Project Experience

Mine Hydrogeology

Coal Operation, BC                                                                                           April – September 2016

Hydrogeotechnical Consultant

  • Managed hydrogeological drilling program
  • Developed hydrogeological conceptual model of a pit
  • Developed pore pressure model in RS2 for multiple cross sectional pit slope models for use in pit slope stability analyses
  • Developed 3D groundwater flow model using Groundwater Vistas and Modflow Surfact to provide long term in-pit water management requirements
  • Developed infiltration model for settlement pond on pit crest as part of pit crest stability analyses


Coal Operation, BC                                                                                                  March – April 2016

Hydrogeotechnical Consultant

  • Developed 3D groundwater flow model in MODFLOW-SURFACT to generate 3D pore pressure grid as part of the assessment of the stability of a highwall pit slope for stability analyses of the slope
  • Investigated poro-elastic and hydromechanical phenomena to determine impact on the overall pit slope stability.


Goldcorp – Porcupine Gold Mines, ON                                                               January- February 2016

Review and Updating Closure Plan:  Consultant Project Manager

  • Oversaw budget, schedule and staffing.
  • Assessment of the current drawdown footprint and impact of dewatering beneath the city
  • Updated conceptual groundwater model to include:
    • Groundwater balance, including the pit, during operations and post closure
    • Potential long term discharge point(s) for the groundwater system
    • Long term hydrochemistry of shaft water
  • Discussion of potential risks and how to best address (or mitigate) these
  • Monitoring plan to address the risks and to ensure adequate data are being collected to optimize the closure sequence
  • Trigger levels for flows and water quality


Coal Operation, BC                                                                                              July – December 2015

Consultant Project Manager

  • Oversaw budget, schedule and staffing.
  • Developed 2D pore pressure model in SLIDE and RS2 as part of the assessment of the stability of a highwall pit slope to provide pore pressure grid to the geotechnical engineer for stability analyses of the slope.
  • Investigated poro-elastic and hydromechanical phenomena to determine impact on the overall pit slope stability.


Selwyn Project Prefeasibility Study, Yukon                                          January, 2014 to November 2015

Consultant Project Manager

  • Managed technical direction, budget, schedule and staffing including hydrogeological fieldwork, numerical groundwater flow modeling and reporting to a prefeasibility level of understanding for eight open pits being designed to give an overall life of mine of 12 years.
  • Field work consisted of supervising drilling, packer testing and vibrating wire installations in each proposed pit. Two pumping tests were undertaken.
  • Over saw the development of eight 3D pit scale numerical groundwater flow models.


Coal Operation, BC                                                                                            July to December 2013

Project Manager

  • Responsible for undertaking all technical work.
  • Undertook high level review of the dewatering and water management requirements for the coal mining operation including the existing water management issues, providing conceptual groundwater models, identifying the key issues to be resolved, presenting to management the findings and recommendations, devising a dewatering and water management strategy with budgets and timescales.


Taseko Mines Gibraltar Mine, BC                                                                               June 2012 to date

Consultant Technical Manager

  • Integrated with the client’s team to implement the dewatering of the second largest open pit, in British Columbia.
  • Undertake quarterly site visits to review progress against agreed targets and time scales, reviewing data, and schedule, focusing on drilling, sumps, monitoring wells, vibrating wire piezometers, civil works and winterization of the dewatering infrastructure.


Hunter Dickinson and Anglo American Pebble Project                               March 2011 –September 2013

Alaska/Vancouver, BC

Project Manager

  • Oversaw budget, schedule and staffing.
  • Managed the groundwater hydrology aspects of a baseline study for a proposed gold and copper mine.
  • Managed team consisting of field hydrogeologists undertaking drilling, sampling and pumping tests; office hydrogeologists doing modeling; data interpretation and reporting.


Anglo American Lisheen Mine, Ireland                                                         February 1998 to July 2008

Consultant Project Manager

  • Oversaw budget, schedule and staffing.
  • Responsible for all the hydrogeological work being undertaken at the second largest Zinc-Lead mine in Europe.
  • Responsible for the supervision of all surface drilling and borehole testing, and developing a new model using GW Vistas.
  • Managed all aspects of the surface and underground dewatering program and undertook weekly water balance calculations and monthly hydrogeological reviews of the overall status of the mine dewatering including staffing, budgets and schedules.
  • Designed and managed a four-year underground drilling program including pipework, pumping and power designs to manage the clean and dirty water.


