David Lee

After graduating from the School...

Mining is the direction I’ve always intended my career to go. During my time at the University of Glasgow I was encouraged and supported by the staff to pursue this and to seek out work placements during the summer breaks between years. This led to my first mining job at the age of 19 during my summer break, working as a field technician in Mount Isa, Australia. Those four months spent out in the Outback with other geologists immensely improved my mapping and rock identification skills which gave me a huge advantage when I returned to Glasgow to carry on with my degree programme.

During my final year at the University of Glasgow I had many talks with my advisor of studies who pointed me in the direction of an MSc in Mining Geology. In the months between graduation and starting the MSc I was an intern for a mining software company whose European office was based in Edinburgh. Here I used my geological insight to assist as a geologist in driving new business in regions of high potential such as Kazakhstan and West Africa.

After completing my MSc, I was employed as a Mine Geologist by Nordgold at their mine in Guinea, and currently hold the position of Senior Mine Geologist with experience in both exploration and production roles. I have had the opportunity to work in mines in Guinea, Burkina Faso and Siberia during this time as well as giving presentations to executives in Moscow HQ.

What did you value about the degree?

I think the degree at the University of Glasgow is one of the best courses around due to the shear diversity of subjects taught. When you finish the degree you’ll have a great depth to your geological knowledge, which can then either be taken into further education and specialise (as I did) or look for employment straight away. When I’m out in the field and faced with unknown terrain and geology I always fall back on what I learned during the mapping classes and rock identification workshops at Glasgow.

Do you have any advice for prospective students?

Mining is a great route to go down - everything from salt, diamonds and metals for new battery technology must be mined. This makes my career varied and interesting. As the industry is moving into sustainability and a green future it is a great time to be involved and make an important contribution.