- Course: Exploration Geophysics MSc
- Year of graduation: 1968
After completing a Maths and Physics degree (in Liverpool) and working in the oil industry for three years, Dave came to Leeds to study for a MSc Exploration Geophysics in 1968. In doing so, he joined one of the earliest cohorts to undertake this programme which was, at the time, unique in the UK with its focus on exploration. Whilst at Leeds he was encouraged by the department to undertake a research degree, graduating with a PhD in 1972. He then worked in the oil industry initially for Texaco, then Agip and later Amoco, rising to increasingly senior positions. With these roles came opportunities to develop links between industry and academia, for example, to provide projects for student dissertations and to fund research programmes. One of these research programmes was Derek Fairhead’s project to develop a global gravity and magnetics dataset. Derek was the Programme Leader of the MSc Exploration Geophysics course and had taken up a lectureship at Leeds in the penultimate year of Dave’s research. Three years later the then DTI recognised this key industry/academic partnership with an award. Over subsequent years, Dave’s industrial links and contacts have provided numerous projects to Leeds MSc students and he now regularly visits Leeds to speak about his career and provide advice to students seeking to work in the field of exploration. This advice includes the importance of obtaining a postgraduate qualification as this “undoubtedly provides an individual with more scope to progress in exploration”. Dave also advocates the importance of networking, especially early in your career, through joining professional organisations, in his case this included EAGE (European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers), SEG (Society of Exploration Geophysicists) and PESGB (Petroleum Exploration Society of Great Britain) as well as attending their annual conferences to meet potential contacts.
Dave continues to work in the oil and gas industry, though now for his own company and supports an MSc bursary on the Exploration Geophysics programmes as well as other University projects.