Rio Tinto Ekati Diamond Mine, Northern Territories                                        August – September 2010

Consultant Technical Manager

  • Oversaw budget, schedule and staffing.
  • Carried out risk assessment of the potential quantity and quality of ground water inflow to Misery Pit.
  • Reviewing all the geology, drilling and water level data, hydrochemistry, and historic inflows to other pits in the area.
  • Carried out site visits and office work in Toronto and Dublin.

Rio Tinto Borax Mine, California                                                                                        March 2010

Hydrogeological Consultant

  • Undertook a technical review of the Borax Mine, Antelope Valley, California as part of the long term design of the in-pit slopes.
  • Reviewed the hydrogeology database and the FEFLOW model to confirm the conceptual model and made recommendations on the long term configuration of the pit slopes.


Rio Tinto Bingham Canyon, Utah                                                            October 2009 – February 2010

Hydrogeological Consultant

  • Developed long term underground dewatering strategy for the North Rim Skarn project located within Bingham Canyon Mine, Utah.
  • Calculated the potential inflows as the underground workings were to be developed, specifying the underground drilling and engineering works required.


Goldcorp Peñasquito Mine, Mazapil, Mexico                                                   August – September 2009

Consultant Project Manager

  • Oversaw budget, schedule and staffing.
  • Undertook hydrogeological review of dewatering project for the Peñasquito Mine (Copper), Mazapil, Mexico.
  • Compiled a database for the sequence of dewatering, water levels and pumping volumes, reviewing a MODFLOW numerical model and calculating, using analytical methods, the most probable long term dewatering rates required.


Cleveland Potash Mine, Boulby, England                                                                          October 2002

Technical Consultant to Project

  • Conducted a review of all the hydrogeological data, drilling data, brine hydrochemistry, and seismic and geotechnical mine construction data from the Cleveland Potash Mine to develop a hydrogeological conceptual model that explained the frequency and magnitude of inflows to the workings from the overlying Sherwood Sandstone.


Glenpatrick Spring Water Company Tipperary Ireland                                                                    2000

Consultant Project Manager

  • Completed the costed feasibility study, design, drilling and completion of an 800m deep production well providing a yield of 2,450m3/d.


Ballygowan Ltd, Limerick, Ireland                                                                                      1998 – 1999

Consultant Project Manager

  • Managed the drilling and testing of a bottled water supply borehole that was drilled to a depth of 450m using a variety of rotary mud drilling techniques.


Anglo American Lisheen Mine, Ireland                                                         February 1998 to July 2008

Contract Hydrogeologist

  • Supervised and undertook the logging of some 15,000m of underground core as part of an underground wellfield drilling program to dewater a zinc-lead mine.



IGSL                                                           Spencer Dock                                                  April 2016

The objective was to develop a 3-D numerical groundwater flow model of the proposed Block 2 and Block 7 of Spencer Dock and surrounding area, in MODFLOW-SURFACT, to investigate the potential impact of the proposed excavation on the local groundwater flow regime.  The proposed development required excavations to be at or below the water table.  The effective stress of the soils could have been temporarily modified during the proposed excavation due to a change in the groundwater pressures.  A groundwater model was requested to determine the potential impact of a locally modified water pressure distribution on the effective stress within these sediments.  The deliverables were:

  • Inflow calculations to excavation
  • Duration of pumping required
  • Impact of cone of drawdown on adjacent sites
  • Dewatering design
  • Impact assessment and mitigation

The challenges were:

  • Developing a numerical model in very permeable gravels
  • Devising a cost effective dewatering solution to minimize pumping volumes and durations
  • Identifying an environmentally acceptable method for the disposal of the abstracted water

The duration of the project was eight weeks.  The value was €12,000.

IGSL                                                       ESB Headquarters                                      November 2013

The work required the development a 3-D numerical groundwater flow model of the ESB headquarters and surrounding area, in Groundwater Vistas and MODFLOW, to investigate the potential impact of the proposed excavation on the local groundwater flow regime.  The proposed excavation was located in an area of a high density of historic buildings.  The excavation might have resulted in a temporary impact on the local watertable.  These buildings could possibly be founded on sensitive silts and clays.  The effective stress of these soils could be temporarily modified during the proposed excavation due to a change in the groundwater pressures.  This could have had a negative impact on the stability of these old buildings.  A groundwater model was requested to determine the potential impact of a locally modified water pressure distribution on the effective stress within those sediments.  The deliverables were:

  • Inflow calculations to excavation
  • Duration of pumping required
  • Dewatering design
  • Estimated drawdown beneath adjacent building
  • Potential change in pore pressures and effective stresses beneath adjacent properties
  • Impact assessment, mitigation and monitoring

The challenges were:

  • Developing an accurate groundwater flow model that could accurately predict within an acceptable margin of error the change in pore pressure beneath the historic buildings for the duration of the excavation
  • Quantifying the residual risk after the mitigation measures were put in place.

