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South West Section

IGEM has a network of Sections that enhances membership by offering a local perspective and enabling involvement with issues in and around the gas industry. The Sections are run by volunteers who organise a range of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) events and networking opportunities.

Each Section has its own Chairperson and Secretary to deal with any queries you may have within your area.

Ross Walton, Rush Construction Services - Chairman

Ross Walton4Ross gained a first class Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering at Cardiff University in 2002 and an MBA from Cardiff Business School in 2007. He has spent 13 years within the UK onshore gas industry, initially working as a graduate for Utility Grid Installations, an independent gas transporter acquired by GTC in 2005. Subsequently, he worked within gas engineering consultancies such as Multi-Tech Contracts (now Capita Symonds) and Rush Construction Services, providing design services to GDNs, UIPs, IGTs and developers. Ross is experienced in both transmission and distribution design, is a chartered member of IGEM and a GL5/G17 approver/appraiser. Away from work Ross enjoys outdoor pursuits including kitesurfing, snowboarding and camping in his campervan. He currently lives with his partner Polly and his two boys, Reuben and Arlo in Sidmouth, Devon. Ross has been on the IGEM South West Committee for the past four years. He is keen to support current IGEM President and fellow committee member Chris Clarke during his year in office and hopes that regional events will help to promote the role of natural gas within the UK's future energy mix.

Ian Marshall, Wales & West Utilities - Vice Chairman

20151113_120306Ian joined the Wales & West Utilities graduate development programme in 2011. Whilst undertaking placements throughout the business Ian took on the responsibility of leading an innovation project to develop a condition assessment system for cast iron mains. Following the conclusion of his graduate programme Ian joined his current department, <7 bar Asset Management where he continues to lead on innovation projects which range from understanding the condition of cast iron mains to the potential impact of the uptake of Micro CHP on the network. Ian is also responsible for assessing the Shrinkage and Leakage (lost gas) from the Wales and West network and also represents WWU on the national Technical Standards Forum where he works with the other GDNs to maintain and develop the standards for products utilised on the distribution networks.

Greg Peirce, National Grid - Junior Vice Chairman

Greg Peirce.jpgGreg started in 1980 as a gas service engineer apprentice in Bath district and worked on the tools until starting a Natural Gas Engineering degree course at Salford University in 1985. From there he went into Industrial and Commercial Sales in Bristol South office in Bedminster where he spent several years working with some wonderful people until changes in the Gas Industry resulted in the department closing down. Since then he has worked in various functions within the company moving from one restructure to the next.

He started with National Grid Metering in July 2006, having taken redundancy from National Grid Transco in 2005 following 25 years of service. He is a remote-based field engineer delivering gas meter work services in relation to industrial and commercial metering installations, and providing technical expertise to support Asset and Customer Management activities. He is also involved in providing technical training to Service Providers

Alex Bridge, GTC - Past Chairman 2014-2015Alex Bridge.jpg

Alex has spent the last 15 years within the industry, with the majority of that being in the distribution sector working on various mains replacement programmes across the country.

Apart from the last 4 years where he has been working for one of the largest independent multi utility companies, as a project manager for the utility construction side of the business.

Chris Clarke, Wales & West Utilities - IGEM President 2015-2016

Chris Clarke.jpg

A Chartered Engineer and experienced operations manager, Chris has over 25 years' experience within the UK gas industry. This has included posts in planning, design, and construction prior to becoming Head of Health, Safety and Environment (HS&E) for the newly formed Wales & West Utilities in 2005.

More recently, Chris has been appointed as Director of Asset Management and HS&E. Chris has a BSc Honours degree in Natural Gas Engineering, is member of the Institute of Occupational Safety and Health and is a Fellow of IGEM.

Simon Ayley, Synthotech - Past IGEM President 2014-2015

Simon Ayley.jpgSimon is a Chemical Engineer with over 16 years experience in the design, construction, commissioning and management of complex processes ranging from breweries and food manufacturing facilities, to petrochemical, LNG and natural gas installations.

