Monitoring boulder transport as a result of storm activity at Bembridge, Isle of Wight. Image: Linley Hastewell.
The Society’s grants programme often provides a springboard for those early in their career, with recipients going on to work in both academia and industry.
We caught up with Dr Linley Hastewell, Principal Water Specialist/Geomorphologist at Binnies, RSK Group, to hear how a Society grant helped during his PhD and beyond.
How did a grant from the Society help you?
I can honestly say that access to this fund played a considerable role in the success of my PhD and what has since come to pass.
I was the fortunate recipient of the Dudley Stamp Memorial Award in April 2017. The funds were vital for me to access and collect data from my PhD field site. Despite living only a short distance from the site in terms of mileage, the costs involved in crossing the Solent – arguably one of the world’s most expensive ferry crossings – meant the additional funding was key to the success of the overall project.
What was your research about?
The main aim of my PhD was to monitor the movement of large boulders on the shore platforms at Bembridge on the Isle of Wight and attribute those episodes of mobility to recorded wave measurements, in particular, storm activity. Over 100 boulders were tagged using Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tagging technology; this allowed the boulders to be relocated during each survey and their locations recorded using DGPS. The process involved repeated field visits and multiple, expensive ferry crossings over the course of study.
During this time, I was fortunate to publish a number of papers in Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, a key journal in the field of geomorphology. The paper that documented my novel methodology sparked interest from fellow researchers at the University of Trieste and the University of Malta. This led to replicating my study in different coastal settings in Croatia and Malta and helped to foster further international collaboration. Media interest in my study also led to coverage in the local newspaper and on the radio, and even video footage being published online by Reuters news agency.
How has your career developed since completing your PhD?
The successful completion of my PhD resulted in me being appointed to a seconded role as a Teaching Fellow in the School of the Environment, Geography and Geosciences at the University of Portsmouth. I have since left the world of research and academia and have recently been appointed a Principal Water Specialist/Geomorphologist at Binnies, part of the RSK Group.
All of these achievements are either directly, or indirectly, linked to having secured funding from the Society. I would actively encourage anyone considering applying for any of the Society’s funding streams to do so. You never know what exciting opportunities it may lead to.
See the full list of projects supported by the Society’s grants programme since 1953.
Find a grant.