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Twitterised: Me in less than 140 characters.

An Environmental Consultant with 11 years experience specifically in relation to land contamination, risk assessment and remediation.

Why I decide to do what I do

I studied Geography at the University of Derby and really enjoyed the modules on soil science. As part of one such module we were invited to Pride Park in Derby for a tour of the innovative remediation works that had been undertaken. I became very interested in the field of remediation and seeing the positive changes it brings. I passed the Pride Park site every day on the way to University and watched it being transformed from a derelict area of land to a vibrant part of the city. It was at this stage that I decided I wanted to pursue a career as an Environmental Consultant.

My potted history

I was born in Derby, and apart from a year away at University, I have always lived in the City. I have been a Ballroom and Latin American dancer since the age of 3 and have been teaching professionally for the last 10 years.

I graduated from the University of Derby with a first class honours degree in Geography and wanted to continue in academia to specialise as an Environmental Consultant. I went on to undertake an MSc in Soils and Environmental Pollution at the University of Reading. As part of my MSc I undertook my research project in collaboration with Forest Research, the research arm of the Forestry Commission. I really enjoyed working in a research environment at the forefront of the development of phytoremediation technologies, and considered continuing working in this area and completing a PhD. However, after a chat with my parents, we decided it was really time that I left academia and got a 'proper job'.

Immediately after completing my MSc I went to work for WSP Remediation Ltd in their Nottingham office. This was a great experience, getting a solid background in the remediation industry and actually witnessing the remediation systems in action.

After two years with WSP I decided to make the move into consultancy and accepted a job with BWB as an Environmental Consultant. I worked for two years in the Nottingham Office and then moved across to the Derby Office, initially on a 6 month secondment and then in a permanent role as a Senior Consultant and subsequently a Team Leader. In 2008 I took on the role of acting Business Unit Manager of the Derby office to cover maternity leave.

In 2009 due to the impact of the global recession the Environmental Teams in BWB's regional offices were closed and I returned to the Nottingham Office in the role as Team Leader. I had a year's career break in 2010 whilst on maternity leave after having my little boy, returning to work on a part time basis in 2011.

I have gradually increased my working hours since this time, returning to a full time position as the Business Unit Manager of the Contaminated Land Team in April 2013.

The best project I have ever worked on at BWB

The best project I have worked on is the Trafford Point project in Manchester. I commenced working on this project in 2004, soon after starting work with BWB and have been involved with various phases of site investigation and remediation since this time. I am now currently involved with supervising the final stages of remediation on this site, prior to development. I have worked on this project at every stage of my career to date.

What I like to do in my spare time

My spare time is mainly spent with my little boy, Harry, playing cars, on bike rides, baking cakes, at swimming lessons and at the Adventure Farm. I am also a Ballroom and Latin American dance teacher (qualified to professional level), and although I have cut down the amount I teach since becoming a Mum, I still try to teach a couple of classes a month to keep up to date.

In a crazy attempt to keep my fitness levels up I also train with a personal trainer twice a week once Harry is in bed. These are not my favourite evenings of the week!

What I hope to be doing 5 years from now

I would like to be leading happy, successful team, working on a wide range of geo-environmental projects.

Rachel Cheetham

BSc (Hons) MSc

Service Director


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