Mark Lusher, CIS Lead – Thames Water
Q: What is your background and what brought you into the trenchless industry?
I have worked in the Trenchless Industry for 37 years as a Client, Consultant, Designer and Contractor working primarily on sewers that are deemed complex in terms of condition, flow, size or location. I started work as a Trainee Engineer under an Institute of Civil Engineers indenture scheme at a local authority and this proved invaluable in my career as I worked on all aspects of the work from the initial surveys through to the final delivery. I have worked for contractors, consultants and client organisation in the UK and overseas and have delivered a portfolio running into many £100’s of millions. I got into the trenchless industry as I enjoy solving difficult engineering problems and this type of work is one of the few industries where you can be working on a shaft construction for a micro-tunnel drive one day, an emergency scheme the next and then discuss advanced robotics the following day.
Q: How/why did you get involved in UKSTT?
One of my Career Mentors was involved for many years with the UKSTT and suggested it would be good for me to get involved.
Q: What goals do you want to achieve as a UKSTT Council Member?
Passing on knowledge to the current and next generations of Engineers not only detailing successes but where potential failures have driven change.
Q: What do you see as being your own greatest personal achievement in the trenchless industry?
I have received a number of awards from the UKSTT and ISTT for previous projects and schemes as well as National Engineering awards linked to trenchless schemes.
Q: What do you currently see as the industry’s most urgent challenges?
Training and experience, many of the Engineers coming through these days do not have the opportunities to gain a wide range of site and design experience that was available in the past. This often means they have not got the skills that are required to make or influence the changes that drive innovation.
As the systems that have been developed over many years become more mainstream costs will of course come down. This is often driven by purely financial considerations that result in reduced quality which can give the industry a poor name. It is essential that the quality is maintained to ensure the solutions we provide are regarded as the preferred option.
Q: Where would you like to see UKSTT in 5 years?
Being on a par with the larger Organisations and Societies within our industry