The duration of the project was six weeks.  The value was €9,000.


Byrne Looby Partners                               Mater Hospital                                          February 2011

This project was to develop a 3-D numerical ground water flow model of the Mater Hospital and surrounding area to investigate the potential impact of the proposed deep basements to be constructed at the site on the local ground water flow regime.  There are to be at least three developments to be undertaken on or near the Mater Hospital site.  There is the adult hospital, the children’s hospital and the new underground metro station.  All these buildings will have very deep elements such as basement carparks or the metro station itself.  There is a concern that such deep “boxes” may cause ground water to impound on the upgradient side of the buildings with negative consequences.  The deliverables were:

  • Estimation of the effect of the deep elements on the local ground water mass balance
  • Assessment of the impact of the dewatering on groundwater flows to the Tolka or Liffey rivers
  • Estimation of the long term and permanent change on the groundwater flow regime on both the upgradient and down gradient sides of the deep elements associated with the Mater Hospital within the gravels and bedrock

The challenges were:

  • Simulating the effects of large manmade structures within the groundwater flow domain based on very little data
  • Ensuring that the model domain was large enough so that there were no boundary effects but small enough to provide sufficient resolution at the site of interest

The duration of the project was eight weeks.  The value was €8,500.


Project Management                                       Jeddah                                                                2008

This project was for the design of a dewatering system in very permeable limestones as part of the development of a new runway for King Abdulaziz International Airport.  Several service tunnels were to be constructed under the new runway.  A series of detailed pumping tests were carried out by the contractor and sent to Shane O’Neill for analyses and interpretation.  The deliverables were:

  • Analysis of the pumping test data
  • Design of dewatering scheme
  • Technical support to Project Management when dealing with contractor and main client

The challenges were:

  • Analyzing and synthesizing a large amount of data
  • Translating the pumping test data into a meaningful dewatering design

The duration of the project was four weeks.  The value was €7,500.

Pat Mulcair Civil Engineering and Building Contractor                     Kildare By-Pass         2000

Pat Mulcair Civil Engineering engaged Shane O’Neill to provide the most efficient and cost effective dewatering design for the tanked section of the Kildare By-Pass.  The work involved designing all the dewatering wells, pumps and motors to dewater the cut section as quickly as possible ahead of the excavation.  In addition to providing technical support, considerable time was spent designing a methodology to drill, construct and equip each well just ahead of the excavation.  The deliverables were:

  • Dewatering designs for each well
  • Strategy for ensuring dewatering stayed ahead of the excavation
  • Sourcing, costing and procuring drillers and pump suppliers
  • Providing on-going technical support throughout the project


  • Developing a strategy of actually drilling, constructing and commissioning enough wells in as quick a time as possible so that dewatering did not delay the excavation
  • Providing technical support in a timely fashion to meet the scheduling demands of the project

The duration of the project was six months.  The value was €12,000.


GENERAL Technical Experience

Numerical Groundwater Flow Modeling

  • Water resources and groundwater management.
  • Groundwater Vistas version of MODFLOW-SURFACT and Modpath to model groundwater flow for water resource studies and in-pit water management.
  • Stochastic version of Groundwater Vistas to carryout probabilistic modeling and Monte Carlo simulations.
  • AqTeSolv, the pumping test modeling program.
  • Geotechnical Pit Slope Pore Pressure Models.
  • SLIDE and RS2 to develop 2D pore pressure models for use in slope stability assessments.



Ballygowan Ltd Limerick Ireland                                                                                        1995 – 2007

  • Designed, planned, implemented, analysed and interpreted ten resistivity survey’s amounting to some 16 weeks of field work and six months of analyses and report production.
  • Undertook wireline logging of ten boreholes amounting to some 1500m of logging and processed and interpreted over 30 suites of lithological and fluid logs amounting to some 3,655m of data.
  • Interpreted data from a combined EM36 and Lund resistivity imaging survey to locate structural features.
  • Supervised an M.Sc. summer project on the use of resistivity imaging and EM36 to locate structural features and the co-kriging of resistivity data and permeability data to locate potential drill sites.
  • Supervised M. Sc. project with a component of geophysics in it to test the most appropriate techniques for use on a limestone aquifer.