With a track record of delivering all aspects of engineering project lifecycles, often within top-tier COMAH environments, he brings a commitment to make all projects a safe and innovative success.

He values his ability to communicate efficiently at all levels, and to drive challenges to successful conclusion.  His passion for the gas industry is demonstrated by his current role on IGEM Council, his past Chairmanship of IGEM South West Section, and his role as Deputy Chairman PIG Wales & West Branch. Simon is currently IGEM President.

David Morgan, Synthotech - Past IGEM President 2012-2013

David Morgan.jpgDave is a Fellow member and past president of IGEM. He is a chartered engineer with over 30 years' experience in the UK and international gas distribution industry covering construction & operation, product development, technical management, training, marketing and business development.  Dave is also Managing Director at Synthotech Limited, a turn-key innovations Engineering and Consultancy company and has carried out strategic reviews and made recommendations on asset management processes in Europe, Asia and South America.

Sean Noonan, Steve Vick International

Sean_NoonanSean began his career in the pipe industry in 1993 as a trainee, moving swiftly through the ranks at Steve Vick International (SVI) to become a contract engineer then a senior manager. He has held positions at senior management level and is currently operations director. He has extensive experience in management relating to gas mains and services within the water, nuclear decommissioning and civil engineering sectors.

Sean's career has enabled him to work throughout the world in many European countries, plus North and South America. He is a Member Manager of IGEM and has been a member of the IGEM South West Section committee since 2005.

Laurence McGurk, National Grid

Laurence joined South West Gas in 1978 as an apprentice service engineer and on completion moved straight into 'Gas Distribution' as a Trainee Engineer.  He has held a variety of posts in Distribution and other functions, including 'Industrial and Commercial Sales' as Senior Divisional Sales Engineer, and 'New Housing' as Housing Manager in the Bristol North area, up to the Regional Operational Review (ROR) in 1995.  In 1996 he moved to Transco, returning back to 'Distribution' as Standards Engineer in 'Engineering Services', working for 'Licence to Operate' which subsequently moved to Advantica (now GL Noble Denton). He returned to Transco in 2003, again working in the Distribution function within the 'Engineering Policy' department of 'Network Strategy'. He currently holds the position of Policy Manager with National Grid Gas, looking after the below 7 bar distribution network.        

Ben Morgan, Wales & West UtilitiesBen Morgan

In 2009 Ben was taken on as part of Wales and West Utilities graduate development programme. After traveling around the various departments he spent 12 months working for the Environment department looking at risks and opportunities to the gas industry from climate change.

Following this Ben became involved in developing WWU's condition based risk management models which led him into working on the gas industries price control review focusing on investment requirements for LTS assets. Most recently he has been appointed as the LTS pipelines asset manager looking at developing the maintenance and intervention strategy for the short, medium and long term.  

Grant Rogers, Wales & West Utilities

Grant pic

Since 2008 Grant has been a member of Wales & West Utilities' Senior Management team, holding the position of Asset Integrity Manager, reporting to the Director of Asset Management.

He is responsible for all WWU's gas transmission, storage and pressure management assets and leads a small team of engineering managers and staff undertaking day to day management of this diverse asset portfolio. The role includes defining asset management strategy, maintenance and investment, he also played a key role in securing WWU's regulatory settlement for the RIIO-GD1 Price Control period.

Grant is currently a director of the UK Onshore Pipeline Operators Association (UKOPA) and chair of the organisation's Infringement Working Group.









Other South West Committee members include:


Erick Muriithi, Wales & West Utilities - Hon. Secretary





IGEM South West Supporting Organisations:




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Steve Vick


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Contact Details

Chairman: Ross Walton

Secretary: Erick Muriithi



Section Events

For information on the South_West District Section events please see the events calendar by clicking here