About CSci

  • Catherine Price
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Catherine Price
Featured Profile: 
At A Glance
Licensed Body: 
North West
First Degree: 
BSC (Hons) Environmental Biology
Principal Environmental Advisor
Works For: 
Biwater Treatment Ltd
BSc, MSc
Pet Hates: 
Rude people; ignorance on climate change
Burning Ambition: 
To see great white sharks up close and in the wild
The Carbon Capturer…… to soak up the excess greenhouse gas emissions!
Big Picture
When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? 
From primary school onwards I always wanted to be a marine biologist.
Who or what inspired you to become a scientist? 
The first time I watched Jaws!!!! (see question above)
What do you love about your job and being a “scientist”? 
I have a job that I find interesting and is actually related to my further education. I love the variety – no two days are ever the same. One day I was reviewing planning conditions to ensure they were closed out; dealing with birds, nesting in a pipe which was due to be filled in, and a bees nest found in a confined space where our construction operatives needed to work! I always wanted a job that was a mixture of spending time in the office and outside in the fresh air – with being an Environmental Advisor this is possible
What would you change? 
A little less travelling and more holidays
What qualifications did you take at school? 
A Levels in Geography, Biology and Chemistry
Why did you choose your first degree subject? 
BSc (Hons) Environmental Biology I was originally doing marine biology but decided for gaining employment in the environmental field a more general subject would be beneficial. Also I decided I didn’t want to move too far away from my family
Do you have a Masters or PhD? If not, was it difficult to demonstrate Masters-level equivalence in order to achieve CSci? 
MSc Pollution and Environmental Control
How do you describe your job when you meet people at a party? 
‘If you think your job is shit – mine is literally!!!!’ I work for a company that design and construct water and sewage treatment works. I run their environmental management system and make sure that the construction sites do not cause pollution or harm wildlife. I still have friends that are not sure exactly what I do!
Describe some of the highlights of your average day. 
Working within the Quality, Safety and Environmental department – we have a good team which works well together. We manage to have fun as well as work hard. Satisfied customers – I get asked many environmental queries and it is always good when you have been able to assist them and they are happy with the answer
Describe briefly how your career has progressed to date. 
I was originally employed by Biwater to be part of their Graduate Rotation scheme. Over the next year and a half I gained an insight into a variety of aspects of the business. I worked on the development of projects, as an assistant process scientist aiding in the design of treatment works and even as an on-site chemist carrying out various performance tests to ensure that the works met the required standards. The Graduate Rotation for me was cut short by six months because I was asked to work alongside the Quality Manager in developing the company’s Environmental Management System from scratch to achieve ISO14001. I remained and developed this role to become Biwater’s first Environmental Advisor
How is your job cross-disciplinary? 
As well as the day to day management of the environmental management system I am also instrumental in calculating Biwater Treatment’s carbon footprint on an annual basis, production of Environmental Management Plans for specific projects and reviewing soil investigations/analysis to determine any contamination. I was also instrumental in setting up Biwater’s Corporate Responsibility (CR) Management Plan in order to incorporate all our activities under the CR banner. I am part of the CR Strategic Steering Group which identifies initiatives and continual improvement, incorporating environment, communities, marketplace and the workplace
How well is your job compensated? What is the starting salary for your field, and how much can this be expected to rise? 
Starting as a trainee approximately £20,000 is expected. This should increase as you develop greater experience
What’s the biggest achievement of your career so far? 
I think it was becoming a Chartered Environmentalist, Chartered Scientist and Chartered Water and Environmental Manager. I felt that receiving chartership showed that all the hard work and experience pays off and you are respected by your peers and other professionals
Would you say you have a good standard of living/ work-life balance? 
I have a reasonable work-life balance. My job involves a lot of traveling up and down the UK so I get to see quite a few hotels. However, when I am based in the office, I make up on the social side and manage to catch up with my friends
What do your friends and family think about your job? 
My family thinks my job is great and they always want to know about my latest travels and what I have been up to. My friends are happy for me as I get job satisfaction which I know some of them don’t have in their jobs
What kind of hobbies or extracurricular activities do you do to relax? 
I’m a big fan of rock and heavy metal music and enjoy going to concerts and gigs. I am also happy staying in with my husband and our friends to watch the latest DVDs – the scarier the better!
Why did you choose to apply for CSci and what do you value most about being a Chartered Scientist? 
I choose to apply for CSci as my job involves environmental science and my further education is biology
What is the value of professional bodies? 
It shows that you have reached a standard in your career which balances education and work experience
Advice & Reflection
How important is the mentoring process in your field and to you personally? 
For me, my mentor was someone I could use as a sounding board and could provide me with work related advice. This should not be just in a technical nature but how best to interact with your peers and senior management
How would you define “professionalism”? 
Working in an ethical manner to a high standard but also knowing where your limitations are.
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