Mark Tyrer - Consulting Geochemist

The following list describes some of the other organisations and institutions with whom I work or am, (in one way or another) associated. For more details, click on the title of the organisation or on the blue links in the text.

1)    Coventry University

I have worked with Professor Peter Claisse and Dr. Essie Ganjian in the  Department of Built Environment at Coventry for around ten years. We have undertaken a major evaluation of low-cost construction materials, relating their chemistry and microstructure to physical properties and performance in service. The initial application was to develop alternative materials for landfill liner construction and involved substantial site trials. One promising finding is that we can engineer barrier materials which are self-repairing - through promotion of autogenous mineralisation causing crack-healing. Photographs of these materials in service are shown on Peter’s web site and some abstracts are on my MIRO page. Since the liners studies, our collaboration has developed in two directions; low-cost, sulphate activated pozzolans intended for massive void fill and more conventional, pozzolanic concretes and controlled low strength materials. Latterly, I was involved in the 2007 conference on "Sustainable Construction Materials and Technologies" hosted by Coventry which we organised jointly with The University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. Our next conference in the series will be in June 2010 at the University of Ancona (Universita Polytecnica delle Marches), Italy.


2)    ICON (Imperial College Consultants Ltd.)

ICON is one of the commercial wings of Imperial College, with whom I have worked on several projects. They are the most direct way of finding and engaging experts from the College, especially for work where the sponsor wishes to retain intellectual property rights. ICON will give advice on costs and help with contract negotiation.


3)    Land and Minerals Consulting Ltd. (Bristol)

This is a consulting practice run by Adrian Wilkinson, who specialises in resource geology, especially aggregates and other quarry products. The company also work in mineral operation planning and land acquisition and will advise on mineral processing technology. I especially like Adrian's animated site visualisation on his home page. I am retained by Land and Mineral Consulting as an Associate, advising on geochemistry and cement chemistry.


4)    MiMeMiP                                                                    (Minerals and Metals, Mining and Processing Network)

MiMeMiP is one of the seven Sustainable Materials networks funded by the EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council). Its aim is to stimulate and develop new strategies for sustainable practices and products in the mineral, aggregates, metal mining and processing sectors. The network is operated by the University of Leeds in close partnership with MIRO (the Mineral Industry Research Organisation) and I have been a member since its inception.


5)   RWIN (Radioactive Waste Immobilisation Network)

The Radioactive Waste Immobilisation Network  is co-ordinated by the University of Sheffield, through their Immobilisation Science Laboratory.  RWIN aims to provide a focus for those people in the UK who have an interest in nuclear waste management and has hosted the 2007 Materials Research Society meeting "A Scientific Basis for Nuclear Waste Management".


6)    The Association of Consulting Scientists

An association of independent scientists working as consultants, which is a constituent body of the Joint Consultants Forum. The organisation represents the interests of independent consultants and provides a forum from which consortia are built to undertake larger projects. Moreover, its members are bound to a code of professional practice, defining the standards to be expected by the clients. The Association has representatives on several BSI standards committees and seeks to maintain high standards in professional practice.


7)    BSI  British Standards

BSI is part of the BSI Group and is the national standards authority for the UK.  It offers many services concerned with standardisation of products and practices, principally, it:
  • Certifies management systems and products
  • Provides product testing services
  • Develops private, national and international standards
  • Provides training and information on standards and international trade and
  • Provides performance management software solutions
I serve on BSI committee B/516 EN 197-1 (Cement) and Sub-Committee B/516/6 (Cement Specifications) as a member of the SCI delegation (lead by Professor John Bensted).


8)   The Society of Chemical Industry

The SCI is a unique organisation, whose all-embracing view of what constitutes chemistry is very much part of its appeal. It hosts many meetings throughout the year, largely organised by the regional or subject groups. I have been a member of the Construction Materials Group committee at the SCI since 1996 and have organised three successful meetings at the SCI:



                                                          Click for more details

One of the roles of the society is to provide a non-alligned presence on British and international standards committees (see above) The SCI has a member or delegation of members contributing to numerous standards committees.


9)    Mineral Processing and Extractive Metallurgy

I am a member of the Editorial Board of Mineral Processing and Extractive Metallurgy (Maney Publishing) a journal which is Transactions C of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (see below).


10) The Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining.

The Institute was formed from the merger of the Institute of Materials and the Institution of Mining and Metallurgy in June 2002, and is the professional body for the international materials, minerals and mining community. It occupies rather grand premises on Carlton House Terrace and regional offices in Stoke-on-Trent and Doncaster. I serve on the committee of the Cementitious Materials Group which organises (amongst other meetings) the annual Cement and Concrete Science Conference in the UK. Our recent conference was in Manchester on the 15th and 16th September 2008 and will be followed by a meeting in Leeds next year.


