An environmental consultant, who spends her spare time bouldering and rock-climbing in landscapes similar to those she spends her working days analysing, has joined engineering, environmental, and planning consultancy, Caulmert.
Kellie Burston, 29, has been appointed as senior environmental consultant in the waste department of the fast-growing, employee-owned firm.
A graduate in geography from the University of Portsmouth, Kellie was awarded a scholarship to study for a master’s in environmental monitoring and analysis at Aberystwyth University. For her thesis, she worked on the impact of nickel contamination at a former landfill site based within a large operational nickel refinery.
Having been thrown in at the deep end early on in her first job after university, as a junior on a large landfill site in South Wales, Kellie was quickly handed responsibility for running a leachate treatment plant.
She said: “It was a great way to become comfortable and hands-on within a major landfill site. Every day was different, there were days where I was put under pressure and had to test the limits of my environmental knowledge. You learn commercial awareness, which is a valuable attribute to bring to consultancy, as clients want that site and real-world experience.”
From early on in her college and university days, Kellie knew she wanted to be an environmental consultant.
She said: “I realised very quickly after university that I needed to specialise, and there was a niche in the waste consultancy sector that I wanted to work and get involved with.
“I was particularly interested in waste because of its importance and the involvement it has in our everyday lives. As a young child, I was always taught and encouraged to be waste aware and resourceful because it will be mine and future generations who it will impact upon.”
It’s therefore not surprising that she then went on to work in waste consultancy, specialising in environmental permitting, before joining the waste team at Caulmert’s Nottingham office.
Kellie said: “The team is really friendly here. The work is very varied, and I’m really enjoying taking on the responsibility of project management.”
Among Kellie’s first briefs at Caulmert is a project organising applications concerning a Dolomitic limestone quarry – before she departs to spend three weeks’ leave rock-climbing in a very similar landscape – the Dolomites.
Kellie said: “I love to rock climb. I train in the week at indoor rock-climbing and bouldering centres, then at the weekends head off to a crag or a quarry. One way or another, I’m never far from this kind of environment.”
Caulmert associate director, Andy Stocks, said: “Kellie is a welcome new member of the waste team. She has both the technical expertise as well as commercial and operational experience that will prove invaluable to the team and our clients.”