MSc, School of Earth and Environment

Louise Parkes

What company are you working for, what is your role and what does it involve?

I am a PhD student at the University of Edinburgh. I’m looking at seismic anisotropy in a gas chimney using passive seismic methods. It is very theory based but applied to a specific dataset, I’m writing my own processing and analysis codes and applying them to broadband OBS data. I’m also demonstrating seismic processing, near-surface geophysics methods, and fieldwork.

What experiences at Leeds do you think have particularly helped with your career/will help with your future career?

The combination of a good background on theory and practical experience (in the field and processing) gives a good basis for starting a PhD. Learning application helps more theoretical people and learning theory helps applied people, the base in both in the course is fantastic.

The breadth of knowledge available in the course (exploration, near surface, seismic and other methods) is invaluable and helps with problem solving in your research because of the perspective and different approaches. For a career in academia I really believe the course’s breadth will help with ideas on grant applications and collaborations in future, understanding where one’s science sits in a larger context.

Looking back, why did you choose to study your particular course and why did you choose the University of Leeds?

The reputation of the course is brilliant and unrivalled in both industry and academia, which opens a lot of doors. I helped as a field assistant on a project 18 months before starting with Roger and Adam and talking to them got a real feel for the course. University of Leeds is also widely respected and the city is wonderful.

What was the best aspect of the course/the University and why? Any highlights?

The dedication, enthusiasm and range of experience in the teaching team is unparalleled and the contents of the course is broad, exciting, and evolving with the field of geophysics.

What other activities outside of your studies were you involved in?

Networking, which was great experience. Attended EAGE which was also very beneficial, gives ideas on how to present (posters and talks), exposes you to current research, and let’s you learn how to deal with conferences with you friends which made it less intimidating. I also did my project on placement at Total in their research team in Aberdeen and which was a brilliant opportunity possible through the course’s fantastic industry links and reputation.

What would you say to students thinking about studying the same course at Leeds/thinking about the same career?

Do it! I can’t imagine anything else preparing you for a PhD in geophysics (or a job) better than the course in Leeds. If you’re at all unsure, talk to Adam or Roger (or whoever is appropriate) about the course and you will get a real feel for what the course is and whether it is right for you.

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