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The University of Southampton

Peter Andrews MEng Environmental Engineering

Environment Agency, Flood and Coastal Risk Engineer – Graduate Scheme

Peter Andrews's Photo

The course was very challenging and hard work but definitely worth the effort to gain such a well regarded degree.

What did you enjoy about the course?

From a young age I’ve always wanted to be involved in Engineering of some kind, but I also had an interest in geography and the environment. The Environmental Engineering degree course was ideal for me to progress into the career I wanted. Southampton University was always my choice after the very first open day visit. It is one of the leading Universities in the country for Civil/Environmental Engineering, and will give you a universally renowned and respected degree.

What did you enjoy about the course?

The course is a fantastic way to learn about a broad range of topics that will give you the skills and knowledge required for future employment. The first two years of the degree provide a good base of skills in many different topics such as structures, soil mechanics and hydraulics. The 3rd and 4th years really build on the previous two so that you can specialise in certain areas such as hydrology, flood risk and sustainable energy resources which particularly interested me. I really enjoyed the large individual and group projects towards the end of the degree which I feel helped progress new areas of research and renewable energy engineering. The course was very challenging and hard work but definitely worth the effort to gain such a well regarded degree.

What's Southampton like as a place to study?

Southampton is a great place to live, it has lots of green open areas for a city, a vibrant nightlife, endless activities and things to do, plus, it has beaches and the new forest close by. The University has a huge amount of facilities, clubs, sports and societies to get involved with and the academic facilities and engineering labs are very good. The large enclosed campus really makes you feel part of student life and allows you to experience so much more.

Tell us about your current job

I applied to the graduate scheme with the Environment Agency in my 3rd year and completed a summer work experience placement with them. This gave me a taste of what a working engineer does and how the company operates. After graduating I started the graduate scheme as a flood risk engineer in Exeter. Some of the disciplines covered include flood defense design and implementation, data measurement in the environment, project management and flood/climate prediction. The different skills I am developing will help me become a chartered engineer with support from the company. I love the fact that the job can lead to an almost unlimited amount of choices later in my career and that I can really make a difference to the environment.

How did our course help you in your current role?

Nearly all the skills and topics learned in my degree have been useful for my job. In particular the hydrology, hydraulics and river modelling work I did at University has been directly used in my current role.

What advice would you give to a student starting out on an Environmental Engineering degree at Southampton?

To gain the most out of University life you should try and experience as much as possible. Take advantage of all the clubs and societies, try all the unusual sports and activities you wouldn’t normally see and get to know as many people as possible. Make sure you’re organised and work hard on the degree and make the most of the excellent careers advice available to help secure future placements and employment in the engineering industry.

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