5 minutes with ECE 2012 Alumnus Jackson Harris

1. Where are you from, when did you do the ECE and what did you most enjoy about it?

1. I am originally from Christchurch in Dorset and I completed the ECE course in 2012. I enjoyed all aspects of the course in particular field work components for many of the modules. I enjoyed the hands on approach with many of the classes, and engaging with both the NOC and engineering departments. Highlights include boat work and my summer research project which was completed on placement with HR Wallingford.

2. What have you been up to since; and what does a day in your working life involve?

2. Since graduation I found employment in Victoria in British Columbia, Canada, with a small consultancy specialising in oceanographic, acoustic, remote sensing and ice research products and scientific consulting services. My work with ASL Environmental Sciences was varied and a highlight was being involved in current and sediment sampling programs in Alaska. This position came to an end last year due to a downturn in the oil and gas industry however I was extremely fortunate to be able to join the coastal and river processes team with Golder Associates, also in Victoria. I have worked on a variety of projects including metocean data collection and analysis, coastal geomorphic assessments and hydrologic modelling. Modules taken as part of ECE prepared me well for many of these projects, in particular GIS and sediment dynamics. For more information on work of Golder Associates please seehttp://www.golder.ca/en/modules.php?name=Services&sp_id=1483

4. Have you any advice to ECE students that have only just started the course, or recently graduated?

4. My advice for any prospective students or graduates thinking about working abroad in a non-EU country would be to arrange your visa ahead of time, and then approach a company. I recommend going to trade shows such as Oceanology International and introducing yourself to prospective employers. Arranging a visa in advance will make you a much more attractive candidate. My experience is that Canadian employers value writing skills from UK graduates. Earth science degrees in North America are typically largely based on technical and mathematical skills, and less so on literature and report writing. I also would recommend exploring Matlab as soon as possible as this is an invaluable tool for metocean data analysis. Most consultancies will have their own in house software suite which from my experience is usually in Matlab. I could not recommend working in Canada enough! If you have any questions please feel free to get in touch with me at : jackson_harris@golder.com

Scraping barnacles off of a TriAXYS wave buoy!


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