Water Quality And Hydrochemistry

Cleveland Potash Mine, Boulby, England                                                                          October 2002

Consultant Hydrogeologist

  • Carried out an investigation to establish a conceptual hydrogeological model to explain why and how catastrophic inflows occurred in a 1300m deep potash mine. A critical part of the work was to model the hydrochemical evolution of the brines flowing into the mine.
  • Used PHREEQC to establish if hydrochemistry from contamination event could have impact on a third party well. Also used PHREEQC to optimise discharges off site of elevated sulphate waters to surface water streams.

Ballygowan Ltd Limerick Ireland                                                                                                   2007

Wellfield Manager

  • Carried out environmental isotope sampling and interpretation programs.


Ballygowan Ltd Limerick Ireland                                                                                        1990 – 1998

Wellfield Manager

  • Installed spatial water quality monitoring network and conducted spatial sampling and analyses program. Familiar with trace organic sampling and interpretation.



  • Undertook diploma in Civil Engineering Contract Law and Administration.
  • Managed numerous drilling contracts as the Engineer under IEI conditions of contract (3rd edition); Undertook detailed procurement workshops, detailed insurance workshop, detailed mock arbitration workshop.



  • Managed all aspects of EIA’s from start to finish including liaising with planning authority and third party interest groups.
  • Managed the investigation of the water environment for ten EIA’s for proposed quarry developments. Apart from the field work and data interpretation, the use of ground water flow models for the predicted effects of the quarries on the local water table was a vital part of the assessment of the impact.  Reviewed numerous EIA’s for landfill developments, quarries and quarry extensions and road developments on behalf of third parties.
  • Used MT3D ground water and contaminant transport modeling to assess the probability of contamination from a fly ash disposal area and to devise and test mitigation measures.


Bottled Waters

  • Worked for six years as the source manager at Ireland’s premier bottled water plant.
  • Developed all their natural mineral water sources.
  • Submitted all the technical documentation for the recognition of those boreholes as sources of natural mineral water.
  • Submitted technical documentation for certification of products to US FDA standards.
  • Co-wrote the Irish Standard for Bottled Waters, IS 4322: 1992.
  • Contributing author to the British Standard for Bottled Water.
  • Carried out an audit of a bottled water business in Romania for a British multi-national.
  • Familiar with the NSA certification process for bottled water facilities.


Water Resources

  • Designed and managed a very deep production well construction project for a bottled water company
  • Managed year-long extensive exploratory drilling program involving resistivity surveys, drilling contracts, borehole design and construction, pumping tests and extensive report production and interaction with the client, a bottled water company.
  • Designed, constructed and tested a borehole for a potable water supply for a group water scheme.
  • Awarded contract to design, supervise, develop and test a combined gravel-limestone water supply borehole.
  • Completed a desk study to determine the feasibility of developing a coastal site for a hotel complex and international golf course.
  • Carried out project design, costing and implementation for a large ground water supply to augment a river water supply to a trout fish farm.


Well Field Management

  • Managed the development and extension of the existing well field and the associated contracts and budgets for a bottled water company
  • Drew up tenders and award of contracts for exploration and production well drilling program, monitoring expenditure, extensive pumping tests of the well field, water quality and report writing
  • Installed all surface pipework and distribution networks to the plant and the integration of abstraction rates and well field management with bottling schedules


Aquifer Protection

  • Undertook a detailed aquifer protection program as part of a research thesis.
  • The principal components were:
    • A literature review of ground water protection programs in U.K, Europe and especially the U.S.
    • Detailed fracture analyses both from exposure and core to develop a fracture flow model of the aquifer in FRACMAN.
    • Detailed pump test analyses and modeling.
    • Correlation of wireline logs with drilling logs and geology for input to model.
    • Detailed water balance calculations using rainfall data, borehole hydrographs, and river flow data for modeling.
    • Vulnerability mapping using DRASTIC.
    • Development of ground water protection zones.
    • Extensive use of MODFLOW to develop understanding of hydraulics of aquifer.
    • Exploring the possibility of using FRACMAN to simulate the fracture flow through the well field.

Management Systems

  • Edited and rewrote the hydrogeological sections of the new bottled water standard of Ireland, IS432.
  • Prepared ISO9002 documentation and procedures for the management of a well field.
  • Sat on BSDA packaged water technical committee for the development of a U.K. bottled water standard.
  • Implemented ISO14001 the Irish environmental management system in a bottled water company and a soft drinks and alcoholic beverages company.
  • Assisted with the obtaining of an IPC licence for an alcoholic beverage company.
  • Design of Storm Water, Sewerage and Water Distribution Systems.
  • Undertook the design of the entire water management of a proposed housing estate using StormCAD, SewerCAD and WaterCAD. All the hydraulic calculations, rainfall and storm water modeling, water distribution network design and layout with hydraulic controls were undertaken.