Half Way Through! How is Rachel Finding her Summer Internship?
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June 20, 2019

Rachel Cooper, an Environmental Science undergraduate at The University of Worcester is spending the summer with the Envireau Water team to gain an insight into what we get up to in our busy Derbyshire office. Here she tells us how she is getting on so far:

“I have always had an interest in water and the environment from a young age and studying Environmental Science at The University of Worcester has furthered this passion. During my degree I have looked at climate change, weather and climate, river science, GIS and soil science. I have never really known what I want to do when I graduate so my hope was that by doing an internship with Envireau Water, I would gain a better understanding of the industry around my specialisms to help me in the future.  My friends joked that I would only be shredding and making tea, however I am thrilled that I have done so much more!

Before I started working with Envireau Water, I loved everything hydrological, but geology was not my forte and I would do anything to avoid it in lectures. However, over the past few weeks I have worked on numerous Flood Risk Assessments with members of the Envireau Water team for quarry dewatering across England. This has been highly interesting as it is something I have never thought about before, nor have I studied. This topic has also opened my eyes to look at the ways which geology can be combined with my love of surface water. With the help of Deborah Thomas, Senior Hydrogeologist, I have learnt how and why quarries are dewatered, and how this impacts the surrounding environment.

I have also worked with the hydrology team, mapping a client’s land using GIS, and identifying where the client abstracted and used the water supply. This was a learning curve for me as although I had used the skills before in my GIS lectures, I had never used them in a ‘real world’ situation. This allowed the skills which I had gained from university to be developed and also gave me confidence as I realised I knew more than I thought.

During my first few weeks with Envireau Water, I have also supported the Business Support Team. Working with Leanne Thomas, Marketing Co-ordinator, I have been involved in the company’s marketing activities, including researching current news and developments across the 6 sectors that Envireau Water operates in. I have attended the weekly Business Support Team meetings and assisted with administrative activities. This has given me an interesting insight into how a consultancy operates, which has been an essential part of my learning process.

What do I aim to get out of my last month? I still have a lot to learn in terms of the environment and more specifically water. Over my last few weeks at Envireau Water, I will hopefully be going on site visits with the technical team and will continue to be involved in a range of project work. 

As well as fitting in with the modules I have chosen for my third year, including river monitoring and environmental impact assessment, my internship with Envireau Water also complements my third-year dissertation project. For this I have chosen to look at how road traffic densities will affect the quality of surface water run-off. I am aiming to look at how different densities impact the concentrations of contaminants such as hydrocarbons, nutrients and rubber particles and will then investigate how this contamination can be avoided and how the water is best treated. I also aim to think about how the time period since a rainfall event will affect the concentration of pollutants within the water.”

It’s great having Rachel as part of our team. Find out more about Envireau Team here.