Jenna L - Environmental Modeller

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Jenna L

00:00:03 My name is Jenna L, and I'm an Environmental Modeller. What that really means is that I look at the effects of electricity generation on the environment. And I do that mainly by using software programmes. So I spend most of my day sitting in front of a computer. One of the things that I enjoy is that we work on a lot of different projects. The advantage of that is if you're on a project that you don't like, it doesn't - doesn't last forever. I suppose the disadvantage is if you're on something that you really like, that doesn't last forever either. But there's a lot of variety.

00:00:33 This is clearly a brick on a piece of string. I don't want you to think that this is what I do every day in my job, because it's not. When I'm doing a preliminary assessment I might need to know how deep a river is, and one way you can do that is to dangle a brick on a piece of string over a bridge, and count the number of markers that - that went underwater until the brick hits the bottom, and then that's an estimate of the depth of the river.

00:00:57 The thing that's had the biggest impact on my life is having a child, because I now work three days a week not five days a week. I think being a mother changes a lot of things, because your child is the most important thing and you have to be there - I'm the main carer, so I have to be there for my child. I prefer to stay in the office now more. If there are options of going out on trips, I'm probably less likely to want to do that now, if it means they might get back late. So yeah definitely some things have changed, and I'm now three days a week not five days a week, and that has some influence on what projects I can work on.

00:01:30 Well I was at school quite a long time ago, so I did O levels, and then I did A levels. I did Maths, Physics and Chemistry, so I was sort of heavily biased towards the Sciences and Maths. I knew I wanted to go to University to do a scientific subject and I chose - I chose Physics. And then by the time I was coming to the end of University, I wanted to go out and get a job at that point. Partly because I wanted to earn some money. I didn't really have a plan of what I wanted to do. I just went to the University Careers Service, and that's how I ended up working for E-on, or whatever the company was called, sort of 18 years ago.

00:02:08 I travelled sort of after University before starting work, as many people do. I had a round the world ticket, but I spent most of my time in Australia. It was just an opportunity to take a long period of time off. I mean, you can go to Australia for four weeks if you use up all your annual leave in one go, but it's not the same as going there for six months or a year. I ended up with a job offer out there, so I did have the option of staying out there, but I actually chose to come back. And one of the reasons is that you are very far away from your family.

00:02:41 It was about ten years ago I spent about four months working in Brazil. We were part of the electricity industry in Brazil was being privatised, and we were looking at buying into part of it. I'd probably say my first week in Brazil was probably one of the worst weeks of my life actually, but by the end of it I really enjoyed the experience. I think it taught me the difference between quality of life and standard of living. Because you're living in a very nice hotel, and you're eating very nice food, you're eating in restaurants every evening, but your quality of life was actually quite low because you're actually spending most of your time working, and you're away from all your friends, and the things that you normally have around you.

00:03:22 I don't feel that my parents pushed me in any way at all really, I think they just let me - they let me do my own thing. With hindsight they were probably quite lucky in some ways, because I worked very hard at school and I was quite dedicated, so they never had to tell me to do my homework.

00:03:38 I'm quite happy with the job that I'm doing, so I'm not intending to apply for any other jobs or move elsewhere. But I do work for a big company, changes and reorganisations do happen, so I'm not naïve enough to think that I'll be sitting at the same desk doing exactly the same job in ten years' time, because it's probably not that likely.

00:03:45 ENDS

Jenna L

Jenna L My name is Jenna L, and I'm an Environmental Modeller. What that really means is that I look at the effects of electricity generation on the environment. And I do that mainly by using software programmes. So I spend most of my day sitting in front of a computer. One of the things that I enjoy is that we work on a lot of different projects. The advantage of that is if you're on a project that you don't like, it doesn't - doesn't last forever. I suppose the disadvantage is if you're on something that you really like, that doesn't last forever either. But there's a lot of variety. This is clearly a brick on a piece of string. I don't want you to think that this is what I do every day in my job, because it's not. When I'm doing a preliminary assessment I might need to know how deep a river is, and one way you can do that is to dangle a brick on a piece of string over a bridge, and count the number of markers that - that went underwater until the brick hits the bottom, and then that's an estimate of the depth of the river. The thing that's had the biggest impact on my life is having a child, because I now work three days a week not five days a week. I think being a mother changes a lot of things, because your child is the most important thing and you have to be there - I'm the main carer, so I have to be there for my child. I prefer to stay in the office now more. If there are options of going out on trips, I'm probably less likely to want to do that now, if it means they might get back late. So yeah definitely some things have changed, and I'm now three days a week not five days a week, and that has some influence on what projects I can work on. Well I was at school quite a long time ago, so I did O levels, and then I did A levels. I did Maths, Physics and Chemistry, so I was sort of heavily biased towards the Sciences and Maths. I knew I wanted to go to University to do a scientific subject and I chose - I chose Physics. And then by the time I was coming to the end of University, I wanted to go out and get a job at that point. Partly because I wanted to earn some money. I didn't really have a plan of what I wanted to do. I just went to the University Careers Service, and that's how I ended up working for E-on, or whatever the company was called, sort of 18 years ago. I travelled sort of after University before starting work, as many people do. I had a round the world ticket, but I spent most of my time in Australia. It was just an opportunity to take a long period of time off. I mean, you can go to Australia for four weeks if you use up all your annual leave in one go, but it's not the same as going there for six months or a year. I ended up with a job offer out there, so I did have the option of staying out there, but I actually chose to come back. And one of the reasons is that you are very far away from your family. It was about ten years ago I spent about four months working in Brazil. We were part of the electricity industry in Brazil was being privatised, and we were looking at buying into part of it. I'd probably say my first week in Brazil was probably one of the worst weeks of my life actually, but by the end of it I really enjoyed the experience. I think it taught me the difference between quality of life and standard of living. Because you're living in a very nice hotel, and you're eating very nice food, you're eating in restaurants every evening, but your quality of life was actually quite low because you're actually spending most of your time working, and you're away from all your friends, and the things that you normally have around you. I don't feel that my parents pushed me in any way at all really, I think they just let me - they let me do my own thing. With hindsight they were probably quite lucky in some ways, because I worked very hard at school and I was quite dedicated, so they never had to tell me to do my homework. I'm quite happy with the job that I'm doing, so I'm not intending to apply for any other jobs or move elsewhere. But I do work for a big company, changes and reorganisations do happen, so I'm not naïve enough to think that I'll be sitting at the same desk doing exactly the same job in ten years' time, because it's probably not that likely. ENDS

