Ebenezer graduated from our undergraduate degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering (MEng) in 1994, and the returned in 1995 to study for the MSc in MSc Soil Mechanics and Environmental Geotechnics. His research disseration was on The influence of Salt Concentration on the measurement of suctions in soil, under the supervision of Dr Andrew Ridley. Since his graduation, Ebenezer worked at several well known engineering consultancies, before setting up his own consultancy in 2013, Geofirma. He is also a founding memeber of the Ground Forum Undergraduate Mentorship Scheme, which connects undergraduates predominantly from under-represented groups on ground related courses with people already working within the ground engineering industry. Ebenezer was a much loved student rep, working as a rep for 2 years of his undergradute programme, as well as being the Department rep for his BEng and MSc classes. 

Why did you choose to study at Imperial?
I chose to study at Imperial because of its reputation, and the fact that it attracts people from all over the world.  Plus, London is one of the best cities to live in.

What have you done since leaving Imperial?
In the year between my BEng and MSc, I was based at Atkins as a Graduate Structural Engineer.  After I completed my MSc I worked at Royal Haskoning DHV for a few years, followed by AECOM and Skanska. After working as specialist geotechnical adviser for companies which include Buro Happold, Balfour Beatty Ground Engineering and Worley Parsons for several years, I set up Geofirma, my Geotechnical and Civil Engineering Consultancy company in 2013 and this is growing from strength to strength.

I am also one of the founders of the Ground Forum Undergraduate Mentorship Scheme. We connect undergraduates predominantly from under-represented groups on ground related courses with persons already working within the ground engineering industry. The initiative is backed by the Ground Forum. I am also on the panel of the Register of Ground Engineering Professionals (RoGEP) and a committee member of the Ground Forum.

What has been your most rewarding project and you have worked on and why?
I was heavily involved in the Trimley Marshes nature reserve project from the late 90s to early 2000s.  Trimley Marshes is adjacent to the River Orwell and was created to compensate for mud flats lost by the extension of the Port of Felixstowe.  It was very novel, and the first project of its type in the UK.  I would say it was ahead of its time, and it was also rewarding to be doing something good for the environment.    

How has your degree helped?
The degree is well respected and is responsible for the fact that I am a Geotechnical Engineer!  Imperial had and continues to have some very eminent people working there.  For example, Professor John Burland and Professor Chandler (my course tutor for the undergraduate degree), who opened my eyes to soil mechanics, and had a direct impact on where my career has gone.

What would be your advice to a student starting out on a career in Civil and Environmental Engineering?
I would advise anyone starting out to bear in mind that working in engineering, is not just about the technical side.  Of course, that is important, but other ‘soft’ skills such as collaborating, communication and interacting with other people, should also be developed, and are just as vital in order to be happy and successful in this field.