Catherine Topliss BSc (Hons) CEnv CSci CGeol SiLC AMICE FGS

At university, I was involved in a project to find solutions for converting a coal mine into a residential development. It was this project that cemented my decision to be become a geotechnical and geo-environmental engineer.

Catherine Topliss
Catherine Topliss

My job is closely connected to civil engineering and I’m always building relationships with civil engineers. In fact, working with civil engineers inspired me to become a chartered environmentalist through ICE in 2009.

Gaining a professional qualification has clearly helped my career. A year after qualifying, I became an associate at my company and four years later a director. I now head up our geotechnical and geo-environmental team at Eastwood & Partners (Consulting Engineers).

It’s really rewarding to see how my skills have made a positive contribution to the environment. I’m proud to have played a key part in the conversion of the Stanley hand tools factory into 105 residential properties.

There were two aspects to my role. As project manager, I oversaw the remediation of the land and the demolition of the factory building. I also identified a new clean-up solution to tackle contamination. This had never been used in the UK before. The new in-situ, six-phase electrical resistive heating method was very effective in treating the trichloroethene (used to degrease the hand tools) which had seeped into the land.

Since 2014 I’ve been responsible for our company’s graduate training programme. As a supervising civil engineer, I’m happy to be supporting 12 graduates to become professionally qualified.

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