Dr Vanessa J Banks

Position: Lecturer/ Senior Lecturer

College: College of Life & Natural Sciences

Subject area: Geology

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Early career focused on low level restoration schemes for the mineral extractive industry and on waste disposal, in particular: ground and surface water monitoring; aspects of landfill design, and site reconnaissance studies.

After studying for the MSc in Engineering Geology, worked for C H Dobbie and Partners, a firm of civil and structural engineers, specialising in using new technologies for engineering solutions. The following two appointments largely focused on site investigation and included responsibility for two large site investigations: i) resident engineer for Canada Water Station (Jubilee Line extension), which included pumping tests and ii) Client’s representative for the Isle of Dogs Northern Drainage Tunnel. The latter led on to some shift work as site geotechnical engineer for the tunnel construction phase.

Responsibilities at RSA Geotechnics Limited included: management of ‘special projects’; flood risk assessments, and preparation of site reports for PPC applications for agricultural installations and for waste disposal facilities. PhD undertaken whilst working, initially at RSA, and then subsequently for the British Geological Survey as a research scientist. Research interests at the BGS include: contaminant hydrogeology (particularly pertaining to abandoned mines and landfill), hydrogeological conceptual models and hydrogeological domains, landscape evolution, urban geology and shallow geohazards and risk (karst dissolution, clay shrink-swell and landslides).

Teaching responsibilities

Occasional lectures and fieldwork support

Research interests

Engineering Geology; Hydrogeology; Hydrology; Quaternary Science

Membership of professional bodies

Fellow of the Geological Society of London


Undergraduate qualifications

  • Chartered Geologist, Geological Society of London
  • BSc Geology Victoria University of Manchester 1984
  • Certificate Field Archaeology and Landscape History. 1999. University of East Anglia

Postgraduate qualifications 

  • MSc and DIC Engineering Geology, Imperial College 1988

Research qualifications

  • PhD Karst Hydrogeology of the southern catchment of the River Wye, Derbyshire, 2007, University of Huddersfield

Recent publications

  • Banks, V.J. and Jones, P.F. 2013. Measurement of rates of surface lowering of limestone in the southern Pennines: a case study in the Wye catchment, Derbyshire, UK. Proceeding of the Geologists’ Association. In Press.
  • Banks, V.J. Jones, P.F., Lowe, D.J., Lee, J.R., Rushton, J.C. and Ellis, M.A. 2012.  Reply to comment by Rob Westaway on “Review of tufa deposition and palaeohydrological conditions in the White Peak, Derbyshire, UK: implications for Quaternary landscape evolution.”  http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pgeola.2012.07.014
  • Banks, V.J. and Jones, P.F. 2012. Hydrogeological Significance of Secondary Terrestrial Carbonate Deposition in: Gholam A. Kazemi (Editor) Hydrogeology-a global perspective. Intech Publishing. 222pp.
  • Banks, V.J. Jones, P.F., Lowe, D.J., Lee, J.R., Rushton, J.C. and Ellis, M.A. 2011 Review of tufa deposition and palaeohydrological conditions in the White Peak, Derbyshire, UK: Implications for Quaternary landscape evolution. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pgeola.2011.03.011 
  • Banks, V.J. and Palumbo-Roe, B. 2010. Synoptic monitoring as an approach to discriminating between point and diffuse source contributions to zinc loads in mining impacted catchments. Journal of Environmental Monitoring. 2010. DOI:10.1039/c0em00045k.
  • Banks, V.J., Palumbo-Roe, B., Chenery, S.R., Wood, P.J. and Reid, E.2010.Catchment-scale assessments of the effects of abandoned metal mines on groundwater quality and stream ecology to inform remediation strategies. Proceedings 8th British Land Reclamation Society Conference, Glamorgan, South Wales September 2010.
  • Banks, V.J., Gunn, J. and Lowe, D.J. 2009. Investigation of stratigraphical influences on the limestone hydrogeology of the Wye catchment, Derbyshire. Quarterly Journal of Engineering Geology 42, 211-225.
  • Banks V.J., Palumbo-Roe B., Chenery S., Kura K. and Klinck B.A. 2008. Catchment scale study of point and diffuse water pollution in the Rookhope burn, a tributary of the River Wear (UK) affected by abandoned metal mines. Proceedings 10th International Mine Water Association Congress Karlovy Vary Czech Republic.
  • Bricker, S., Lee, J., Banks, V., Morigi, A. and Garcia-Bajo, M. 2012. East Anglia’s buried channels. Geoscientist, 22, 4, 14-19.
  • Columbu, A., Banks, V.J., De Waele, Jo., Cooper, A.H. and Jones ,P.F.  2013. An account of the tufa deposits in the Via Gellia, Cromford, Derbyshire, UK.  Mercian Geologist, 18, 2, 99-107.
  • Marchant, A.P., Banks, V.J., Royse, K. Quigley, S. and Wealthall, G.P. 2010. An Initial Screening Tool for water resource contamination due to development in the Olympic Park 2012 site, London. Environmental Earth Sciences. In press.
  • Nathanail, J and Banks, V.J. 2009. Climate Change: Implications for engineering geology practice in: Engineering Geology for Tomorrow’s Cities. Geological Society Special Publication22. 65-82.
  • Rushton, J.C. and Banks, V.J. 2010. Characterization of mine waste: A case study of Frongoch tailings. Goldschmidt Conference Abstracts, Geochosmica. A892.

Experience in industry

  • British Geological Survey 2006 Team Leader for Shallow Geohazards and Risks
  • University of Huddersfield 2001-2007 Research Assistant
  • RSA Geotechnics Limited 1994-02006 Principal Geoenvironmental Engineer
  • A F Howland Associates 1990-1994 Senior Geotechnical Engineer
  • May Gurney Technical Services Limited 1989-1989 Geotechnical Engineer
  • C H Dobbie and Partners 1988-1989 Geotechnical Engineer
  • M J Carter Associates 1984-1987 Consultant Geologist

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