Written by ECE student Jonathan Dale:
What does it take to study Engineering in the Coastal Environment (ECE) at the University of Southampton? Well obviously an interest in the coastal environment but after that you’re guaranteed to be inspired by the range, diversity and complexity of issues covered in this unique course regardless of your background. Shared between the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton (NOCS), the UK’s leading institute for marine and coastal science, and the university’s renowned Faculty of Engineering and the Environment, this course brings together a range of individuals from a multitude of cultures and backgrounds in order to combine our diverse skills and knowledge. The objective: to tackle the range issues associated with managing the coastal environment in the 21st Century. We are the ECE class of 2013-14.
With a range of knowledge covering all four corners of the world, ECE 13-14 cohort includes a mixture of engineers, geographers, oceanographers and environmental scientists, some fresh out of completing their undergraduate degree or others who have already faced the professional world and are looking to increases their knowledge and experience. This variety of backgrounds results in an assortment of approaches and points of view, which gives a valuable insight into alternative thinking and techniques associated with coastal science, engineering and management.
This stimulating contrast was highlighted early on by Emily Last, the ECE course representative for 2013-14, who described the unique interest and enjoyment of studying coastal engineering;
‘It was great to have everyone out on our first field trip and to spend time getting to know the other students. It interesting to learn about the variety of backgrounds that we are all from. I’m really excited to see what the next 12 months will bring!’
ECE at Southampton really has something for everyone and can lead into a number of different careers including consultancy, industry, government or academia. The course is accredited by the Institute of Civil Engineers and through the option of a research projected based with leading coastal organisations (including HR Wallingford, Halcrow, ABPMer, CCO, etc.) in partnership with the University and the NOC, job opportunities are endless for ECE graduates. With rising sea-levels and global climate change coastal engineers are going to be in increasing demand and anyone who can breach the gap between earth, ocean, and environmental science and engineering will be highly sort after. This demand is already signified by the recent establishment of the Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute (SMMI), which will only increase the career development of a Southampton ECE graduate.
Still interested? Well you must be to have read this far! Keep an eye out for more ECE Blog updates from this year’s students, upcoming events include various field trips and the highlight of the year – Boat Week! More information about the course and the application process is available on the University of Southampton website or check out the NOC website for the latest news on current research taking place in the department.