The Management Committee

Chairman - Armin Schmidt

Although my earliest aspirations were to become an 'inventor' (a suitably broad job description), my fascination was always with history and ancient civilisations. Imagine a child being excited about the illustrated companion volume to C.W. Ceram's 'Gods, Graves and Scholars'. Well, that was me. The rather fearsome looking bog bodies were a bit worrying, but that did not restrain my interest. However, in the end the natural sciences got the better of me and in 1982 I began to study Physics in Munich (Technische Universität München). One of the key events for me during that time was a seminar given by Helmut Becker in which he described the amazing advances in archaeological prospection using Caesium magnetometers. I was hooked. The lecture series on archaeometry had, for my taste, far too little geophysics in it and in the end I decided to do the one-year master's dissertation on electron mobility in liquid Argon at the Max-Planck-Institut für Physik (Heisenberg Institute). Thereby, I had entered the path of low temperature physics and continued with a PhD at the Rheinisch Westfälische Technische Hochschule (RWTH) in Aachen on the subject of magnetostriction on high-temperature superconductors. Very interesting (I still wish I had a cryostat at home for some minor experiments), but time had come for archaeological prospection. When I looked round for the best place to go it became very clear that Bradford was the lead institution for archaeological geophysics. Initially I went for a year, but after a two-year Research Fellowship I was appointed to a permanent Lectureship (later Senior Lectureship). Archaeological geophysics had been built up in Bradford by Arnold Aspinall and for me, like for many others, he was a constant source of inspiration. I have been involved in Bradford's MSc in Archaeological Prospection since its beginning in 1994 and the training of highly motivated students in this area has been very rewarding. Some have gone on to do PhDs and meeting one's 'academic off-spring' at international conferences is rather pleasant. Some of them have even become customers of our company, GeodataWIZ. I have undertaken various research projects over the years. From the surveys of a twice-deserted Medieval Village in Yorkshire, England to the investigation of pre-Hispanic shaft graves along the Ecuadorian coast, they all have been exciting. But my favourite site is Lumbini in Nepal where we investigated the birthplace and childhood palace of The Lord Buddha during several UNESCO missions. A truly magical place and a wonderful country. In all these projects the interaction between archaeologist and geophysicist was crucial for the final interpretation of results and it is the challenge of working at an interdisciplinary level that makes these missions so rewarding. There has to be a willingness to listen to each other and accept that people have different expertise and research culture (think: 'developing a new type of magnetometer' vs. 'the investigation of 100 Roman villas'). My more geophysics-orientated research has concentrated on the development of new magnetometer techniques and on GPR processing. More recently I have undertaken more integrated geoarchaeological prosjects, especially in Iran. Archaeological prospection is a rich subject and it has never bored me. Joining this Society of like-minded researchers and practitioners is a good way of connecting the different strands and ideas.

First elected to this post: June 2013, re-elected Sept 2015.

 

Vice Chairman - Gregory Tsokas

Details to follow.

Elected to this post: Sept 2015.

 

Honorary Secretary - Immo Trinks

Details to follow.

Elected to this post: Sept 2015.

 

Conference Secretary - Chris Gaffney

My first geophysical survey was conducted 20 years ago and I worked as a freelance archaeological geophysicist between first and second degrees. My research, conducted under Arnold Aspinall at Bradford, was on the Schlumberger resistance array. Since leaving academia I have worked in the commercial sector. With John Gater I started the first successful independent 'archaeogeophysical' company in Britain, Geophysical Surveys of Bradford, which now trades under the name GSB Prospection. The geographical location of my surveys has stretched from America through to Zimbabwe and my interests in archaeological geophysics are equally broad. I have been an Associate Editor, since the first issue in 1994, of Archaeological Prospection. I was part of the Council for British Archaeology Advisory Committee on Archaeological Science and I am currently a member of the steering committee for NERC's Geophysical Equipment Facility. Although committed to being an applied geophysicist I have taught field courses to diploma, degree, continuing and professional education groups at a number of universities. I still have strong links with Bradford University where I am a Lecturer. In my spare time I look at bridges and old postcards of bridges. I try and justify my behaviour by saying 'someone has to do it', but that is untrue! At least it stops me from thinking too much about football…. next year is going to be Newcastle's year. As an alternative to life in general I cycle. All in all I would rather be cycling.

Elected to this post: Sept 2015.

 

Conference Secretary - Kayt Armstrong

Details to follow.

Elected to this post: Sept 2015.

 

Conference Vice-Secretary - Tomasz Herbich

Details to follow.

Elected to this post: Sept 2015.

 

Editor - Hannah Brown

Details to follow.

First elected to this post: June 2013; re-elected Sept 2015.

 

Editor - Paul Johnson

Details to follow.

Elected to this post: Sept 2015.

 

Treasurer - Paul Linford

Details to follow.

First co-opted to this post: January 2014; re-co-opted Sept 2015.

 

Auditor - Rob Vernon

Rob Vernon was born in Liverpool in 1945. He graduated in 1969 with a BSc (Hons) in geology from London University. Between 1969 and 1993 he held a variety of senior posts as a geologist in the British coal industry (deep mines), where he became familiar with downhole geophysical logging and seismic surveying. After leaving the coal industry, Rob gained an MSc in Archaeological Prospection in 1995, from the Department of Archaeological Sciences, University of Bradford where he continued to conduct part-time research on the geophysical responses produced by British smelting sites. He was awarded a PhD in 2004. He has published various papers on his PhD topic and is currently researching the early history of geophysical prospection in Britain. Rob is also a Chartered Geologist, a Chartered Scientist and is a Fellow of the Geological Society of London.

Rob's other interest is mining history. He has co-written a series of books on the lead mining history of the Conway Valley and the Llanengan area in North Wales. He is also involved with the National Association of Mining History Organisations and has edited three editions of their handbook. Rob will be presenting a paper on the 'early history of geophysical prospection' at the International Mining History Congress, Bhubaneswar, India in December 2007.

First co-opted to this post: Sept 2003; re-co-opted Sept: 2015.