The company was established by three Directors, all of whom have been lifelong friends and partners, who always had a desire to work together and establish an environmental, geological, and geotechnical practice that could offer an expert driven, cost effective and pragmatic service to prospective and existing clients.
Adam Czarnecki (Chairman)
Adam is the proud son of Zdisław Czarnecki who fled with his family from invaders in Poland and Russia and for some unknown reason eventually settled in East Lancashire, in the former cotton town of Blackburn, Lancashire.
Adam’s interest in geology originated in studying landforms with his father in the Ribble Valley, whilst on fishing trips, in particular around the Waulsortian mud mound deposits around Clitheroe and the nearby Trough of Bowland. Many years later Adam could often be found mapping (wandering aimlessly) around the Trough looking for mineralisation (sulphate, copper, zinc, barite, fluorite & silver).
After studying in 1984, Adam subsequently worked for British Gas Plc working in the petrophysical department on onshore/offshore projects, later studied (part time) Petroleum Engineering at London Kings College and Applied Geology at Strathclyde University. He won a scholarship from the Anglo American Corporation, whilst at Strathclyde University, and served as a mine geologist in South Africa, investigating and geostatistically assessing a recently discovered reef deposit (7km depth) at the President Brand Mine in Welkom.
He has worked as a Geologist/Engineering Geologist for a variety of small to medium sized engineering/environmental consultancy practices, remediation companies and landfill operators prior to management of remediation contractors and consultancy practices in the North West and Midlands areas. Work has been varied ranging from mining studies, landfill design, environmental auditing, geological investigations, site investigations, slope stability assessments, ground improvement, foundation design, assessment of soil/groundwater contamination risk, ground gas assessments and has always despite entering the world of business development/hitting “targets” continued to remain keenly interested in geotechnical and contaminated land advancements.
He is proudest of his work on several projects early in his career where he was responsible for the design and planning of Eardswick Hall (near Crewe) landfill site which demanded a rigorous investigation of ground conditions within an underlying partially confined minor aquifer, the use of novel AQUA 3D hydrogeological modelling and design of the containment configuration. He was also responsible for the construction quality assurance (CQA) of the basal and sidewall clay lining and geomembrane system.
Early in his career Adam was also very proud to bring his Ribble Valley geological knowledge to assist Castle Cement with a geological investigation and reserve assessment of a new high grade limestone quarry (Bellman Park) which is now operational and which will continue to contribute to the local economy for over thirty years. He was also keen to establish a new publically accessible geological exposure as part of the quarry development.
At several companies he has worked at Board Level establishing new GeoEnvironmental departments, managing new or established regional offices of remediation companies or consultancies. He is well known in the field of Contaminated Land and in particular the investigation, assessment, management and remediation of brownfield sites. He is a Chartered Geologist, an active member of the Geological Society of London and the Society of Brownfield Risk Assessment (SOBRA).
He is passionate about protecting our environment and has always been keen to restore derelict sites to a beneficial use and firmly believes that being a competent consultant only comes with sufficient experience and the possession of a vocational interest in the subject. Contaminated Land work in particular involves a good understanding of geology, soil mechanics, hydrogeology, statistics, chemistry, toxicology, hydrology, mining, cartography, civil engineering and a whole range of other disciplines.
He is the Managing Director of the company and is responsible for business development and managing the contaminated land and geotechnical portfolio of work. He is regularly seen on site as part of any site investigation as his philosophy is that the “designer” should always observe the ground conditions.
Adam is an active participant in the Geological Society of London, Society of Brownfield Risk Assessment and is a CL:AIRE Code of Practice Qualified Person (QP 105).
Simon Leat (Managing Director)
Simon was brought up in the market town of Trowbridge in Wiltshire, where he developed a keen interest in rugby, going on to captain the town 1st XV and later coaching the 1st XV and various youth teams.
Simon attended Portsmouth Polytechnic in 1986 to study Engineering Geology and Geotechnics.
Upon graduating from Portsmouth in 1989, Simon secured a position as a Geotechnical Engineer working for the Property Services Agency on a variety of projects throughout the UK on military bases and government property. During his time at the PSA he was posted as Assistant Resident Engineer on the prestigious Windsor Castle Round Tower Stabilisation Project.
Since his time at the PSA, Simon has developed his career and knowledge of ground engineering in various SI Contractors and Consultants. He has over 26 years experience in ground investigation and geoenvironmental consultancy and contracting. During his time at Soil Mechanics he was a company regional lecturer on soil and rock description.
He has extensive experience in Factual and Interpretative Report writing for various geo-environmental projects and ground investigation projects and also experience in geotechnical design for shallow, deep and special foundations, foundations over abandoned mineworkings, foundations and earthworks in chalk, ground improvement techniques, slope stability, earthworks specifications, retaining walls, specifications for infilling mine shafts and grouting/backfilling mineworkings, coal mining risk assessments, contamination investigations, and remedial method statements. Simon has extensive experience in project management and procurement and Client liaison.
Elizabeth Czarnecki (Director)
Elizabeth Czarnecki studied for an undergraduate Environmental Science degree at Birmingham University and later for an Environmental Science MSc at Manchester University. She then was employed at a company based in Congleton, GeoDelft Environmental, the UK arm of a Dutch research institute company that provided risk management, software development and site investigation services for blue chip clients such as Shell UK, National Grid and Railtrack Plc. Elizabeth soon became involved in the writing of environmental diligence reports for the petrochemical sector and managed a team of field engineers who carried out work across the UK & Eire.
It is at GeoDelft that Elizabeth and Adam Czarnecki first met, working together within a unit that specialised in the delivery of site assessments for national housing and commercial developers. Several prestigious projects were secured including an investigation of a prestigious twenty hectare derelict site in Wigan.
