Alumni Profile - Paul Jenkin 

MSc Water Resources Technology and Management (1994), School of Civil Engineering

"Having the MSc gave me the initial confidence to take on a role in the consulting industry and whilst it is true to say that as one gets older the qualifications become less important the skills that I learnt gave me the springboard into my current career" 

Paul Jenkin talks about his experiences since graduating from Birmingham.

Having grown up in Cornwall I had always had an interest in water as well as an interest in science and engineering. After graduating with my degree in engineering I worked in a number of roles within the construction industry before deciding to undertake the MSc in Water Resources Technology and Management at the University of Birmingham. I was initially attracted by the broad curriculum and also the passion of the lecturers I met. Back in 1993 the building left a little to be desired but in the end, as with most things, it is more about the people.

My year in Birmingham was a fantastic introduction to the water industry and I made many friends both in the student body and the staff, many of which I am still working with 20 years on. Although my focus has been in river engineering and hydrology it is surprising how often a snippet about water treatment or hydrogeology comes in useful.

Having the MSc gave me the initial confidence to take on a role in the consulting industry and whilst it is true to say that as one gets older the qualifications become less important the skills that I learnt gave me the springboard into my current career. As I progressed through the Chartership the MSc qualification also helped in establishing my credentials as a water professional and I think was instrumental in helping me achieving my accreditation as a Chartered Engineer.

Over the last 20 years I have continued my association with the University and also with the MSc course. I have been able to give more than 20 students the opportunity to carry out their projects with Peter Brett Associates and I have employed over a dozen graduates as part of our team. Many of these graduates are now taking senior roles themselves. As a Partner at PBA I feel very fortunate to be able to offer others the opportunity to pursue a career in the water and environmental industry. As I look back at the last 20 years of my career I doubt that I would have had the confidence to do what I have done without the knowledge I gained studying at Birmingham. I certainly would not have had those great memories of the year between 93 and 94. Furthermore I would not have moved into industry with such a great network of friends and colleagues. So all in all a year well spent.