Hi, I’m Andrew. I live with my partner, 2 dogs, 2 guinea pigs and a rabbit. I work for the Environment Agency and in my spare time I write and produce music and also write about all things music on my website.
I grew up and live in Lincolnshire in the East Midlands. As well as music I’m a keen photographer and enjoy the natural environment, between them they usually influence or inspire each other.
I was always interested in the environment but when studying GCSEs there was little information on career routes into environmental jobs and there weren’t that many environmental degree courses. Thankfully this has improved considerably since then.
Unfortunately I didn’t do particularly well at A-Levels, I still could have gone to University but instead I decided to try and get a job with a day release course. It took a while but my first job was with the former National Rivers Authority as a ‘Young Water Guardian’. This was like an apprenticeship, a 2 year training programme with a day release to study HNC Chemistry.
After passing HNC Chemistry I also completed and passed the Chartered Institute of Water and Environmental Management Diploma which gave me the equivalent of a degree. Definitely the long way round but it shows there are options available when things don’t go according to plan.
My pronouns are:
He / Him
I work for the Environment Agency writing environmental guidance for industrial sites explaining how to reduce pollution and improve efficiency.
My background is environmental regulation of sites like landfills, food factories, chemical plants and waste treatment sites. I have written guidance and developed training to help Environment Agency staff understand why odour and fly problems happen on these sites and what can be done to reduce or prevent them.
I’ve always worked at the Environment Agency and had a variety of roles in water quality, waste permitting and industrial regulation. I have specialised in compliance and regulation of a range of permitted sites from food factories, chemical plants, recycling facilities to landfills. I specialised in the amenity issues of odour and flies and have developed training and guidance that explains how odour is produced, how to reduce it and how we detect and respond to odour pollution. To answer what you’re probably thinking yes, I have been to far too many smelly sites.
My Typical Day:
My day often starts with an early dog walk and then I may be working at home or in the office or travelling for a meeting or a site visit.
There’s the usual checking of emails and other messages, seeing what meetings or tasks are on my calendar and planning for them.
I’ll typically be reading about industrial processes, collecting and analysing data, writing or updating guidance, speaking to colleagues or maybe personal development such as an online training course.
It’s rare that two days are identical, working at the Environment Agency usually provides quite a lot of variety.
My current role is project based, so there are a number of tasks that need to be completed on time by certain dates. For example one task may involve reading about and researching an issue, looking for evidence or data and deciding what this tells me, listening to different opinions and then presenting my findings in a report or presentation.
STEM subjects play a key role, there are many I use on a daily basis including maths, english, chemistry, biology, physics, environmental science, engineering and more. I also need to explain technical issues clearly so communication – listening, writing and speaking are important skills along with influencing and problem solving. Being organised really helps too.
What I'd do with the prize money:
The concept that I have in mind is to develop an environmental themed activity that could be rolled out to schools.
Ancaster High School
Nottingham Trent University
Ancaster High School – 8 GCSEs, AS-Level Maths and A Level Chemistry
Nottingham Trent University – HNC Chemistry, Institute of Water and Environmental Chemistry Diploma
Senior Advisor, Technical Author for UK BAT:Apr 22 to present
Senior Advisor. Paper and Textiles sector: November 21 to Apr 22
RSIR Executive Co-ordinator: Aug 20 to November 21
Technical Advisor, Odour: July 11 to Aug 20
PPC Officer: May 07 to July 11
Regulatory Officer (Waste): May 03 to May 07
Various roles: May 93 to May 03
‘Young Water Guardian’: May 91 to May 93
Senior Advisor – Technical Author for UK Best Available Techniques (UK BAT) for Smitheries and Foundries
What did you want to be after you left school?
I didn't have a particular job in mind but wanted to do something 'green', so something that was related to the environment
Were you ever in trouble at school?
No, I was well behaved!
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
I think a pharmacist or dentist would be interesting. I'm not looking to change careers but it's important to remember that you can always retrain or go to college / university to get new qualifications at any age should you wish to change career in the future.
Who is your favourite singer or band?
I wouldn't say I have a particular favourite, I listen to a lot of music which sometimes will be well known artists on labels and sometimes it is self-released artists I find using sites like Bandcamp.
What's your favourite food?
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
The first one is that I had more time. There are so many things that I want to learn and do but don't have enough time to fit everything in. Secondly that the technology of today was available when I started using computers, coding those things was complex and took hours for even basic tasks. Being able to produce music, films, animations as easily as you can now would have been pretty awesome. Thirdly, that I didn't sell my Yamaha DX7 synth. I wanted one for a long time and when I finally could afford to buy one I didn't understand it and couldn't get any good sounds out of it. This was many years ago but over time their prices have increased dramatically.
Tell us a joke.
What's the best thing about Switzerland? I don't know. But the flag is a big plus.