- 9th October 2018
- Posted by: Sophie Bunker
- Category: Blog
We work in partnership with the world-class university, Lancaster University to offer CIWEM accredited postgraduate training for water and environmental management professionals. The course provides flexible and accessible training focused on the practical application of skills and best practice techniques.
Andrew Fielding, Analyst based in our Warrington office, and Katherine Dixon, Assistant Analyst in our Skipton office, recently undertook the PgCert course. Below, they tell us more about their experiences and the great benefits of the course.
Since joining JBA in October 2014, after completing my Bachelor’s degree, I was always keen to further my education. Upon finding out about the opportunity to complete the PgCert in Flood and Coastal Risk Management (FCRM) at Lancaster University it immediately appealed to me. Looking back now four years later it’s hard to imagine where I would be without the experiences and opportunities I’ve gained from my time studying at Lancaster.
The modules I chose to study provided me with a wealth of experience that has increased my awareness of wider issues relating to my daily work. They are all taught by JBA staff who are all extremely knowledgeable and friendly.
I also found that there was a lot to learn from fellow students, many of which come from different professional backgrounds. This allowed me to see things from an alternative perspective, linking the knowledge I’ve gained to different aspects of the environmental industry.
Learning with the JBA Trust physical models
Highlights of my time studying the PgCert include the ‘River Hydraulics’ module in which we got to use the JBA Trust flume. It was great to be able to get hands-on and see how different structures can impact flow regimes, rather than having to rely on pictures and equations.
Another memorable experience was the field trip as part of the ‘Sustainable Floodplain Management and Restoration’ module. I’ve never been particularly interested in ecology but found myself looking up every plant I saw for the next week and repeating “phalaris arundinacea, Reed Canary Grass” to myself (Thanks Kieran Sheehan!).
Through completing my PgCert at Lancaster University I also had the opportunity to partake in Grøn Dyst (Green Challenge) at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) in Copenhagen. This was a 5-day trip which ended with a conference at DTU full of environmental engineering students from around the globe.
Although it was a little bit daunting at first trying to balance working full time with studying (especially over the Christmas period when it’s always nice to switch off), the experiences I’ve gained have been invaluable and I highly recommend the course for anyone who might be interested.
Since joining JBA in October 2015, after completing my MPhys degree and having a year’s worth of industry experience, I was looking to develop my knowledge within the environmental sector.
The PgCert at Lancaster appealed to me as it allows the opportunity to take a varied range of modules. Leading industry experts and a range of course delegates from a number of different backgrounds and experiences led for a very engaging experience.
One of my favourite modules was ‘Coastal Erosion and Flood Risk Management’ where we learnt how different structures can impact wave overtopping scenarios, rather than having to rely on pictures and equations.
Throughout the course I enjoyed being able to gain a basic understanding of industry used modelling software packages. Although the time using them is brief, it is enough to give you a taste of how to use them and how to help incorporate them into a project you are working on.
The experience has given me a greater range of opportunities within the company to help me cement the knowledge I’ve learnt further in a practical day to day project related experience.