Change of Ownership

Publish Date: 

Clive Dalton has stepped down from his role as owner and managing director of Cambridge Insitu Ltd.  An amicable management buyout has taken place and a new team led by Simon Baxter is now running the company.

For some time now Clive has been quietly transferring the running of the company to the new team. We will operate from the same premises and continue to offer the same services as before.

The Company was started by Clive in 1971 as Deep Body Thermometers Ltd, the name referring to a novel device for measuring the core temperature of people externally, avoiding the need to insert probes into orifices. The move towards making instruments for measuring the properties of soil and rocks was gradual and was carried out under the trading name Cambridge Insitu (CI). From about 1976 onwards the CI related activities became dominant and we have developed an international reputation  as manufacturers of pressuremeters, in particular the Cambridge Self Boring Pressuremeter. This remains the only device of its kind that offers the possibility of measuring the locked-in horizontal stress that is the tell-tale of the ground’s geological history. It is the dominant parameter required for understanding  the response of the ground to the loading imposed by complex structures such as bridges and tunnels.

The manufacturing of specialist machines for exploring the properties of the ground remains an important part of what we do, but supplying the service rather than the equipment is our primary activity. We have used our equipment in all parts of the world. London is a major source of work for us, and we operate in areas sometimes many years in advance of the construction phase of a project. We were working on Crossrail, for example, in 1992, and more locally at the locations of the new bridges across the A14 about 10 years ago.

Keeping the Company viable throughout this time has been challenging. It has been a time of constant change. This can mean equipment – over the course of the life of the Company we have seen slide rules and log tables give way to calculators and then computers. More importantly it can mean ideas, and the willingness to follow a new concept long before it has gained general acceptance. It is greatly to Clive’s credit that he has always been willing to take the challenge and has encouraged us to do likewise.

Over the course of the last 40 years or more that CI has been operating we have supported a number of PhD related projects, some connected to what we do and others not at all. Our support generally takes the form of providing equipment and people, data, time and money. Often we find ourselves manufacturing prototype devices, work that used to be undertaken by universities but is now very difficult to do without external help.  Clive has made many friends across the globe by his enthusiasm and willingness to engage with such research.

The new team believe strongly that the way Clive has operated is the way we should continue to work. Clive himself will still be available to us as a consultant and we wish him and Shirley the very best in their retirement.