Our Story


Suite 1768, Kemp House, 152 City Road, London, EC1V 2NX, UK.

Company Registration No: 4026709, VAT registration: VRN 788 994 822

SBMA started with the inventiveness and expertise of a single engineer who had a passion for geotechnics. Tony Barley was a man highly respected by his peers who left a legacy of technology which remains at the cutting edge of today's applications.

First published in Ground Engineering (GE) Magazine, the passage below gives both an account of Tony’s achievements and a fitting testament to his profile in the civil engineering world:

Barley’s career spanned more than 30 years in geotechnical contracting. During that time he held roles as Chief Engineer, Contracts Director, Project Director on the Heathrow Express, Compensation Grouting Works Director and Director of Engineering. He held many of these posts during an 18 year career with Keller Ground Engineering.

From 2001 he operated as a consultant and co-director, specialising in ground anchor and soil nailing technology through Geoserve Global and SBMA Ltd.

Barley’s experience covered a vast range of geotechnical operations including grouting, numerous methods of piling and trench formation. His major speciality was anchoring, soil nailing and slope stabilisation where he made major contributions to the industry with the development of high-quality corrosion protection systems for soil nails and ground anchor systems.

Barley served 12 years on the BSI Committee for DD81 and BS8081 (UK Ground Anchor Code of Practice) and chaired the CEN Working Group to produce a draft European Standard for the execution of ground anchor works (EN 1537-2000). He also worked as a member of B526/4 Task Group 4, responsible for preparing BS8006-2: Soil Nailing.

Adapted from Ground Engineering (2009)

Barley authored and co-authored many publications, which, among other things, highlighted his achievements in the development of the high-capacity single-bore multiple anchor system, the totally removable anchor and the actively stressed soil nail system.

In 1990 he was awarded the prestigious Institution of Civil Engineers Research and Development Prize for his work on the single-bore multiple anchor.

Dr Mothersille received his undergraduate degree in Civil and Structural Engineering at the University of Bradford, UK where he also completed a Ph.D. for his work on the influence of close proximity blasting on ground anchor systems in rock.

Dr Mothersille entered the construction industry, working for both civil engineering consultants and contractors, in 1989 and subsequently became the Managing Director of two specialist ground anchor consultancy practices: Geoserve Global Ltd and Single Bore Multiple Anchor Ltd.

He has worked as a ground anchor consultant in many parts of the world including Spain, Australia, the USA, Russia and the Middle East where he advised clients on complex ground anchoring projects. These include the prestigious Diagonal Mar Development in Barcelona, the Burnley Tunnel Project in Melbourne, Australia, the Wadi Abdun Bridge Project in Amman, Jordan and the Aviva Stadium project in Dublin, Ireland.

He was deputy chairman of the prestigious International Ground Anchor Conference held in London in 2007, currently acts as an expert witness/adviser on legal cases and is an active member of two committees charged with the implementation of the new Eurocodes covering the design, construction and testing of ground anchors and soil nails.

The SBMA team engages the services of world-renowned grouting and anchoring expert, Professor Stuart Littlejohn on pertinent projects where his expertise can bring added value to our clients.

Professor Littlejohn had a strong working relationship with SBMA’s founder, Tony Barley, and over the last two decades has developed a close association with Dr Devon Mothersille.

Tony passed away in 2009, however his legacy of technological innovation remains at the core of the current SBMA company which is now led by Dr Devon Mothersille. We at SBMA today are committed to building on our knowledge and staying at the cutting edge of anchoring solutions.

Original innovation

SBMA, Innovative Ground Anchors & Ground Anchoring Solutions - Innovative, independent strand stressing jack equipment

Innovative, independent strand stressing jack equipment.

Continuity of cutting edge expertise

Having spent two decades working closely with Tony, Dr. Devon Mothersille provides the continuity of cutting edge technical expertise and excellence within SBMA.