Jackie Chu studied for an MSc in Marine Geosciences in the UK after graduating from the University of Hong Kong. He summarises his study in the UK this way: ‘I not only deepened my knowledge in my professional field, but also widened my network in terms of my career development. Studying marine geosciences in the UK is undoubtedly the most invaluable and memorable experience of my life.’
Why did you choose to study marine geosciences?
I’ve been a nature lover since I was a child. I’ve always been a curious person and wondered about the nature all around me when I was on the shore and in the countryside. The ocean and rocks are spiritual. I am eager to understand them.
During my undergraduate studies, I chose to take Earth Sciences as my major for my Bachelor’s degree at the University of Hong Kong. This was purely because of my passion in natural sciences. Out of all the various fields in this subject, I particularly enjoyed oceanography and geology. They gave me a better understanding of the planet and its history. These two subjects steered my decision when it came time to decide on postgraduate study. Studying Marine Geosciences in the UK was truly an invaluable experience for me.
Why did you choose to study in the UK?
Looking through the list of countries available for marine geology study, the UK was clearly the global leader with its support for the natural sciences. Throughout modern history, most of the famous and influential scientists in the field were educated and did research in the UK. To me, it seemed like a paradise for scientific research. And among all the universities in the UK, I selected University of Plymouth as my destination for my Master’s degree in Marine Geosciences because of its reputation for marine sciences. The city is located right on the south coast and with comparatively warm weather when compared with other parts of the UK. The university is specifically equipped with comprehensive support for research and study in marine geology. Studying in the University of Plymouth is a very good opportunity for me to pursuit my interest in this particular field.
What was a typical university day in the UK like for you?
Studying Marine Geosciences in the UK was a lot of fun. We spent most of our lectures outdoors, not in the lecture theatre. Numerous field trips were conducted to various sites in southern England, both offshore and onshore, to study the geology and understand the oceanography. This experiential learning strengthened my understanding of the subjects and broadened my vision. In terms of research, the university provided a great support and freedom in choosing research topics. I conducted my thesis research on palaeomagnetism, which is how the Earth’s magnetic field has changed over time, in Cyprus in the Mediterranean Sea. This exposure developed my research capabilities and adapting to the different cultures on the island. This was the most valuable study experience in the whole of my UK education.
How did your education in the UK shape you?
The education I received in the UK is inspiring and sharpened my research skill in my field. After returning from the UK, I worked as an exploration geologist in the mining industry in different countries in Asia, including China, Indonesia and Kazakhstan. In 2014, I set up a non-profit organisation called ProjecTerrae in Hong Kong to promote the development of earth sciences. The organisation conducts educational programmes, exhibitions, workshops, seminars and study tours in local universities, colleges and institutes to increase public awareness of global resources and the need for their preservation and sustainability. My UK education was an important part in my development as a person. This experience equipped me with the professional knowledge needed for my position and the crucial skills needed in communicating with colleagues from different cultures. Because of my time in the UK, I am happily able to work to develop my career and interests now.
Participating in and being shortlisted as a finalist in the Education UK Alumni Award recognises my efforts in advancing the development of natural sciences in our society. It provides a platform to connect with and exchange ideas with other bright-minded UK alumni.
Studying in the UK not only deepened my knowledge in my professional field, but also widened my network in terms of my career development. Studying marine geosciences in the UK is undoubtedly the most invaluable and memorable experience of my life.
See Jackie Chu in action:
Meet Jackie (ProjecTerrae) at the British Council’s Science Alive 2017 programme, his sessions are:
- Family workshops: ‘Let’s rock’
Saturday 11 March 2017, 15.00 - 16.30
Sunday 12 March 2017, 13.00 - 14.30
Venue: Laboratory, Hong Kong Science Museum
- Outdoor environmental learning: ‘Scientific study tour to Ma Shi Chau’
Friday 10 March 2017, 09.00 - 12.00, 13.00 - 16.00
Friday 17 March 2017, 09.00 - 12.00, 13.00 - 16.00
Venue: Ma Shi Chau, Hong Kong UNESCO Global Geopark
For details and registration, please visit:
Read more about Jackie’s work and research on geology:
Jackie has published a book "Hong Kong Mining History" covering the geology and history of over 30 abandoned mines and quarries in Hong Kong.