Graduate Success In Environmental Management

Sean Tyrrell tells his story after graduating from the University in Environmental Management with first class honours.

Current role

Sean is a research engineer on the ‘STREAM Industrial Doctorate Centre’ engineering doctorate programme (EngD), which is based at Cranfield University and sponsored by the EPSRC ad Albion Water Ltd.

An engineering doctorate is equivalent to a PhD with a greater focus on industrial application within a particular sector, with the STREAM programme focusing on the water sector. The programme lasts for 4 years rather than 3, which will allow Sean to gain additional technical and leadership training required for an engineering doctorate.

As a research engineer, Sean is required to carry out an individual research project for the duration of the 4 years.

A degree to help progress

After graduating from the University of Hertfordshire in Environmental Management, Sean went on to complete an MSc in Environmental Water Management at Cranfield University.

Sean said: “This was a natural progression from the Environmental Management BSc at Hertfordshire, focusing on the elements which most interested me. I then joined the EngD programme following completion of this Master’s.”

Sean explained that his degree at the University of Hertfordshire equipped him with all the skills he required for this progression: “Essay and report writing, preparing and giving presentations, research development, experimental design, critical analysis of literature and statistical understanding are just a few of these skills.

“This degree also provided a solid knowledge base of the relevant subject matter and the tools to delve further. I believe that my degree put in place the foundation blocks for the career path I have chosen.”

A beneficial placement year

During Sean’s degree, he completed a placement year, which in addition to the transferable skills gained from this placement, Sean was given other opportunities: “I was given the opportunity to gain experience managing a treatment reed bed. Treatment reed beds are similar systems to that which are now the focus of my research. This hands-on experience has therefore proven very useful and beneficial.”

University experience and advice

Sean chose his undergraduate course knowing that he wished to pursue an environmental career, but not knowing exactly what shape that would take. The Environmental Management BSc at the University covered a broad spectrum of environmental topics.

Sean said: “This provided me with a wide understanding of the subject matter, whilst allowing me to identify which areas interested me most.”

He added: “The balance between lectures, seminars, fieldwork, group work and self-study created an enjoyable learning experience. To coin an overused but very appropriate phrase it is defiantly a case of ‘the more you put in the more you get out’. The most positive memory I have of UH is the approachability of the lecturers and their willingness to help.”

As advice, Sean thinks whilst achieving good results in coursework and exams is important for progression, these are not the be all and end all.

He said: “Don’t miss the opportunity to learn and develop skills that although not assessed will prove invaluable later on in your careers. Also take advantage of the high level of knowledge each of the lecturers has in their specialist subject area and ask lots of questions!”

Sean is currently half way through his EngD project and upon completion will need to produce a thesis and several papers.