As an Army Reservist with the Royal Engineers, I consider myself to be in a unique position to share
short article with you. On a normal day with Bridgeway’s SI/GI department I could be doing a
different tasks; from building PASMA towers to window sampling or even coring off pontoons on a
river. As a
department, our capability to change tasks seems almost boundless. It is these varying tasks that
can give a
reservist like myself a wealth of experience, knowledge and skills that can be exchanged with our
counterparts and also the many other reservists with differing backgrounds. I serve with 530
Royal Engineers (STRE) who are the forces construction materials specialists.
Due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus and the ensuing lockdown measures, all training exercises for
currently postponed. However, I was fortunate enough to attend two training exercises last year
the Armed Forces Covenant that Bridgeway have signed up to. One of the annual exercise’s was based
Wittering (about 50 miles from Nottingham) and was mainly trade orientated with a large emphasis on
and pavement evaluation. The usual set of intrusive SI/GI techniques were employed such as trial
auger/ rotary drilling and concrete coring.
In addition to what Bridgeway’s SI/GI department do on an almost weekly basis, we also had the
experienced personnel to conduct non-intrusive tests for the pavement evaluation.
These tests were “Heavy Weight Deflectometer (HWD)” for flexural strength and a “Mµ meter” for wet
and dry friction
testing of the runway surface (it helps if the planes don’t run away off the runway). Getting up to
60kph in a Landrover Defender whilst towing 1000L of water proved to be somewhat troublesome, but
During the intrusive investigations we would log the samples on site (using the same British
Standards as Bridgeway)
and create a testing schedule appropriately defined by the nature of the task.
Once we had finished making Swiss cheese out the RAF airfield, all samples were booked into a mobile
sample store and
testing conducted on those from the schedule.
Hopefully, next year will prove to be a little more virus free and maybe we can swap Wittering for Wuhan
… erm okay maybe not, probably Wolverhampton knowing my luck.