Having advanced research skills is a real bonus

Dafydd Evans, Masters by Research student in Geology

After completing his Geology degree, Dafydd decided to progress on to a Masters by Research. He is a member of the Geoscience Research group.

"I completed my geology degree at USW and got a job in local government. After a year, I found that I was missing my passion for geology, and after discussion with the geology academic staff, enrolled on a one year full time Masters by Research. My Masters by Research, which I am funding through a Student Loan, gives me an opportunity to study in detail aspects of geology which align with my interests and my future career goals. Geothermal energy is of increasing importance during the transition to a low carbon future so having transferable skills that can be applied in this sector will be a significant advantage.

"My project is focused on geothermal power, which can be generated through wells drilled into sequences of young volcanic rocks like basalts. Working with Dr Ian Skilling and Dr Duncan Pirrie, I have the opportunity to study samples from a geothermal well in Iceland in order to determine their properties. The volcanic rocks here comprise basaltic lavas, but also complex rocks known as hyaloclastites, which form when magma is erupted into ice, water or wet sediments. My project is looking at the controls on the porosity and permeability of the volcanic rocks through this geothermal well and the affect this has on geothermal energy production.

"In my research I am using a state-of-the-art automated scanning electron microscope at the University of South Wales, whilst also being provided with analytical data from a specialist analytical company in Canada. I am not only able to indulge my passion in geology, but I am developing new skills and knowledge which I can use in my future career."