We welcome a new Graduate Engineering Geologist to our Northampton Team
Earlier in the year we were delighted to welcome our new Graduate Engineering Geologist Oliver de Jong to our regional office in Creaton, Northampton. The last few months have passed by quickly and so we thought we would catch up with him to see how things were going.
So, what sparked your interest in Geology?
My interest in earth sciences started at A-levels, with Geology and Geography being two of the subjects that I studied. The teachers for both subjects were geologists and really helped promote the subject in an inspiring way.
What did you study as an undergraduate?
From school I went on to the University of Portsmouth to begin a BSc in Geology. This course really opened up new areas of study, allowing me to acquire fresh skills from the lectures and laboratory sessions, but the most interesting element, where I learnt the most about the subject, was the fieldwork. This allowed me to apply all the theory I had previously been taught whilst providing new practical skills.
Why did you choose to do an MSc and where has it taken you?
During my final year I decided to apply for an MSc in Engineering Geology. I wanted to carry on learning about geology, whilst gaining further experience in fieldwork and the engineering aspects of the course. The ground investigation fieldwork experience provided was of particular interest and the importance of this to the built environment.
What attracted you to join ST Consult / Southern Testing?
After finishing this course I began searching for positions within the ground investigation sector. There were plenty of companies around working in various aspects of site investigation but none really seemed to stand out. A friend of mine then sent me details of Southern Testing. I did some research on the company and was amazed to see the breadth of site investigation techniques that they covered, a number that I wasn’t familiar with. Another big attraction was the company graduate training scheme, which is accredited by the Geological Society of London; even after a masters, there is still so much to learn about geology and working at Southern Testing is the perfect environment for that. I am thrilled to have been taken on as graduate engineer with ST Consult in Northampton. I am quickly learning how to apply the skills I was taught at university in a busy commercial market.
You have been with us for a few months now. What have you been working on and what have you enjoyed doing the most so far?
The past few months have flown by and felt somewhat surreal at times. From my first week, under supervision, I have been to sites both 30 minutes and 3 hours away, each being unique and providing invaluable site investigation experience. It’s surprising how quickly the team have helped me feel confident in so many aspects of the job, from taking enquiries and quoting for new work, to site work and logging trial pits and even some report writing (desk studies).
What would you tell people interested in a career in geology /ground investigation?
Do it. If you are looking for something that will keep you on your toes, then this is the career for you and, in an ever changing world, there will always be something new to learn.
We know that you enjoy geology. What are you other interests / how have you survived lockdown?
Outside of geology, I have a passion for music, playing several instruments and travelling to various venues and events for live experiences of the music that I spend so much time listening to. Moving away from home to take up this position has also given me the chance to listen to music without my family telling me to turn it down, which is probably the biggest highlight so far!
We wish Oliver a long and successful career with ST Consult.