the asset data, once collected; and
  • the sharing of collected asset data

PAS 256 is for use by all stakeholders, including utilities (their contractors, ground scanners and service providers), highways organisations and government.

Briefings - The panel aims to produce briefings on a range of subjects, including:

  • Coastal monitoring
  • Guide to Global Positioning System (GPS) and multi-constellation Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS)
  • Resilience of GNSS
  • Mobile technologies and indoor positioning - for example, what are the mobile devices over the next three years?
  • How geospatial information helps overcome a major crisis

Panel Meeting - The panel meeting in November 2016 was hosted by Crossrail and combined with a fascinating site visit of the new Crossrail station at Canary Wharf.

The new station is built up to 30m below water level in a five storey mixed-use development known as Crossrail Place. It will connect this key business district to the City of London, the West End and Heathrow.

The station is built in a joint funding agreement between Crossrail and Canary Wharf. Crossrail surveyed the entire place once they began work on the project. Panel members were able to view the new platform which is 250 metres long and will accommodate an 11 car train. Panel members were also able to view the newly built fire escape and fire suppression (water mist) systems.

The station will open in December 2018 when services begin through central London. Trains will terminate at Paddington in the west and Abbey Wood in the east.

When the route fully opens in December 2019, a train every five minutes at peak time will allow passengers to travel all the way through to Paddington, Heathrow or Reading in the west and Abbey Wood in the east.

GEO Business 2018 - The panel were part of the organising committee for GEO Business which ran over two days in May. One of the key geospatial events in the UK, the panel provided guidance and advice on the content of the event. Ian Bush gave a presentation on the PAS 128 review process.

The Geo programme provided a platform for leading experts and opinion formers from across industry and government to showcase how geospatial data is driving the massive technological change of the fourth industrial revolution.

Client Guide to Instrumentation and Monitoring - The long awaited Client Guide to Instrumentation and Monitoring has been published and is welcomed by those involved in the complex area of using instrumentation for structural monitoring. The pan industry publication was written by many volunteers and is endorsed by the Survey Liaison Group on behalf of the ICES, RICS, TSA and ICE.

The two documents include a one page summary and a more in depth document covering such things as common questions, the benefits, scope of monitoring, and a guide to the types of instrumentation available.