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The University of Southampton

Expert advice on life as a consultant – from the professionals

Published: 6 February 2012Origin: Engineering

Students of Engineering and Environmental Science who may be considering consultancy as a career can find out more about the profession at a series of talks this semester.

Experienced consultants will explain what it is like to work in industry and outline the differences between studying the subject academically and using it practically in the world of work. There are many opportunities for skilled engineers and environmental scientists who want to use their analytical skills with major companies or plan to strike out on their own.

Greg Harris, who works as an acoustic consultant for Arup, says:  "A consultant may work on all types of project within the built or natural environment, from city planning and marine installations to national infrastructure projects.  Given the range of work, consultants work in varied locations, sometimes internationally. The range of projects and teams keeps things interesting and there is an opportunity to influence decisions and designs at the highest level."

Dr Steve Dorney, Public Engagement Tutor says: "Consultancy offers many varied and satisfying careers to our graduates. Our outside experts will give current students unique insights into their lives. I would urge anyone interested in learning more to sign up for these sessions."

Simon Kemp, Faculty employability lead says "Consultancy is an excellent career choice for engineering and environmental sciences graduates as you can apply all your hard earned academic knowledge to the development of solutions to a wide range of problems.  A career in consultancy can be rich and varied. Consultants work hard, but get the rewards of personal satisfaction and (normally) a good salary for your efforts.  The career development opportunities offered by consultancy organisations can be great from your long-term professional development.  There is also the fact that a career in consultancy can lead to projects anywhere in the world.  If you want to work hard, get paid well, and work in a field that is focused on solutions to sustainability problems then a career in consultancy could be just what you are looking for."

The talks include:

Tom Rogers from Enterprise Mouchel: Environmental Assessment within the Design Manual for Roads & Bridges

Cheryl Burgess from JPFeltham Associates: Practical tips from the life of an independent consultant

Gill Smith from URS/ScottWilson: Sustainable Development

Greg Harris from Arup: Environmental Noise Assessment

Stuart Divall from Ramboll: The Technical Development Appraisal

Cheryl Gogin from ENiMS: The Environment in Engineering

This activity forms a part of the National HE STEM Programme, details of which can be found at

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