2014 PhD Candidate - Roisin Buckley
Róisín Buckley is an engineer from Co. Clare in the West of Ireland. She studied Civil Engineering at NUI Galway before working in Industry as a geotechnical engineer for almost 7 years, in both Ireland and Australia. She came to Imperial in 2013 to study for her MSc in Soil Mechanics, for which she received a Statoil Scholarship. Róisín joined Imperial as a Research Assistant the following year and is also studying for her PhD, expected in 2018. Her research focuses on Offshore Geotechnics, specifically piles for Offshore Wind Turbines.
Why did you choose to do your PhD with us?
So far in my career I have been lucky enough to be involved in several big projects, which afforded me the opportunity to develop my experience. The MSc in Soil Mechanics at Imperial was a long-held dream, and while I always intended to pursue my PhD, I waited until I found an opportunity which suited my experience. I found it at Imperial and now work with Prof. Richard Jardine and Dr. Stavroula Kontoe on a Joint Industry Project investigating the capacity of driven piles in Chalk, which is a pressing and topical issue within the Offshore Wind Industry.
How have you found your first 12 months?
I have thoroughly enjoyed my 12 months! The first half of my year was spent analysing the results of offshore tests which were undertaken in the Baltic Sea, under 40m of water. I have spent the majority of the last six months planning an onshore field testing programme which has just started and will continue into March 2017. The field work is being done by myself and a team from IC in collaboration with a team, including Prof. Barry Lehane, from the University of Western Australia (UWA).
What does a typical week look like for you?
As I am an RA, my life is slightly different to a normal PhD student in that my work is quite structured. On a normal week I could be doing anything from writing progress reports for the industry partners to planning field work, lab testing, carrying out analysis, digging a hole, or building a database. It's safe to say there is never a dull moment!
What advice you would give someone considering doing a PhD?
I would say make sure you completely understand your topic and that you are passionate about it. If you truly want to find the answer to your research questions, your day can never be boring!