After GeoDelft she joined a small engineering practice in central Manchester working within a newly established environmental division and worked on a range of site investigations for geotechnical and environmental assessments, primarily for new housing and commercial building projects. She proved to be a valuable member of the team leading many projects and mentoring younger member of staff particularly in Phase I/Phase II Contaminated Land report writing.
She is chiefly responsible for providing Phase I/Phase II Environmental and Due Diligence reports to clients and for management of the company finances and administration.
John Grace (Director)
John studied for an undergraduate degree in Chemistry at Reading University before completing a Masters in Soil and Environmental Pollution.
Upon completion of his MSc, John secured a position as a contaminated land consultant for Apple Environmental in 2010 before joining RPS Group in 2012.
John’s work initially resided within the residential market prior to expanding into the energy, infrastructure and waste sectors. Much of his experience has focussed on site management and supervision, alongside human health, gas, and groundwater risk assessments. John has frequently worked in conjunction with clients and regulators to achieve environmental permit surrender, assessment of land quality, and the discharge of planning conditions.
Whilst working at RPS, John was the site manager responsible for delivering the comprehensive ground investigation works for the proposed M4 Corridor around Newport, South Wales. The works, which included geotechnical and geo-environmental investigation, spanned 24 km across the city of Newport and over 30 individual contaminated sites. An important element of John’s work was managing the multiple technical and non-technical stakeholders, including Welsh Government, consultant engineers and current land owners. John successfully delivered four stages of ground investigation over a period of two years, with the information obtained directly influencing the design and delivery of this nationally important infrastructure project.
Other notable projects which John has been involved in include, the scoping and site management of ground investigations at six former coal and oil-fired power stations across the UK. The works, which were undertaken on behalf of three of the major UK energy providers, comprised of comprehensive ground investigations required to support each site’s Environmental Permit surrender, decommissioning, the evaluation of land quality, and the assessment of each site’s liability under Part IIa.
John joined Earth Environmental & Geotechnical in early 2018 and started off working alongside Simon in the Bath office. However, John has now moved back to Reading where he is heading up the development of our Reading office.
Paul Finnimore (Associate Director)
Paul was raised in the seaside town of Redcar and attended Teesside University where he graduated in 2009 with a Bachelor of Civil Engineering.
In his early years, he worked in a specialist geotechnical laboratory based in the North East of England, where he carried out earthworks testing, geotechnical testing and in-situ testing. After leaving the lab, he moved on to large scale contract supervision work where he worked on a large infrastructure job, the largest being a pipeline scheme from Peterhead to Grangemouth involving several rigs at once.
After this Paul worked for a local geotechnical consultancy where he worked for 10 years, moving up the ranks in the office, from Graduate Geotechnical Engineer to Project Manager. He gained extensive experience in desk-based assessments, site investigation in brownfield sites, validation of earthworks, and complex underground mine investigations.
During this time, he attended Newcastle University part-time studying Geotechnical Engineering and graduated with a master’s in Geotechnical Engineering in 2016.
The company moved to large contracting work, Paul was able to use his multiple skills and competencies to deliver large site investigations for multi-million-pound projects nationally, which included the site investigation for Westfield Court Student Accommodation Block at The University of Hull, Earthworks testing at Windsor Castle for the Queens Diamond Jubilee and several large ground investigations at the local oil refinery Conoco Phillips in Seal Sands.
Prior to joining Earth Environmental & Geotechnical Ltd, Paul had moved to a local company where he set up his own earthworks department, worked project management and tendered for work, also working onsite and hands-on drilling boreholes and producing onsite reports for the clients.
Out of work Paul is a family man who has two young daughters and enjoys DIY and over the past few years has successfully completed a loft conversion and single storey extension to his home.
Erin Viney (Associate Director)
Erin joined Earth Environmental & Geotechnical as a Senior Geo-Environmental Consultant in 2021.
Erin was raised near Cardiff and attended Coventry University where she studied Geography and got her first taste of environmental consultancy. Alongside her third year studies Erin took on the part-time role of Environmental Technician for a small local environmental monitoring company. The role included working the length of the M40 and beyond, undertaking gas and groundwater monitoring at retired landfills, due diligence gas monitoring on residential developments, and groundwater sampling on the Longbridge brownfield developments.
Eager to work in a team larger than 1, Erin joined a large multidisciplinary engineering consultancy as an Environmental Technician ‘based’ in Bristol and Cardiff, where she was soon promoted to Graduate Site Engineer. During her time there Erin achieved multiple health and safety qualifications while gaining experience on active refineries, oil terminals, and active construction sites.
In 2019 Erin moved to London to take on the role of Environmental Consultant for the environmental arm of a large metal recycling company, using her health and safety background she was able to update procedures to aid the certification of ISO 14001 and ISO 9001. Erin also undertook the planning and completion of intrusive contamination investigations, monitoring to ensure sites were within their permit requirements using BAT. Erin also travelled cross-country for end of waste screening, adding to her extensive knowledge of motorway services.
Erin has worked for a wide range of clients from multinational corporations such as ExxonMobil, EMR and Lidl, to local councils, small businesses and individual homeowners.
Out of work Erin is a glutton for punishment, during 2022 she completed the UK 3 Peaks, walked the West Highland Way (over 100 miles and over 1,000,000 midges) and stewarded night shifts at Glastonbury Festivals notorious South East Corner. She is currently looking for “holidays” (read: massive walks/marathons) to plan for next year. When Erin isn’t taking on physical challenges she enjoys copious amounts of tea, crossfit and playing hockey at her local club.