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About Jenna L

Age at filming: 36-45, Employer's name: E.ON
Armed with a physics degree and gap year experience in Australia, Jenna L joined E.ON and is pursuing a varied and rewarding career. Variety in her work, opportunities to travel abroad e.g. Brazil, and later, when she started her family, the flexibility to go part time, have ensured Jenna's loyalty to the company. Her current projects involve looking at the effects of electricity generation on the environment.

More information about physical scientists

Check out 8 videos about this career


Average Salary
£49,920
Average Weekly Hours
43
Past Unemployment
YearUnemployed
20115%
20123%
Predicted Employment
Future Employment Chart
Top 10 Industries
For This Job
IndustryJobs
Computer programming, etc3,542
Head offices, etc1,723
Architectural & related1,422
Education1,253
Specialised construction 1,242
Retail trade1,017
Public admin. & defence926
Wholesale trade807
Legal & accounting 750
Health 705
Employment Status
Employment Status Chart
Description

Physical scientists study relationships between matter, energy and other physical phenomena, the nature, composition and structure of the Earth and other planetary bodies and forecast weather conditions and electrical, magnetic, seismic and thermal activity.

Qualifications

Entrants usually possess a degree, although entry may also be possible with an appropriate BTEC/SQA award. Further specialist training is provided on the job. Higher degrees and professional qualifications are available.

Tasks
  • Conducts experiments and tests and uses mathematical models and theories to investigate the structure and properties of matter, transformations and propagations of energy, the behaviour of particles and their interaction with various forms of energy
  • Uses surveys, seismology and other methods to determine the earth’s mantle, crust, rock structure and type, and to analyse and predict the occurrence of seismological activity
  • Observes, records and collates data on atmospheric conditions from weather stations, satellites, and observation vessels to plot and forecast weather conditions
  • Applies mathematical models and techniques to assist in the solution of scientific problems in industry and commerce and seeks out new applications of mathematical analysis.
Employment by Region
Regional Employment Chart
Gender Balance
M 76% 24% F
Skills Chart
Where to go next
Information and statistics relating to the energy and utilities sectorSkills Council for the Energy and Utilities Sector

More information about environment professionals

Check out 11 videos about this career


Average Salary
£31,720
Average Weekly Hours
40
Past Unemployment
YearUnemployed
20114%
20121%
Predicted Employment
Future Employment Chart
Top 10 Industries
For This Job
IndustryJobs
Computer programming, etc5,916
Head offices, etc2,878
Architectural & related2,374
Education2,092
Specialised construction 2,075
Retail trade1,699
Public admin. & defence1,547
Wholesale trade1,348
Legal & accounting 1,253
Health 1,178
Employment Status
Employment Status Chart
Description

Jobholders in this unit group investigate, address, and advise on a variety of terrestrial and marine environment and resource management issues, including the development and implementation of environmental policies and remedies that address the impacts of human activities and industrial processes on the environment.

Qualifications

A good degree in a relevant subject is normally a minimum entry qualification, and some employers will require a postgraduate qualification. Relevant work experience to complement academic qualifications is highly desirable. Professional qualifications across a wide range of areas of work are available.

Tasks
  • Identifies contamination of land, air or water and assesses any adverse impact on the environment
  • Advises on and provides solutions for mitigating the effects of such contamination
  • Implements remediation works
  • Carries out environment-related desk-based research and fieldwork to collect, analyse and interpret data to determine their validity, quality and significance
  • Carries out environmental audits and environmental impact assessments
  • Communicates scientific and technical information to relevant audiences in an appropriate form, via reports, workshops, educational events, public hearings
  • Assists organisations to conduct their activities in an environmentally appropriate manner
  • Implements, reviews and advises on regulatory and legislative standards, guidelines and policies
  • Provides professional guidance to clients, government agencies, regulators and other relevant bodies, having regard for sustainable approaches and solutions.
Employment by Region
Regional Employment Chart
Gender Balance
M 76% 24% F
Skills Chart
Where to go next
Information and statistics relating to the energy and utilities sectorSkills Council for the Energy and Utilities Sector

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