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Previous Winners of the Early Career Geologist Award


The 2020 Early Career Geologist Award was won by Charlotte Copley of the Yorkshire Regional Group. Congratulations to Charlotte and all the other finalists, and huge thanks to our Regional Groups who held 2020 heats.


The 2019 Early Career Geologist Award Finals took place on 22 February 2019 and we had an excellent selection of finalists from a variety of industrial and academic backgrounds. Each finalist delivered a 10 minute presentations, with 5 minutes of vigorous questioning from our judging panel. All of the finalists were marked on their professionalism, technical content, creativity, structure and responses to the judges’ questions.

The afternoon concluded with a guest lecture from Dr Bethan Davies, Royal Holloway University on on her work as a glaciologist reconstructing glacier and palaeolake dynamics in Patagonia.

Congratulations go to Jordan Lindsay, South West Regional Group (Cambourne School of Mines, University of Exeter), for being selected as the overall winner of the competition for his talk entitled 'From continent to ocean – the platinum-group-element geochemistry of the migrating Tristan plume'. Jordan received our handsome Orthoceras trophy as well as one year's free fellowship to the Geological Society.

Congratulations also go to Wesley Dixon, Structural Soils Ltd., Western Regional Group, who was selected as the runner up for his talk entitled 'The use of electronic tablets and optical televiewers as logging aids at Wylfa Ground Investigations'.

Well done to all of our finalists:

  • Erin Guy, Jacobs, Yorkshire Regional Group
  • Sam Hazell, Arup, West Midlands Regional Group
  • Daniel Levell, Golder, Central Scotland Regional Group
  • Keir Thomas, Geotechnology Ltd., Southern Wales Regional Group
  • Andrew Thomson, University College London, Home Counties North Regional Group
  • Joseph Whiting, Core Laboratories - Integrated Reservoir Solutions UK, South East Regional Group

Thank you to all of our judges and thank you to all of the Geological Society's Regional Groups that got involved with the Early Career Geologist Award this year!


The 2018 Early Career Geologist Award Finals was held on Friday 8 June with a guest lecture from Dr. Sanjeev Gupta, Imperial College, on his work on the Mars Rover and the future of geoscience.

The winner of the competition was Tom St. John of Jacobs, representing the South Wales Regional Group, with his talk entitled ‘Geological challenges of constructing the A465 Heads of the Valleys section 2’.

Well done to all of our 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)
  • Deborah Thomas. Envireau Water (East Midlands Regional Group)
  • Owen Lokuciejewski-Taylor, Sirius Group (Yorkshire Regional Group)


The Early Career Geologist Award Finals took place on 3 May 2017 at Burlington House alongside the National Schools Geology Challenge

The winner of the competition was Huw Richards of Altus Strategies, representing the Thames Valley Regional Group, with his talk entitled ‘Exploration 101: Searching Morocco for Copper and Gold’.


Well done to all of our finalists:
  • Tom Critchfield, Mott MacDonald (South East Regional Group)
  • Jessica De Freitas, AECOM (East Midlands Regional Group) 
  • William Kan, AECOM, (West Midlands Regional Group)
  • Ben Totterdell, Atkins (Yorkshire Regional Group)
  • Sean Jefferson, Intégrale (Western Regional Group)


Watch the presentations online

The 2017 talks are available to watch below:

To skip to individual presentations on our Youtube channel please use the links below:


The National Final for the 2016 Challenge was held at Burlington House on 25 April, hosted by Paul Maliphant. Presentations, videos and photos from the final will be uploaded shortly.

""The winner was Angela Hillman of Atkins (representing the Yorkshire Regional Group) with her presentation on the geotechnical challenges of reconstructing a Victorian bridge at Whitchurch.

The other finalists were:

  • Matthew Ascott, British Geological Survey (Thames Valley Regional Group)
  • Dominic Hagues, Mott MacDonald (Western Regional Group)
  • Rhian Lynes, Structural Soils (South West Regional Group)
  • Tom Townsend, AECOM (West Midlands Regional Group)
  • Ashley Patton, British Geological Survey (South West Regional Group)



Sarah Caven

The Final of the Early Careers Award was held on 30 April at Burlington House, hosted by Paul Maliphant, and the three speakers were all of a very high standard. 

The winner was Sarah Caven who shared her experiences in the field with the audience, giving a talk entitled ‘Exploring Ethiopia – gold, copper and camels’. Sarah was representing our Northern Ireland Regional Group, which has not taken part in the competition before. Many congratulations to Sarah and the other finalists!

The competition was run alongside the National Schools Geology Challenge, and a record number of seven schools attended the shared final.


Sarah Caven Exploring Ethiopia - Gold, Copper and Camels

Sarah Caven


Chris Kilsby
Offshore Ground Investigation

Chris Kirby

Lisa Mol 
Rockin' the Arctic

Lisa Moll


2014 Early Career AwardOn Thursday 8 May, the Geological Society held its third National Schools Geology Challenge and Early Career Award Finals at Burlington house.

The 2014 Award winner was Amy Stewart from the Solent Regional Group. Amy gave an engaging presentation to a very mixed audience on “Calculation, Analysis & Management of Shallow Marine Mineral Reserves” based on her work at Hanson Aggregates Marine Ltd.

Well done to Amy and the other finalists:

  • Duncan Murdock - East Midlands Regional Group
  • Chris Wilde - Southern Wales Regional Group
  • Mike Daniels - Thames Valley Regional Group


After a successful first year, the finals of both awards were held again at the Society in 2013, hosted by Society Vice President Paul Maliphant.

‘Winners and finalists alike were all excited by the bringing together of early career professionals and A level students, in such an educational and fun arena’ says Paul.

The Early Career Award yielded two winners – hydrogeologist Rosalind Pedder, finalist from the Southern Wales Regional Group, who spoke on ‘Impeller flow logging in fractured crystalline rock at a proposed open-pit mine site', and Oxford University PhD student Owen Weller, the Thames Valley Regional Group finalist, whose talk was entitled ‘Zircon: the geological time keeper’. You can read Roz and Owen's thoughts on the award below.

Read more about the 2013 event in our Geoscientist article.

Roz Pedder, hydrogeologist, winner in 2013

Early Career Geologist Award

“It is great practice for public speaking and presenting scientific information, which all geoscientists will have do at some point in their career no matter what area they end up working in”

“The highlight for me was having the opportunity to present my work at the final to an audience of sixth form geologists and give them some idea of what you can do with a career in geology.”

Owen Weller, winner in 2013

Owen Weller

“I enjoyed the competition as it exposed me to the variety of science being done by geologists around the country. As a PhD student, it was particularly interesting to hear from those working in industry”

I entered because I think it’s important that scientists try to make their research as accessible as possible. I hope that the competition has shown my passion for scientific communication, and that I can continue to share aspects of my research – measuring geological time- in the future”



About the Award

To recognise the work of geoscientists in the early stages of their careers, The Geological Society runs the Early Career Geologist award. This competition is open to all Fellows with less than 10 years post graduate experience, who are working towards Chartership. 

Taking part is a great way to enhance your communication skills and demonstrate your understanding of a particular geological topic to an audience.


Award Rules

Related Links

2017 Award