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Christopher Martin Pearson 1942-2010

Born on 19 February 1942, Chris Pearson left school to find his first job with a firm in Southall called “Le Grand Sutcliffe and Gell”. Chris moved on to British Rail, Western Region in the early 1960s where he was employed as a Geotechnical Engineer managing a wide range of geotechnical challenges associated with viaducts and bridges, tunnels, cutting and embankment stability, track stability, drainage, and structures.

In 1965 Chris set up Wembley Laboratories Ltd, Geotechnical Consultants. He developed this company quickly and profitably, with growth based considerably on repeat business from both public and private sectors. By 1969 he had a total staff of 30 including geotechnical engineers, soils technicians and field personnel.

In 1973 Chris joined Nuttall Geotechnical Services Ltd as Geotechnical Manager with responsibility for procurement, tendering and Project Management for complex on-shore and off-shore geotechnical site investigations.

Chris joined Tyrone Group Soil Engineering Ltd (1979) and became a Director in 1981, with an engineering and laboratory staff of 27. Chris led geotechnical investigations from tender to completion, including site supervision on larger or technically demanding projects.

After a seven-year break away from geotechnical work, during which Chris worked as a consultant with an international management consultancy group, Chris returned to the geotechnical and environmental consultancy business and practised as an independent Geo-Environmental Engineer from 1995. Chris undertook a wide range of UK, European, and some off-shore work on geotechnical and environmental projects.

Chris enjoyed sailing and reluctantly sold his boat when work commitments meant that he was not getting enough time to sail.

Chris joined Waterman Environmental Ltd as Senior Consultant in May 2000 where he managed geotechnical and environmental projects. Chris was primarily based on site, managing several major ground investigations, demolition and remediation projects. While Chris was th Resident Engineer for the demolition of the works at Peruvian Wharf, East London, including the demolition of a large concrete sugar silo, he managed to sprain his ankle – not on site but while running for a bus on the way home! Chris was Resident Engineer for the remediation of the former Pitwines Gasworks in Poole, which was completed successfully for residential use. Chris extended his retirement by two years, leaving Waterman in February 2009.

Chris continued working on a freelance basis, in particular working with Anderson Contractors who he developed a relationship with during the remediation of the gasworks at Pitwines in Poole, Dorset.

Chris died from a stroke on the morning of Saturday 6 February 2010. This was completely unexpected but Anne (his former wife, to whom he was about to be re-married) was at his side, and said that he suffered no pain.

Chris is remembered fondly by colleagues as a larger than life character, driving his Jaguar, smoking a cigar, being happiest working on-site with a professional team managing the challenges presented by the geology and contamination during demolition, construction or remediation works.

Carl Slater