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GE jobfile

Name: Stephanie Glendinning

Age: 33

Occupation: lecturer in geotechnical engineering, University of Newcastle upon Tyne

Route to the job: After graduating from the University of Leicester in 1989 with a BSc in engineering, I worked in the Derby office of Knight Piesold on various geotechnical and environmental projects.In March 1991 I joined Loughborough University as a research assistant and investigated the use of lime piles as a means of slope stabilisation.I was awarded a PhD for this research in 1995.In June 1994 I was appointed lecturer in geotechnics at Loughborough, having established research interests in ground improvement, particularly lime stabilisation, including the treatment of contaminated land.In February 1998 I became a lecturer at Newcastle.In 1999 I established a research unit, based in the Geotechnical Engineering Group, to provide a focus for research in the field of ground improvement and remediation.

Typical day: There is never a typical day! Term time is punctuated with lecturing and dealing with students'problems.Out of term the department is a lot quieter.This week I am finishing a paper for a journal, developing an action plan for the research unit and reviewing a paper for another journal.I have taken a three-hour laboratory class with undergraduates, taught postgraduates for five hours and taken them on a half-day site visit.

Highs and lows: Highs: securing research money, getting papers accepted, good feedback from students.Lows: criticism in general.The system is set up to provide good written criticism in the form of reviews of papers and research proposals and student feedback on teaching.As these activities are undertaken individually, or with only a few others, criticism can often feel very personal.

Ambitions: I would like to stay in academia.The freedom to develop my own interests is not possible in other professions.In the short term I aim to increase the activity in the research unit and develop collaborative links with industry and other academics.Long term, like most academics, I would like to gain a chair.

Advice: Be prepared to take a lot of knocks and to be highly self-motivated.Nobody will tell you what to do or how to do it.

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