Name: Amy Stewart
Job Role: Marine Resource Geologist
Organisation: Hanson Aggregates Marine Ltd.
BA (Hons) Natural sciences; Geology – Trinity College, University of Dublin, 2008
MRes Marine Geology & Geophysics – University of Southampton, 2010
1. What inspired you to take up a career in the Geosciences?
After experiencing a small earthquake in Greece on a family holiday when I was roughly 8, my interest was piqued. I’d always been looking at & collecting rocks on beaches and when I realised that all my favourite bits of Geography (the exciting stuff!) was Geology and that I could do it for A-level, I was hooked.
2. Can you give more detail about your path to your current job role?
After doing Science A-levels, I started the 4 year Natural Sciences degree at Trinity College, University of Dublin. The broad scope of the degree means that you study varying scientific disciplines for two years providing a very sturdy knowledge base, before specialising for the final two years. I choose Geology as my speciality as it was the most interesting and relatable for me. Who wouldn’t want to know how our world works?
After that I undertook a Research Masters in Marine Geology & Geophysics. Part of the Masters involved planning and interpreting a seismic survey, which led to my first industry position working as an Offshore Geophysicist in the North Sea. That experience meant I had the survey skills relevant for my current position.
I interned in Seismology at DIAS (Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies) in the School of Geophysics working on the Irish National Seismic Network. This gave me valuable working experience whilst I was still at University and helped focus me to where my strengths lay.
3. What does your current job role involve?
I currently work as the Marine Resource Geologist for Hanson Aggregates Marine Ltd, who are a dredging company. We effectively operate large-scale shallow marine open-cast mines, and I am responsible for all the geological work on our 15 active sites, as well as our 6 application sites. I organise and manage all of our sub-bottom geophysics and geotechnical surveys, and then interpret and analyse the data to calculate how much mineral reserve is available, what the quality is and how exactly the reserves are situated so that we can extract them safely for use in the construction industry.
4. What do you enjoy most about your job?
I enjoy how varied it can be. One day I could be focusing on reserve modelling, the next I could be on site at a wharf getting my hands dirty and discussing quality or managing an offshore survey or writing a technical report. Managing offshore sites always presents differing challenges such as wrecks, unexploded WW2 ordinance and Palaeolithic archaeology.
5. Why do you think it’s important to encourage more girls into the Geosciences?
In my previous job, there were very few girls working in the offshore industry although that is beginning to change. Attitudes are changing, and some of the most influential people in the industry are now women. In fact, the last four winners of the Early Career Geologist award from the Geological Society have all been female, myself included!
6. If you could give a piece of advice to girls currently thinking about a career in the Geosciences, what would it be?
Never sell yourself short, and know no fear! If something feels right, go for it but don’t be afraid to walk away from something either or to make mistakes. Everything is a worthy experience, and you’ll always learn something. Internships are a fantastic way of getting your name known, and university professors and The Geological Society are veritable goldmines of information.
If you enjoy the outdoors, have a healthy dose of inquisitiveness and most importantly feel that you love the parts of this that you’re already studied, then go for it! It only gets better, more amazing and more fascinating, and there’s always more to discover. Just love what you do, and you’ll never be bored or unhappy.
Find out more about careers in the Geosciences at our ‘Girls into Gesociences’ event on 4th July. Book your place today: firstname.lastname@example.org or Tel (01752) 585975.
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