Student profiles

The following quotes are from students who have completed their postgraduate studies at the Department of Meteorology:

Ben Lamptey

MSc Applied and Agricultural Meteorology, 1996-1997

Ben LampteyI chose Reading because of the department's reputation. I had taken the Initial Forecasting Program at the Met. Office College which was then at Shinfield Park in Reading. I later attended the Statistics in Agricultural Climatology (SIAC) summer program at the University of Reading. It was a matter of course that I chose Reading for my Masters.

I was initially attracted to Meteorology by the Electronics and Telecommunication aspect. That is, the receiving and transmission of the meteorological information in Forecasting offices. I, however, had to do work as a forecaster in Ghana. It was then I saw the application of my physics and I enjoyed it. My bachelor's degree is in Physics.

I enjoyed the course options (i.e. the way the courses are organised) about the MSc

program and the affable nature of the people in the department.

The MSc helped me to identify my future interest. I have had the chance to compare what I did in Reading with other things I did before and after Reading. I now know where my passion is.

I am finishing an Advanced Study Program postdoctoral fellowship at the National Center for Atmospheric Research Boulder, Colorado, USA.

Kate Ravilious

MRes Earth and Atmospheric Science, 1997-1998

Kate RaviliousI've always been interested in climate, but had only dabbled in studying climate in my geology degree. I wanted to learn some more about the intricacies of the weather before embarking on a PhD. I chose Reading because of its Meteorology department and because the MSc sounded like exactly what I was looking for.

I remember the department as being one of the most friendly and sociable departments I've worked in. From croquet tournaments in summer to sailing trips and field trips by the coast it was easy to get to know people. In addition I was really impressed with the MSc course. All of the lecturers and tutors were very approachable and prepared to spend a lot of time helping me to understand some of the trickier bits of the course.

The MSc prepared me for my PhD and gave me some grounding in how to tackle a research project. It also gave me the academic background I needed for my PhD. What is more, it gave me a bit of time to think about what I wanted to do!

For the last six years I have been working as a freelance science journalist, writing for publications like New Scientist and The Guardian. I did finish my PhD, but realised that academic research wasn't for me. However, I do enjoy being nosy about other people's research and I am still fascinated by science, so science journalism suits me just fine! I still take a keen interest in climate and weather and relish the chance to write about the latest meteorology research.

Thomas Loridan

MSc Weather, Climate and Modelling, 2005-2006

Thomas LoridanWhen I decided to specialise my studies in the field of meteorology I asked around me people who already were working in this area and they all agreed on saying that Reading was certainly the best place to do that in Europe.

My first degree was as an engineer in Mathematical and Mechanical modelling in France. While doing it I realised that mechanics was not the part I was most interested in, so I decided to try a new orientation. It's probably the best choice I have made so far!

Apart from the quality of its teaching, the dept of Meteorology in Reading is brilliant for its friendly atmosphere. Even if a great amount of work is required I spent a fantastic year in the department and this was only possible thanks to the staff and students there.

The MSc title definitely stands out on a resume targeting a job related to earth science. I was also helped by lecturers giving me contacts in the (small) world of meteorology.

I currently have a job as a support engineer in the earth science department of the Barcelona Super Computer Center. We provide air quality forecast for the Spanish government.

Adrienne Cahalan

MSc Applied Meteorology, 2002-2003

Adrienne CahalanWe do not have an MSc Meteorology degree in Australia and so I looked overseas to find a place to study. I looked first to the USA for a suitable course and then through my enquiries found that the University of Reading offered the MSc which for me was a great opportunity.

At the time I was living in the UK as part of my career as a yacht racing professional specialising in weather forecasting, navigation and electronics. I needed a formal education to progress into more sophisticated positions in teams such as the Americas Cup and Round the World Races.

I thoroughly enjoyed studying again full-time after a break from university of almost 15 years. The department was a great environment for me where the individual attention was very important. The course was intense, very challenging and extremely rewarding. Atmospheric physics was the hardest subject but one of the most important. Tropical meteorology has helped me enormously with its practical application in many yacht races. I really felt that I was in the nerve centre of weather in the world at Reading and for me that was very exciting. So many of the staff and fellow students gave their time to help me get through the course and answer many questions, it was a great atmosphere.

After graduating, I was considered for better positions in better teams that were entered in the top international competitions. I felt that armed with this degree I was equipped to compete against the best navigators in the business. Six months after finishing my thesis on Southern Ocean Meteorology I was chosen to be part of the team that broke the fastest time for sailing around the world Feb6-April 5 2004 in: 58 days, 9 hours, 35 minutes and 42 seconds. This was a highlight of my career to break the sound the world record.

I am still working as a professional yacht racing navigator on he international circuit in races such as the Volvo Ocean Race. Right now I am sailing Cowes Week and the Fastnet! I am based back in Australia.

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