Year studied MSc Environmental Sustainability & Green Technology

2016/7

Undergraduate degree

BSc Environment & Sustainability from Keele University

Current employment

PhD Student/Researcher at Bangor University

What did you do after graduation and how did you get this job?

After graduation I was already in my position as a PhD student. I was fortunate to start the position a couple of weeks after handing in my MSc dissertation. To get the studentship I assessed what projects and research opportunities were available in the world and whether I could fulfil my dream of being involved in them. There were some available that I could actually do – so I applied and went to the interview in my sharpest suit (looking like a snooker player) and told them what I was up to at Keele - they naturally let me in!

What does your job involve?

      Reading, thinking, writing, data collecting, data analysing and drinking coffee – en masse!

Apart from that - going to conferences, workshops, consultations and meetings is pretty integral. This will be the case for most PhDs, however, it is especially the case for my work as the project I work within (Dŵr Uisce) is a collaboration between Wales and Ireland and therefore requires many meet ups.

The Dŵr Uisce project is a cross border project between Bangor University and Trinity College Dublin, funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Ireland Wales Cooperation programme. It has the aims of improving the long-term sustainability of water supply, treatment and end-use in Ireland and Wales through the development of innovative technology platforms, undertaking economic and environmental impact assessments, and developing policy and best practice guidelines to facilitate integrated low-carbon and smart energy solutions for the water sector. My research enables other parts of the project to have further validity, whilst also providing an assessment of opportunities for technological advances in water management through a different approach to performance analysis.

The performance analysis will be carried out through extensive benchmarking and auditing and will encompass assessing major water using industries, as well as the water sector itself across Wales, Ireland and across the globe. Ultimately these results will enable a ‘best practice’ to be sought, taking elements from all over the world. Additionally, the work will allow an energy rating system to be created which monitors the efficiency of water and energy users. The increased awareness, transparency and competition of methods within companies in the water-energy nexus is then anticipated to result in more efficient practices being put in place, saving both money and carbon. 

For more information on the project or my role on it visit https://www.dwr-uisce.eu/ or https://twitter.com/Dwr_Uisce.

Alternatively, add me on LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/in/nathan- walker-1540a8116/) and Research gate (https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Nathan_Walker5).

What did you learn on the MSc Environmental Sustainability & Green Technology which helped you get the job, or helps with your role now?

Without doing the MSc ESGT I simply would not have achieved the studentship position. Not only did it give me a qualification in a higher tier of education, it gave me academic confidence, a more specialised knowledge and skill set, as well as a more rounded and wider scoped understanding of what sustainability means and how it can be achieved. I still use the skills developed on the course now and I expect they will make up the foundation of whatever skills I go onto develop from here. 

Do you have any advice for current/prospective MSc Environmental Sustainability & Green Technology students interested in a similar career?

Utilise the course and discuss as early as possible what you would like to do afterwards with the many helpful people that make up the course. They will help guide you in the right direction and ensure you reach your goals. Another key key key tip that helped me is just asking questions to the staff about a whole range of different topics. It allows the opening up of interesting discussions that further your understanding, which simply cannot be attained through reading articles for example.