Keith Makinson from British Antarctic Survey is a hotwater drilling engineer from British Antarctic Survey. He is a consultant to the engineering team.

meet the engineering team - Keith Makinson

My involvement in this project

When this project was first conceived, hot water drilling was quickly identified as the best way to gain access to subglacial lakes, hence my early involvement as the BAS hot water drilling expert. Over the following years I developed the specification for the drilling and filtration components for the project proposal. Now the project is funded, I assist with and guide the development of the hot water drill and filtration equipment and the modes of operation that will be used during the field programme.

What does being in this project mean to you personally?

This project represents the culmination of my many years of hard won field experience in developing hot water drilling techniques here at BAS. Since my arrival at BAS in 1988, I have steadily increased BAS’s hot water drilling capability from a system based on a small heated pressure washer capable of drilling 200 m of relatively warm ice, to a 25-times more powerful drill that will penetrate 3300 m of cold ice.  This will be the deepest ever hot water drilled hole by some margin and not a bad achievement for hot water drilling at BAS and a farmer’s son from Lancashire!  

Have you been to Antarctica before?

Yes, 9 times.






Chris Hill

Matt Mowlem

Andy Tait

Andy Webb

Ed Waugh

Keith Makinson

Nick Rundle

Jim Wyatt

Kevin Saw

Rob Brown