Profile: Maria Twomey
Maria Twomey is an Environmental Engineer with a company called White Young Green. She studied Earth Sciences at UCC as she really liked Geography at school.
She felt Earth Sciences seemed like a good diverse degree that encompassed geography, geology and biology.
Maria did a taught Masters in Environmental Science at Queen’s University Belfast before starting work with White Young Green.
She focuses primarily on contaminated land problems, which range from oil spills in back gardens to chemical spills at business premises. She goes to the site, drills bore holes and extracts cores of the soil. She then examines the soil cores and identifies the different types of soils and where the contamination is.
Maria also takes water samples and sends them off to the lab. Her week usually involves two to three site visits and the rest of the time she is in the office analysing the results.
On site she directs the crews to drill the holes and takes the samples as she goes. Maria then assesses her results, writes up a report and makes recommendations for how best to clean the land.
Cleaning the contaminated land can be as simple as digging up the dirty soil and putting it into landfill or drilling holes and putting special bacteria in the ground to eat up the oil.
Maria’s favourite aspect of her job is not being stuck at a desk from 9am to 5pm. She says every week is different as she travels around the Munster area to a variety of locations. Tomorrow she’ll be at a wind farm, the day after a petrol station and another day an oil refinery.
She likes the freedom of being out of the office and although it can be very mucky, wet and windy on site she doesn’t really mind because she has the right gear and if it comes to it she can hide in her jeep with her trusty thermos flask which goes with her everywhere.
Outside of work Maria plays a lot of hockey. She plays with Belvedere Hockey Club in Ballincollig.