20 July 2015
Peter Kneen joined WYG in Leicester as an environmental management graduate in 2014 and took part in our very first Graduate Development Programme. He has recently moved from the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) team, where he was involved in putting together the environmental statements, to the Ecology team, where he conducts wildlife surveys. He loves the outdoors and spends his spare time combining his passion for photography and film making with rock climbing and mountain biking. (photo above by Peter Kneen)
What did you study?
I studied Environmental Biology and then did a masters in Environmental Management at university.
What attracted you to study this?
I was always interested in the ways in which people interact with their environment through various activities. I went on to complete my MSc in order to further my knowledge of environmental issues as well as improving my employability in the environmental sector.
What is your specialist area?
My particular interest within EIA was ecology. This is an area I have done a lot of work on in the past few years both professionally and in my free time.
What attracted you to this field of expertise?
I always found animals interesting, particularly British wild animals. After a short stint trying to become a wildlife photographer at university, I still retained my interest in learning about animals.
What are you most passionate about in this field?
I am most passionate about reducing the negative impact of developments on the environment. I, like most people, realise that development is a necessary part of our society and I enjoy being an active part of making these developments less harmful to the wider environment.
Why is this important to you?
The reason I feel this is important to me is that, if there was a development taking place close to my home or an area of the country side I use, I would want the impacts to be reduced as much as possible.
How does your work make a positive impact?
I take an active role in the ecological surveying which allows me to see the positive impacts of my work from the initial surveys through to the final masterplan. Previously, as an EIA co-ordinator, I would assist in the assessment of impacts and have input in to the mitigation for the scheme. I enjoyed being able to see the positive changes I had contributed to within a development.
What projects are you most proud of?
The project I am most proud of being part of is the Army Rebasing programme. I was asked to assist with the project management of the environmental issues for several sites at Catterick Garrison. It was great to be part of such a big scheme with such tight deadlines as it allowed me to work closely with a number of other people within WYG that I otherwise would not have had the opportunity to meet.
Where would you like to see your specialism take you in the future?
I would like to build on my experience in different areas of WYG to move towards managing larger projects and taking more responsibility. I would also like to have further opportunities to work abroad on interesting projects.
How does WYG support you to develop your knowledge and interests?
WYG has allowed me to build experience in a number of different areas through working on various projects around the company. Changing roles from EIA co-ordinator to ecological consultant has allowed me to increase my specialist knowledge and let me gain project management experience on smaller projects. This should then pave the way for me to manage larger projects in the future. At least that’s the plan! I have also been involved in the first WYG Graduate Development Programme, which has been really good to meet other people around my level from all the different sections of the business. We meet up every 3 months for training and an opportunity to chat to members of the Board.