Andy Webb is a hot water drilling engineer from British Antarctic Survey
meet the engineering team - Andy Webb
My involvement in this project
I am one of two Drilling Engineers who will be on site operating the drilling equipment
in order to produce a hole through the ice into the subglacial Lake below.
Working closely with Andy Tait the other Drilling Engineer, we are jointly responsible
for the design, testing, commissioning, training and operation of the extensive Hot
Water Drilling System.
What does being in this project mean to you personally?
This is a very exciting project for me to be working on. From a scientific point
of view we are going into the unknown and the prospect of what may be found within
the Lake is fascinating.
However the engineering challenge was the draw for me. The sheer size of the equipment
required to undertake this mammoth task and the conditions that we will be operating
in will test us to the limit.I feel privileged to be working within this relatively
small team of skilled individuals in their specialist field in order to carry out
what was thought to be an inconceivable project only a few years ago.
Have you been to Antarctica before?
Yes, my first trip in 2006 was as a vehicle engineer at the UK’s largest Antarctic
base, Rothera Research Station, where I spent a period of 18 months during which
time I was fortunate enough to visit many sites within the British Antarctic Territory
including, Fossil Bluff, Sky Blu, Patriot hills. I was also part of the team who
inputted the original science field party to the Ellsworth site in 2006-07 via Twin
In 2007 I moved into the Building services section where I worked as The Islands
Facilities Engineer and travelled between Signy, Bird Island and King Edward Point
Research Stations each season for the past 3 years.