It’s Ada Lovelace Day and as part of the international celebration showcasing women working in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM), we’re sharing some profiles of women working across a wide range of roles – all of whom studied geography at undergraduate or postgraduate level. Geographers are among the most employable university graduates and the range of career options are varied and exciting, so if you want to find out more about where studying geography can lead you, click here to watch a video and view resources to help you decide.
Dr Kit Ying Angel Ng - Senior Geomorphologist
Kit works at Arup, an engineering and design firm based in London. She completed her undergraduate degree in Physical Geography and Masters in Slope Geomorphology in the Department of Geography at the University of Hong Kong, and completed her PhD on Landslide Hazard Assessment in the Geography Department at Durham University. As part of her job she provides specialist geomorphological (landform) and geological (earth) assessments in a variety of development and infrastructure projects including geohazard mitigation strategies, helping to reduce risk to people, buildings, and critical infrastructure.
Heather Bell - Data and Geographical Information Systems Analyst
Heather works at the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) in Newcastle. She graduated from Aberystwyth University with a first class geography degree. Day-to-day she uses software to undertake geospatial analyses (using data which have a location) and produce traditional and interactive web-based maps. A typical week might involve responding to members of the public with queries regarding the data which MMO produce and publish; liaising with other government bodies such as DEFRA, the Environment Agency, or the Crown Estate, and performing geostatistical analyses for Brexit.
Dr Tina Thomson - Head of Catastrophe Analytics
Tina works at Willis Towers Watson, a risk management and insurance brokerage firm, and holds a PhD in Geomatic Engineering from UCL. Her background is in catastrophe model development, and her firm’s current analytical work focuses on catastrophe modelling (estimating the effects) and risk management of natural and artificial hazards. Her job keeps her challenged and there is always something new to learn; a typical week will consist of team management, various internal and external client meetings, and developing the services her firm offers across the region.
Clare Waller - Principle Hydrologist
Clare works for Peter Brett Associates, now part of Stantec, an engineering and planning consultancy. She studied geography at university, choosing to specialise in water and environmental management. She started working in this sector as a new graduate and the main prerequisites for the role were a good level of numeracy, computer literacy and an interest in flood risk management. Since then she’s worked her way up to her current position, learning on the job. She recommends if you are looking to move into this career to look for work experience in the industry, and consider routes to entry from apprenticeship to post-masters, noting there is a skills shortage in environmental engineering and a demand for enthusiastic numerate new starters.
Emma Rawlings Smith - Transport Planning Consultant
Emma works for AECOM in Birmingham, a consultancy which designs, builds, finances and operates infrastructure assets. Prior to a career in transport planning, she was an educator and worked as a Head of Geography for over 17 years. After switching careers, she’s been involved in a range of projects, including Highways England’s M42 Junction 6 Major Project and the Clean Air Zone for Birmingham City Council. She has been inspired to continue working to improve and manage our transport infrastructure in the Midlands region.
Click here to see more career profiles showcasing the diversity of jobs that studying geography can lead to.