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  Contact information
  • Address: Torwood House, Port Elphinstone, Inverurie, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, UK, AB51 3UE. 
  • Tel: + 44 (0) 1467 621484 
  • Email: rnickson@bicn.com


1997, M.Sc. Hydrogeology and Groundwater Resources, University College London.  Hydrogeological training including groundwater flow theory, analysis of pumping test results, groundwater geochemistry, applications of geophysics, contamination and solute transport, geotechnics and groundwater modelling. Software used includes Flowpath, Modflow, S-test and P-test.

Independent M.Sc. Research Project - "Arsenic in Groundwater, Central Bangladesh." Mark 70%.  An intensive five-month study of the arsenic problem in Bangladesh was conducted in conjunction with Dhaka University and Mott MacDonald. This lead to a thorough knowledge of the geology and hydrogeology of Bangladesh and involved close contact with government departments and non-governmental organisations. Water and sediment samples were collected and associated wellhead measurements taken. The samples were analysed in the UCL laboratory using atomic absorption spectrometry and other state of the art techniques. Important findings of this study included: discovery of the previously unrecognised mechanism by which arsenic enters groundwater, delineation of the affected area and formulation of potential solutions.

1996, B.Sc. (Hons) Geology and Geography, University of Glasgow.  Grade 2:1.  Specialisations - sedimentology, fluvial and coastal geomorphology, hydrogeology, petroleum geology. Final year thesis - mapping and interpretation of "The Geology of S.E. Cowal, Scotland." Additional studies - Archaeology (1st Year).


Spoken : English, French, Bengali
Written : English, French


April 2000- Present Consultant for Water and Environmental Sanitation Section, UNICEF, Bangladesh.  Currently undertaking a nine-month consultancy with the WES section of UNICEF Bangladesh. Responsible for drawing together lessons learnt from the arsenic mitigation activities undertaken in 5 sub-districts, evaluating the strategy followed and designing a strategy for future mitigation activities in 20 sub-districts. Assisted in preparation of several funding proposals, one of which resulted in $2.5 million for the program. Organised a workshop entitled "Deeper aquifers of Bangladesh - a review meeting attended by over 30 international and national experts. Providing technical advice to UNICEF staff, government counterparts and NGO partners, and representing UNICEF in various forums and technical discussions.
Aug 1999- Mar 2000 Visiting Research Associate, at Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC), Bangladesh.  Mainly concerned with a project entitled 'Action Research into Community Based Arsenic Mitigation.' Responsible for providing technical advice on the arsenic problem, supervision and co-ordination of field testing for arsenic and implementation and assessment of alternative safe water options including: pond sand filters for surface water; rain water harvesting systems; home based candle filters for groundwater and dug wells. Frequent liaison with donor agency and field level staff required.
Oct 1997–May 1999 Hydrogeologist for Dong Ah Consortium on the Great Man Made River Project, Libya. The well drilling department was responsible for drilling, casing, development and testing of 500 deep water wells in the Northern Sahara desert. Twelve rotary drilling rigs and six service rigs (development and testing) were operating over two well fields. Responsibilities included supervision of service rigs, geophysical units and site laboratory, preparation of completion reports and liaison with client, consultant and subcontractor. More specifically:· 
  • Airlift development, sterilisation and overpumping with submersible pump. 
  • Step and constant discharge pumping tests and analysis.
  • Wireline logging with Robertson Geologging Pro-logger including 3 and 4 arm calipers, natural gamma, normal resistance, spontaneous potential, dual neutron, gamma density, CBL, temperature/conductivity, borehole geometry, flowmeter and CCTV.
  • On-site chemical and biological water analysis using HACH and App-Chem equipment.
  • Lithological descriptions to ASTM D 2488.
  • Training of Libyan geologists in practical hydrogeology.
  • Use of CTL II data logging equipment and Magellan GPS for navigation.
Jul–Sep 1996

Dec–Jan 1995-6

Jul–Sep 1995

Student Engineer at Babtie Geotechnical, Glasgow.  Mainly concerned with a large scale de-watering scheme. Responsible for writing specification for the design implementation i.e. siting of wells and piezometers, well construction details, pumping test requirements, schedule of works and bill of quantities. Site supervision of well installation, pumping tests and a CCTV survey. Often called upon to liase with the client and various contractors on site and in the office. Involved in a variety of other projects including:
  • Feasibility study for a golf course water supply - analysis of available geological data.
  • Strengthening of a harbour wall - fluid flow calculations and flownet construction.
  • Preparation of a geotechnical constraints map - desk study with site walkover survey and supervision and logging of trial pitting operation.


Fellow of the Geological Society of London


Nickson R. et al. (2000) Combating a deadly menace - Early experiences with a community-based arsenic mitigation project in Bangladesh, BRAC Research Monograph Series No. 16, Dhaka. 

Nickson R. et al. (2000) Mechanism of Arsenic Poisoning of Groundwater, Bangladesh and West Bengal, Applied Geochemistry Vol. 15, No. 4, pp 403-413. 

Nickson R. et al. (1998) Arsenic poisoning of Bangladesh groundwater, Nature 395, pp 338.

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