Colin and Judith Knipe

Colin Knipe . . . . in brief

This is me, Colin Knipe, engineering geologist and mining engineer from Dudley, West Midlands, England, . .
.. . and my wife Judith.

We are both originally from Barrow-in-Furness, and met behind the school bike sheds when we were 17 !

We have been married now for nearly 50 years and have a daughter Carol, son Stephen, and three grandsons.


Professional details:

BSc(Hons) Geology; Chartered Engineer (CEng); Chartered Geologist (CGeol); Member, Institution of Materials Minerals & Mining (MIMMM); Fellow of the Geological Society (FGS); Past Chairman & Fellow, Institution of Geologists; Past Chairman, Midland Geotechnical Society. Member, Institution of Mining Engineers (MIMinE) and Member, Institution of Mining & Metallurgy (MIMM) (now both merged in IoM3)

Principal Consultant to Johnson Poole & Bloomer and formerly Senior Partner of the firm. JPB is a leading specialist mining, geotechnical and environmental consultancy based in Brierley Hill, West Midlands and in Glasgow, Cardiff and Wells.

Professional interests and experience:
I have been concerned with a wide range of geological, geotechnical, hydrogeological and environmental investigations, mine and mineral appraisals, subsidence and ground settlement studies, and development of computer systems. Expert advisor in litigation and expert witness at numerous public inquiries, tribunals and legal cases concerning mining and quarrying, tunnelling, subsidence, ground stability and property damage cases. Particular interest in geotechnical and minerals controls over regional planning and land use zoning. Technical assessor in major planning inquiries for the Department of the Environment and Welsh Office. Formerly Director of a computer systems and consultancy company specialising in scientific, industrial and technical computing and process control and of a Spanish mining, geotechnical and reclamation consultancy.

I was a major contributor to the planning strategy /development framework for the East Birmingham (Heartlands) Enterprise Area (1987/88). Director of a survey of landfill sites over 7 provinces and subsequent report on the design and management of landfill sites for the regional government of Castilla y Leon, Spain (1988/89). Project leader and principal author of the CIRIA report on the Engineering Implications of Rising Groundwater in Birmingham (1991). Appointed as Technical Assessor assisting and reporting to planning inspectors on matters of geology, hydrogeology and mining at three major public inquiries: for the Department of the Environment in connection with the UK Nirex proposal for an underground Rock Characterisation Facility related to deep nuclear waste disposal at Sellafield, Cumbria (1995/96) (I have posted a copy of my Technical Assessor's report); and for the Welsh Office in connection with British Coal's proposed Pwll Du Opencast Coal Site, Blaenavon (1990), and Tarmac Waste company's proposed Hafod Claypit Landfill Site, Wrexham (1991).

My work with Johnson Poole & Bloomer has included investigation of large quarry and open pit failures, design of remedial schemes and quarry support rules. Development of computer programs for geotechnical applications, including mining subsidence prediction. Investigation of groundwater flows into large excavations, and groundwater movement and water quality below and through large tip sites. Appraisal of stability of underground partial-extraction limestone, gypsum and salt mines, and the planning and supervision of large scale bulk infilling of underground limestone mines. Settlement studies of thick fill masses, especially backfilled open pit mines. Directing and interpreting a wide range of ground investigations into soil, rock and groundwater conditions in connection with civil engineering, building and industrial developments and tunnelling schemes. Ground treatment of abandoned mine workings and mine shafts. Design and supervision of plugging of large diameter shafts. Studies of spontaneous combustion. Geological surveys and economic appraisals for coal, aggregates and other mineral prospects, the preparation of open pit and quarrying schemes.

My early career was as a Geologist, (Scientific Officer/Planner) in the Minerals Branch, Ministry of Housing and Local Government (later the Department of the Environment and now DEFRA), dealing with planning and development of major and contentious mining and quarrying projects throughout England; the development of national and regional minerals policies; effects of New town, motorway and other major surface developments on mineral resources; and technical advice to Government planning inspectors. I had a period of secondment to the Ministry of Land and Natural Resources assisting with the establishment of the Geological Survey Minerals Assessment Unit and Mineral Resources Unit.


Outside interests:

  • I am a magistrate (Justice of the Peace) on the Dudley & Halesowen Bench, sitting as a chairman in the Adult Court and Family Proceedings Court. In fact I am currently Chairman of the whole Bench and was formerly Chairman of the local Lord Chancellor's Advisory Committee, which assists in the selection of new magistrates.
  • I am also an active Rotarian, a member and Past President of the Rotary Club of Dudley. It is a lively club with a long track record of outstanding achievement, and leads to lots of good fellowship.
  • I enjoy pottering in the garden when I have the chance, and enjoying a pint of beer in local pubs with my wife and friends.
  • My other interests include the dialect of the Lake District (Cumbria), in particular the dialect of the Furness area. I have transcribed the manuscript dialect dictionary of William Barrow Kendall, a Furness Railway engineer and amateur geologist, which he compiled in the mid 19th century.
  • I am Secretary of the Dudley Book Society, founded in 1732 and believed to be the oldest surviving book club in Britain, although today its activities are as much social as literary.
  • I have been closely involved in the building of the Shri Venkateswara (Balaji) Hindu Temple at Tividale near Dudley. This major project has created a temple in traditional South Indian style, together with community facilities and supporting buildings, with the support of devotees throughout England and beyond.
Nirex Planning Inquiry -
Technical Assessor's Report
Dudley Book Society
Shri Venkateswara Temple Rotary Club of Dudley
Dialect & Wordbook