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Alun Howard Rhys Davies 1954 - 2010

Alun Davies
Alun Davies was a well respected and very popular geologist in the South Wales region, where he worked for a number of the major engineering consultancies throughout his career.

Alun was born in Pontarddulais (the ‘Bont’), near Swansea in 1954. A fluent Welsh speaker and proud Welshman, he attended Gowerton Grammar school and graduated from Swansea University with a degree in geology in 1977. He began his professional career with British Gas as a Cartographic Draftsman / Surveyor. In 1978 he moved to Maunsel and Partners and worked with them as a Geologist until 1986. He then took a job with WS Atkins and Partners in Swansea as an Engineering Geologist, where he worked in their busy geotechnical department for over 20 years. During his time with Atkins he studied part-time at Cardiff University for a Masters degree in Environmental and Engineering Geology, graduating in 1994.

In 2006 he sought new challenges and moved a short distance across the River Tawe to Ground Engineering Ltd in Llansamlet, taking up a position as Associate Director. Following a company reorganisation he left in 2008 and worked for a short time with Quantum Ltd. in Bynea. Recently he had been working as a self employed consultant, and at the time of his death was contracted to EM Drilling in Sierra Leone.

During his career Alun was involved in a number of landmark Welsh projects including the Second Severn Crossing, Millennium Stadium, A55 Holyhead improvement scheme and BP Llandarcy remediation.

Alun took great pride in his professional qualifications, becoming a Fellow of the Geological Society in 1979, a Chartered Geologist in 2000, a European Geologist in 2001 and a Chartered Scientist in 2005. He was well known in the Welsh geotechnical community, and was an active member of the Ground Engineering Group and the South Wales branch of the Institution of Civil Engineers, sitting on committees in various capacities during his career.

Alun loved sport and in his early years played football for the Bont and for Swansea University. He was an accomplished downhill skier and more recently he had become an enthusiastic golfer. He could be found most weekends chasing a little white ball across the countryside.

Alun worked with a level of professional integrity that is a mark of his generation of geologists and engineers. He provided sound and practical advice, offered assistance freely and provided guidance without hesitation. He was always the first to offer to make the tea and, some how, it always tasted better when it was made by him.

I had the privilege of working with Alun for over 20 years. I will remember him as a friendly, generous, dependable and most likeable individual. He died suddenly on 19 September 2010 while working on a ground investigation project in Sierra Leone. He leaves to mourn his wife Catherine, sons James and William and a great many friends and colleagues.

Nick Brown