Dr Michelle Elenore Grassi
Senior Environmental Scientist, Environmental Resources
Management Australia Pty Ltd (ERM)
PhD (Environmental/Analytical Chemistry) 2005; BSc (First-Class Hons, Chemistry) 2001
I work as a Consulting Environmental Scientist with a large international firm based in Melbourne. I work with a diverse range of clients, undertaking environmental land and groundwater site assessments, and where problems exist I develop remedial solutions for contaminated land and groundwater. There is a lot of variety in what I do day-to-day; directing projects and staff, interacting with people to solve problems, managing risks and even getting my hands dirty on site!
Prior to this, I worked for the Western Australian Department(s) of Water and Environment, my first job after completing my PhD. One of my responsibilities there was to provide technical knowledge and expertise to the Department State-wide, as well as to external stakeholders, including community and catchment group organisations.
I chose postgraduate studies at UWA because the opportunity had arisen to work on a project that extended my honours thesis work. I had gained so much practical and theoretical knowledge of environmental geochemistry and remediation of contaminated sites that I wanted to do more – so I chose to do a PhD.
The extra years I spent working intensely on my PhD have given me a multitude of skills and knowledge that is invaluable in my current job. The ability to work independently, good analytical and communication skills, and the intensive knowledge and experience of geochemistry and environmental chemistry that I obtained during my studies are universal strengths I use daily.
Completing my PhD has been my most satisfying achievement to date. Successfully completing projects in my current work also gives me great satisfaction.
What advice would you give someone who is considering taking up a postgraduate degree at UWA?
Completing a postgraduate degree requires you to be completely self motivated and excited about doing as much as possible; having a good support basis in supervision helps immensely.
CRICOS Code: 00126G