Christopher Willison, Applied Environmental Science and Physics, 2015 - 2018

Current employment: Graduate Energy Consultant at Wardell Armstrong (environmental consultancy)

What does your current position involve?

The role is very diverse and covers topics including Environmental Impact Assessments for renewable energy projects, wind microclimate assessments and climate change statements.

What influenced your decision to study the course?

I was always interested in the environment and how it is impacted by society. As Environmental Science is a multidisciplinary subject I felt the course would offer me the chance to learn about a wide range of topic areas which are very important in today’s society. Also, the course would allow me to learn practical skills as well as widening my knowledge of the subject. The ability to study Physics as well as Environmental Science influenced my decision as I felt it would provide me with further knowledge and attributes that I would not have gained by only studying Environmental Science.

What skills and/or experience did you gain?

I gained a variety of skills that cover a broad range of subject areas. The third year module of GIS was particularly useful with the skills learnt being applied daily in my current job. I enjoyed learning how to perform water quality tests including the methods behind data collection and analysing the results. The field work that I conducted during my degree helped reinforce what I had learnt in lectures and gave me valuable experience that is applicable to my current job. The course also allowed me to improve my knowledge of mathematics with specific focus on statistics and data handling. Studying Physics for two years allowed me to further develop my core mathematics as well as learning the Python programming language which I used during my dissertation and have used frequently in my current role.

What was the highlight of the course?

The highlight of the course was the Second Year field trip to Bordeaux.

What did you do after graduating from Keele in terms of travel, further study and jobs?

I was lucky enough to have been offered my current role whist I was still in my Third Year. Prior to starting work in the Summer I went Interrailing around Europe for four weeks with my housemates, it was a great experience.

How did the course prepare you for your next job?

The course helped me prepare for my job it gave me a wide range of skills and knowledge in subjects that are relevant for my job. It also helped me develop my report writing skills which is a large part of what I do on a daily basis.

How did you find the support from staff within the School of GGE?

The support from the staff within the School helped me throughout my degree, they were approachable and always willing to help if I had problems with a piece of coursework or if I needed to go back over something covered in lectures.

What advice would you give to a potential student looking to study this course?

I would look at the possible combinations of subjects Keele University offers. Studying two subjects not only benefited me academically, but also socially as I met more people than if I had chosen to do a single honours course.

What did you think of the campus and its facilities?

The campus is beautiful and offers loads of space to explore, the campus facilities are good with multiple places to socialise as well as study.

How would you sum up your experience of Keele in one sentence?

Inspiring, insightful and enjoyable.

Were you involved in any club and societies at Keele, and if so what was your experience of them?

While at Keele I was heavily involved with the Badminton Club as well as playing football in my third year. In my second year I was elected Charity Secretary of the Badminton Club where I organised events and ran a half marathon with another member of the committee. In my third year I was given the role of Movember Student Ambassador which involved organising the campaign, getting people to sign up and promote the charity’s causes. These roles allowed me to work alongside the Student Union staff and helped me gain valuable experiences. Most of my closest friends were gained through the Badminton Club. I strongly believe that anyone at University should be involved in a club or society.