NAME: Dr. Gaathier Mahed
CURRENT TITLE: Senior Lecturer at North-West University in South Africa
AREA OF EXPERTISE: Hydrogeology with an interest in geodetic and geophysical techniques
YEARS OF EXPERIENCE: 10 years of combined consulting, research, academia and industry experience
EDUCATION: PhD in Geophysics
What’s your job like?
It is amazing! We have a diverse set of challenges on a day-to-day basis that need creative solutions, and we are allowed to think freely and openly in a safe environment at the coalface of knowledge generation. Furthermore, we shape minds and help the next generation of earth scientists create a niche for themselves.
What’s a typical day like?
If we are in the office, we come and check e-mails and drink some coffee. If I have class on a specific day, then I prepare and deliver my PowerPoint presentation or even just brush it up and read some more on the topic at hand. I normally also meet with my postgraduate students and discuss ideas around their work, as well as papers that need to be written. In certain instances, the rest of the day is riddled with meetings, administration and finances.
The research aspect and going to the field to take measurements is fun. It is also great when a paper gets accepted and you have contributed to a body of knowledge — that is rewarding.
Trying to juggle it all and still produce good quality work at the end of the day. It can also be tough trying to get the best out of people, especially your students. Despite this, it is still rewarding and an excellent career path.
What’s your advice to students?
Do what you love — the money will come!