23May / 2011
Simon Talbot, the founder and managing director of GGS, was previously the Director of the GMGU; a local authority technical support unit based at the University of Manchester. In this role Simon carried out teaching, training and research activities on contaminated land issues with a particular focus on the monitoring and risk assessment of ground-gas contamination. In 2002 the GMGU was running a series of ground-gas training events for local authority regulators and Simon invited Dr Stephen Boult from the University of Manchester as a guest lecturer to discuss gas sensor technology.
Steve’s research interests in environmental systems and high frequency monitoring and Simon’s interest in ground-gas led to discussions on the limitations of conventional ground-gas monitoring and the start of collaboration in developing continuous ground-gas monitoring techniques. Steve, through his university technology transfer spin-off company, Salamander, developed prototype field equipment that was trialled and tested by Simon’s team on a range of sites. Initially, the equipment comprised sensors installed in a standard monitoring well linked to a data logger located in an adjacent weather-proof box. Although the equipment was bulky and cumbersome to use, the quality of the data was such that Salamander, with additional advice from Simon on practical aspects, embarked on a design project over the next four years to develop the equipment to fit inside a standard borehole and the prototype GasClam® was created.
In 2006 Steve and Simon put together a consortium bid for DTI Technology Programme funding for a project to devise and validate an improved risk prediction methodology using the GasClam®. Dr. Peter Morris was appointed as the post-doctoral researcher for the two year project. In 2007, Salamander won the Innovative Technology (Environmental Technologies) prize at the Northwest Business Environment Awards. The success of the DTI project resulted in GasClam® being brought to market and the establishment of Ground-Gas Solutions Ltd.