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Shell LogoMy research with Shell stretches back over a decade now, albeit not continuously. I first began working with Shell Global Solutions in August 2004 during my gap year before attending Edinburgh University. I was fortunate enough to find a relavent job with the Health, Safety and Environment group at the Thornton research centre near Chester in the UK. Fortunate not only for the job, but also for the fact that it was 15 minutes drive from my parents' house so I could save some money before University too!

Some of the details of my positions with Shell can be read about in the work experience section of this website, but in brief these include:

 

    • Land Remediation Assistant - Contaminated land near old Shell refineries was sampled and tested using ecotoxicology methods, further determining the level of toxicity and options for remediation.
    • Lubricants Analyst - Lubricants and primarily engine oils were received from both external and in-house streams. These were analysed to determine a range of physiochemical properties, outlining areas to focus upon when aiming to improve the performance, durability and sustainability of these Shell products.
    • Project developer - Based loosely around website design, I initiated and implemented a framework of webpages within the Shell intranet to outline key aspects of used oil legislation around the world. Interactive webpages were created to inform employees how best to deal with used oil and where local recycling points were.
    • Researcher - After reading a meta-analysis of studies that report land use change effects on soil carbon stocks, the project undertaken was to replicate the meta-analysis with intention to expand or limit those studies included, so as to help answer more specific research questions. Ultimately, this research helped inform future research that I undertook as part of my PhD and continue to this day.
    • PhD Studentship - My work with Dr Christian Davies at Shell in 2009 paved the way for my Masters dissertation, and subsequently led into my PhD research. The PhD was funded through a collaboration of CEH with Shell and the University of Aberdeen, all three played integral roles in the success of this research. Details of the PhD can be found here.

While my collaborations with Shell are currently less formal than those above, I continue to work with the industry and see considerable mutual benefits that can come from combining research goals of both industry partners with governmental and non-governmental organisations. More specifically, to tackle the global environmental issues that face our society today, we must think both practically within the constraints that our short-term economies enforce and sustainably so as to ensure longevity of our environmental surroundings. This is unlikely to ever happen if industry, policy and scientific research are seen and operate as separate entities.