Jez works at the engineering, environmental and mining consultancy, RPS Group, in their Edinburgh branch as a Principal Environmental Consultant. His main responsibilities are managing ground engineering and contaminated land projects, whether they are for redevelopment of commercial and industrial land, or the residential development of greenfield or brownfield land. The role can involve juggling between stakeholders, developers, landowners, contractors and the public, as well as combatting challenging weather on site investigation projects at various phases of development, predominantly in Scotland.
After completing his undergraduate degree in Geology with Geography, Jez branched out into environmental science through a number of roles, including an “unusual” position within the oil services sector, validating the integrity of underground storage tanks and pipelines through geochemical soil and groundwater analysis. After several years in contracting, he undertook an undergraduate diploma in Pollution Control at the Open University, and later completed an MSc in Environmental Water Management. He was recently recruited into the Edinburgh office at RPS Group to help strengthen and grow their ground engineering team.
Jez joined the IES in 2013, and was awarded Chartered Environmentalist status in January 2016.
“I was recommended to join the IES by friends through networking and it seemed a very good move to push for membership within an organization which covered my technical disciplines in many areas. It impressed me that the IES had a broad church of different disciplines and as I have interaction with a wide group of scientists and professionals on a daily basis it made sense as it will help me to develop more knowledge in areas which I do not specialize in…
Since joining I have enjoyed the diverse nature of topics and articles discussed in online newsletters and journals and I have found that this adds variety and depth to my knowledge and would recommend it to other professionals.”
Within his current role, Jez is mainly involved in project liaison, reporting and managing commercial, industrial and residential projects across central Scotland, although occasionally engages with projects in England and Wales. He believes that working within an international company ensures his job is immensely varied.
“My role can be challenging and dynamic and each day can be very different. I can be involved in assessing the impacts of former mine-workings on development one day, reviewing archaeological reports, geological logs and geochemical datasets for the development of new projects the next, through to looking at potential engineering projects in near shore coastal areas.”
Jez recently worked on a large semi-rural site that was once proposed for opencast coal mining, and has now been earmarked for residential development with hundreds of new houses proposed. This involved extensive investigative drilling to evaluate shallow surface geology and former coal workings, followed by grouting of old workings and shafts. As a whole, the project included collaborating with tenant farmers, archaeologists, ecologists, mining geologists, utility service providers, and even dog walkers!
Jez plans to continue building up his expertise within the sector, and believes becoming a Chartered Environmentalist was a necessary step forwarded within his career.
“I feel that Chartership is valuable and is recognition of having spent a significant time within the sector and reward for many years of study. It is also something that a lot of clients value.”