Amey and United Utilities

Amey, based in Oxford, is a public services provider, managing and supporting the UK's vital infrastructure and public services. The company works in alliance partnership with United Utilities to provide emergency response to any United Utilities' customer issues in relation to the wastewater sewer network.

The Challenge

The company needed to conduct research with jetting hose manufacturers to identify possible causes of current jetting hose failure rates, but lacked resources and expertise in house. They were interested in what factors affected the bursting point of jet hoses, such as use as inappropriate use, weak spots, variable flows. This information could help improve the monitoring and management of jet hoses.

Skills Sought

  • Motivated and able to work independently
  • Experience of handling data
  • Ability to summarise and synthesize data and produce reports

The Solution

Christopher Hall, Engineering, was recruited through the Science and Technology Internship Programme for a twelve week internship with Amey. Christopher completed research into high failure rates, met with jetting hose manufacturers, suppliers, and company operational teams, and completed a summary report for the company which included recommendations for future development on how to reduce the number of jet hose bursts occurring.


The three month placement was funded by Amey at £1,100 + VAT per month, a total of £3,960.


The research looking into the issue of burst jetting hoses has led to robust best practice solutions now being implemented on a daily basis across a large number of jetting units working on the public sewers in the north west of England. This has reduced the number of bursts occurring which has provided a safeguarding of both internal alliance staff as well as members of the public.


  • Allow the company to lead development in this sector
  • Reduced the risks to employees of the company and members of the public
  • Reduced the number of bursts occurring

Company Feedback

"Our experience gained following the internship process has been excellent from start to finish with Christopher Hall and our client United Utilities."

"The internship process helps companies like ours (Amey and United Utilities) focus on individual specific tasks in order to bring resolution to a particular problem, allowing the intern a chance to see how a fast paced business meets demand on various levels, giving valuable insights into structures, management meetings and various policies, i.e. health and safety."

"On a personal level it's been great to engage with Lancaster University and work with such talent, to see the capacity of a different set of eyes looking over a problem, with the end result being a source of information we can use across the businesses now and in the future. We wish Christopher all the best going forward."

Zak Haworth, Account Manager, Amey

Customer Feedback

"Christopher showed a great enthusiasm and energy towards taking on for him what was initially an alien work area. He showed good communication skills and worked really well with a diverse range of employees, all of whom commented what a nice guy Christopher was. I think his final report has provided us with some excellent 'best practice' suggestions which we are in the process of implementing across our North West fleet. These best practice recommendations will and have already begun to reduce our burst incidents and the risks to both employees and members of the public in the future."

Nicholas Walls, Reactive Resolution Manager, United Utilities

Intern Feedback

"It was a brilliant opportunity to work with Amey on this internship. I was given the chance to practically apply the skills gained on my degree to a real world challenge and the experience has made a real difference when applying for jobs after I graduate."

Christopher Hall, Engineering