What are you currently doing and who are you working for? Can you give a brief description of what you did from graduation up to now?
'[The course] benefited me greatly because it exposed me to all aspects of hydrogeology, and I can now look at a hydrogeology project and understand the dynamics behind why water behaves the way it does under the ground.'
I am currently working as a Hydrogeologist for MWH Global in the Perth office having recently transferred from our Singapore office to support the Energy and Industry group. The majority of my work is related to groundwater supply and water management in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. A key component of what I do is travel to the field and supervise subcontractors, while representing my company in front of the client and site personnel. Field work activities include, but are not limited to, test pumping to determine aquifer properties, dewatering in order to mine safely, and water impact assessments.
After graduating, I worked as a Water Resources Engineer and Environmental Engineer at Leighton Contractors Indonesia (pictured, right) and MWH Consultants Singapore, respectively. At Leighton Contractors I was stationed on-site at the Wahana Coal mine in south Kalimantan. I was in charge of reviewing and revamping the water management plan for 2011, and this was through interaction with mine engineers and mine clients to identify major areas where water management could be improved. I joined MWH Consultants in February 2011 and have been involved in preparing geological and hydrogeological investigation reports, environmental impact assessments, project management, tendering and preparing proposals for clients, and supervising drillers and subcontractors. I was then asked to transfer to the Perth office and I did so a while back and have not regretted my decision at all. I absolutely love it here.
Can you give a short outline of the course you studied at the University of Birmingham and how it benefited you?
At the University of Birmingham I studied the one year MSc Hydrogeology course in 2010. The course covered all the key aspects that define hydrogeology and helped to integrate physics, chemistry, biology, and geology, in order to give a full understanding of hydrogeology. It benefited me greatly because it exposed me to all aspects of Hydrogeology, and I can now look at a hydrogeology project and understand the dynamics behind why water behaves the way it does under the ground. The course covers field techniques very well, and I have found these very useful during site travels in the Outback.
What made you to decide to study at the University of Birmingham rather than in your home country?
I decided to study at the University of Birmingham because it is very prestigious, well-respected, and also home to the oldest running MSc course in hydrogeology, one of the most respected courses for hydrogeologists anywhere in the world. In my home country (Sweden) there was a hydrogeology course at the University of Uppsala, however, after much research I decided to stay in the UK and continue my postgraduate study at Birmingham purely because of the reputation the course and alumni have. It's a decision I have never regretted.
How did you find your first year in Birmingham?
I found my only year in Birmingham very good. I was living in Jarrett Hall right next to the Selly Oak campus and had access to all major shops and pubs nearby. The people I lived with were extremely friendly and I will always remember my time there. If I ever had a problem I could speak to my hall mentor who was very friendly and easy to get along with - in fact I still keep in touch with him now, 2 years after graduating.
How did going to University benefit you?
By studying at University I helped develop key skills and strengths that I apply every day in non-work and work related activities.
How about campus life? Can you describe how it was to study here at Edgbaston Campus rather than in a City Centre location?
The campus is very well located, near Selly Oak train station, and the campus itself has a very academic, yet friendly feel to it. The Guild is one of the best I have been to and would recommend anyone to visit it if they go there.
How did you find living in Birmingham? Was it how you expected it to be? Have you found the student community here supportive?
I found Birmingham to be a pleasant place. Having previously studied in Liverpool, I knew what Birmingham was like and it was definitely what I expected it to be, if not better due to the large city center! I found the student community very supportive and during group projects we all depended on each other to deliver, and supported each person if they were stuck in a subject / project topic.
Did you join any student societies or take part in any events?
The only society I joined was the MSc Hydrogeology football team and I took part in the weekly matches against other teams. I found it very competitive and fun to join.
Any tips or words of wisdom that you would like to pass on to other students thinking of coming to study here?
I would recommend the University of Birmingham to everyone as it is such a multicultural university with nationalities from everywhere across the world, and everyone at the campus is friendly and supportive.
What are your aspirations for the future?
In the future I would like to further develop my knowledge of hydrogeology and then hope to help develop the expanding Geothermal market in Indonesia once demand for Geothermal Power picks up. I am a firm supporter of Geothermal energy and believe this is key to obtaining energy in the future.