Early Career Geologist Award 2018 Finals

Education Assistant Will Foreman writes…

Two weeks ago, on 8 June, the Geological Society held the Early Career Geologist Award Finals, a competition where geoscientists within ten years of graduating give presentations on projects they have been involved with. The competition starts with Heats, held by our Regional Groups. The winners of the Heats then come to Burlington House for the Final.

This year we had eight finalists:

Ilias Karapanos, Affinity Water (Home Counties North Regional Group)
Alistair Campbell, (Thames Valley Regional Group)
Chris Lambert, SRK Exploration (Southern Wales Regional Group)
Sam Bolton, Cornwall Resources (South West Regional Group)
Matt Sweeney, RSK (Western Regional Group)
Tom St John, Jacobs, (Southern Wales Regional Group)
Deborah Thomas, Envireau Water (East Midlands Regional Group)
Owen Lokuciejewski-Taylor, Sirius Group (Yorkshire Regional Group)

To pick a winner, we elicited the help of five industry experts as judges:

Jane Dottridge, Technical Director at Mott Macdonald
James Dodds, Chair at Envireau Water
Liz Andrews, Senior Engineering Geologist at Jacobs
Dave Holwell, Associate Professor at University of Leicester
Lucy Williams, Geoscience Manager for Rockhopper Exploration

The judges marked the presentations based on their professionalism, technical content, creativity, structure and responses to the judges’ questions. They noted the high level of all of the presentations but, in the end, decided that the winner of the Early Careers Award 2018 would be…. Tom St John!

Owen and Chris were our runners up with incredibly fine margins.

Sanjeev Gupta giving his talk at the Early Career Geologist Award final

After Tom had been announced as the winner, the finalists, judges and audience enjoyed a talk by our guest speaker, Prof. Sanjeev Gupta, from Imperial College. Sanjeev talked about his work with NASA on the Curiosity rover, his future projects with the European Space Agency and his career path thus far. It was a truly incredible talk, inspiring all in attendance.

The event is a great chance to see how young geoscientists are progressing in their fields. It’s also brilliant for networking, with five of our eight finalists already in contact with judges about further opportunities. If you would like to take part in next year’s competition, please contact either your Regional Group (find out which Group you are in here) or Will Foreman at

Take a look at some of the finalists’ presentations below:

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