Employee spotlight: July 2021

July 23, 2021

Chantelle reaches career milestones

Congratulations to Chantelle Schmidt, Environmental Consultant at RGM in South Africa, who has recently reached two important career milestones. As well as graduating from the University of Pretoria as a Master of Science in engineering and environmental geology (hydrogeology), Chantelle recently achieved Registered Scientist status with the South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions (SACNASP).

The SACNASP is the legislated regulatory body for natural science practitioners in South Africa. Its mission is “to establish, direct, sustain and ensure a high level of professionalism and ethical conscience amongst its scientists.”

Equivalent to chartered status, registration with SACNASP required Chantelle to demonstrate a bachelor of science (hons) degree and three years appropriate work experience in her field of practice. The rigorous application process involved an evaluation of documentation and referee reports by the Professional Advisory Committee before the application could be approved by the Registrations Committee.

Chantelle learned that her registration had been successful in May, in perfect time for her master’s graduation! She is now a registered Professional Natural Scientist in the field of earth science.

Johan Kriek, Manager for Southern Africa at RSK GCS said, “Well done, Chantelle! You are already making such a difference to the team and your professionalism is now also recognised externally.”

Secrets from a secondment

Joshua Okeke from RSK Middle East was recently seconded to Saudi Arabia for five months to work with RSK company WRc on NEOM, an ambitious and sustainable new megacity being built from the ground up on the bank of the Red Sea in the north-west of the country. Including 22 towns and cities, ports and enterprise zones, research centres, sports and entertainment venues and tourist destinations built out of the desert, when complete, it will be the home and workplace for more than a million citizens from around the world! Now back on home turf, Joshua filled us in on his secondment experience.

What were your duties and responsibilities on the project? And whereabouts did you work?

The project involved an in-pipe inspection of an existing pressure main in the proposed NEOM city in Tabuk Province in the north-western part of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. As a pipeline inspection operative, my main duties were setting up and shutting down the site, undertaking the survey and generating survey reports.

How was your overall experience of working in Saudi Arabia?

My overall experience was exciting; however, this stems from my previous experience of working in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia was no different from working in UAE, with the exception of residing in a vast rural desert area with ongoing construction work. I had to learn a few Arabic words and rely on the use of Google Translate to improve communication, as English was not a commonly spoken language. I found the local nationals and expats to be very hospitable.

How was it working with WRc?

The WRc team was exceptional; I found it easy to integrate with the team, which made learning and the job itself seamless. The support I received, from both the site and the UK team, was immense and I am grateful to the UK team for being readily available, especially given the time difference. Working with and learning from renowned professionals in the water industry is one of the greatest highlights of my Saudi experience.

How was it working with COVID-19 restrictions?

I felt safer following the COVID-19 rules while in the country and during the work, and no ailment was recorded among the team members as we all adhered to the rules. The only disadvantage was the travel restrictions that delayed the commencement and progression of the site work; however, most importantly, we all kept safe during the work.

What was your most memorable experience either on or off the project?

My most memorable experience would be the beautiful scenery of the Red Sea, with lights from Egypt visible in the distance from across the sea in Magna, Tabuk Province.