Alumni Profile - Mike Jesson 

MSc Water Resources Technology and Management (2008), School of Civil Engineering

"I made a number of informal enquiries with a number of water companies and engineering consultancies and, from these, it was apparent that the WRTM MSc was held in high regard in the industry." 

Mike Jesson talks about his experiences since graduating from Birmingham.

Having decided on a change of career, I was looking for a course which would act as a conversion course to water engineering. I made some informal enquiries with a number of water companies and engineering consultancies and, from these, it was apparent that the WTRM MSc was held in high regard in the industry. The wide-ranging syllabus covers all aspects of water engineering, from the physics of river and pipe flow, through hydrology, to best practice in waste water treatment and the environmental impacts and sustainability of water use. Topics are covered in sufficient detail to give confidence in applying them in real engineering situations, particularly due to the inclusion of elements of engineering design in the course. Due to the expertise and approachability of the instructors, and the informal, friendly nature of the taught modules, it was easy to go into extra detail in those subjects which were of particular interest. The practical aspects of the course (field work and laboratory experiments) reinforced the theory learnt in the taught modules.

Reflecting the syllabus, a large variety of dissertation projects were available, allowing specialisation in one area of water engineering. In my case, I was able to take on an experimental, research-based project. The experience I gained from this, using the facilities in the university civil engineering labs, allowed me to pursue a PhD in open-channel flow hydraulics which has, in turn, allowed me to start a career in engineering research. These facilities are matched by only a few UK universities, one of the factors in me choosing to study at the University of Birmingham.