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The University of Southampton
Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute

Unique insight into careers in coastal engineering

Published: 17 March 2014

Postgraduate civil engineering students learned more about careers in coastal engineering, management and science from two recent Southampton graduates who now work for the global consultants Mott MacDonald.

Matt Wearmouth and Shirin Costa spoke about their responsibilities on several projects across the UK and passed on tips on how to succeed in the profession. Both have undertaken a range of tasks since joining the company and use the knowledge and skills they gained at Southampton every day.

Matt studied a masters in Engineering in the Coastal Environment, graduating in 2012. He described his work on a flood protection scheme on the River Ness in Inverness and a feasibility study on the different options for a subsea cable route at Milford Haven in South Wales. Shirin, who studied at Southampton as part of her degree in Coastal and Marine Engineering and Management (CoMEM) also involving universities in Norway and the Netherlands, talked about her role as a numerical modeller on a coastal defence scheme at Clacton and Holland-on-Sea in Essex and an earlier assignment investigating a landslip at Totland on the Isle of Wight.

"It's a good place to work with many opportunities," explains Matt who is looking forward to his next project in Dubai. "We are encouraged to develop our careers further and the range of work is immense." Shirin says she has already furthered her knowledge of numerical modelling through specialist courses at the company. Both are working towards recognition by their professional organisations. They advised current students to pay particular attention to mastering Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) as these techniques will be invaluable in their careers. Student Matt Rivers says he found it a useful session. "I'm very interested in joining a company like Matt MacDonald and it was good to hear what it's actually like to work there."

Mott MacDonald is an international company working in 140 countries with 16,000 staff worldwide. Over the years, it has recruited many Southampton graduates with engineering and science degrees.

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