11)    The Geological Society of London

Founded in 1807, The Geological Society is both the professional body and learned society representing the interests of geoscientists in th United Kingdom. I was elected as a Fellow (FGS) in 1992, transferring from the Institution of Geologists (originally as  A.M.I.Geol.; 1985). Occupying the Piccadilly and East Wings of Burlington House, The Society enjoys splendid accommodation, housing one of the largest earth science libraries in the world. Much of its book stock is available to Fellows on line through the Lyell Centre , our virtual library, which will  increase greatly the accessibility of the collection.


12)   The Royal Institution of Great Britain

This remarkable institution does not count me amongst its membership, but like so many people, I pay my half crown and dust my black tie, to attend the Friday Evening Discourses.  Although perhaps now best known for its televised Christmas Lectures, the RI hosts very many events across the whole scientific spectrum. The magnificent buildings on Albermarle Street are undergoing a major redevelopment and renovation at present to provide new facilities for the institution and new homes for the Faraday Museum and Davy-Faraday Research Laboratory. Of particular importance to many is the introduction of new seats (with leg-room!) and air conditioning in the Faraday Lecture Theatre. Perhaps the last thing to mention is that membership is open to everyone. In keeping with the spirit if the RI over 200 years, it remains open, non-exclusive and welcoming.


13)    The National Physical Laboratory

NPL is the nation's standards laboratory, maintaining measurement standards and offering commercial laboratory services to external clients in support of this work. Based in Teddington, Middlesex, NPL has just moved into purpose-built laboratories on Hampton Road, on their orignal site which includes Bushy House.

I collaborate with the NPL Materials Centre, particularly with Thermodynamics and Process Modelling Group, who maintain the thermodynamic simulator MTDATA. This is a powerful and sophisticated code, performing true free energy minimisation on complex systems and has found application in many chemical systems. I have participated in work on oxide and aqueous systems for around ten years and have an interest in the molten salts programme in connection with our own OPTIMISE and ULECeS projects. (See my UCL page).

Recently, I have become a research contractor on a project simulating cement hydrates, a project which is entering its third phase. Our original study produced a robust and expandable simulation of CSH dissolution, based on a sub-lattice model, which accounts for its varying stoichiometry. At the end of the Phase-1 study a critically assessed database was produced describing forty cement hydrate phases. Currently, the project seeks to include foreign ions in CSH gel (especially sulphate and carbonate) and to simulate the interactions of cements with priority pollutants, such as lead, zinc, cadmium and arsenic, along with the transuranics, uranium and thorium.


14)    The Knowledge Transfer Networks

I became involved with the DTI KNowledge transfer networks after serving as a Research Manager for one of their predecessor organisations, the Mini-Waste Faraday Partnership. The KTNs act as umbrella organisations for their subject areas; providing a linked community of expertise and interest and act as a conduit for information exchange. This includes regulatory information, calls for proposals and partners, discussion groups and other activities linking businesses, research organisations and consultants in many fields. In particular, they provide:
  • Managed networks - these aim to encourage the exchange of knowledge and information, by way of outreach activities
  • Information networks - these are designed to foster cross-sector and cross-border debate, by way of signposting activities
  • Issues networks - these seek to draw industry players together to carry out problem-solving activities
I have interests in the following KTNs:
The REKTN was formed from the Mini-Waste Partnership and is the network with which I am still most familiar.


15)     The University of Greenwich

I have been associated with Greenwich fro some years, initially (from 1989) as a visiting lecturer on the M.Sc. course in Geomaterials . I was appointed as a Visiting Research Fellow in 2000 and have supervised M.Sc. and Ph.D. projects in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences (now the larger School of Science) at the Medway Campus. My closest links are with Drs. Colin Hills and Paula Carey who run the Centre for Contaminated Land Remediation and the spin-out company Carbon8 in partnership with my Colleague at UCL Professor Stefaan Simons. The Medway campus occupies what was the Royal Navy College in Chatham, on the north Kent Coast and is an excellent conference venue, having hosted the 23rd Cement and Concrete Science Conference in 2003.


16)     WARMNET

The Waste and Resource Management Network is a network of Universities involved in wastes management education and research. Its goals are to:

  • Promote wastes management as an academic discipline and to encourage collaboration in curriculum development, R&D and consultancy
  • Promote universities as centres of excellence in actively pursuing policies of sustainable waste management
  • Support other regional and national networks

Each year it has hosted a successful conference at Nottingham, titled Tackling Waste, to which we contributed in 2006. The Network is managed by Dr. Margaret Bates at the University of Northampton who is co-director of the SITA Centre for Sustainable Wastes Management.


17)   The Royal Society of Chemistry

The RSC is the largest organisation of its kind in Europe and represents both academic and professional interests throughout the discipline in this country. It headquarters occupy the East Wing of Burlington House (Piccadilly, London) and it publishes from dedicated premises in Cambridge. The Society's activities are far to numerous to summarise here, but include networks, conferences and publishing, along with regional and special interest groups. I am a member of one of these; the Molten Salts Discussion Group, founded by my colleague at Imperial, Professor Douglas Inman, who was its original chairman.