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Graduate Water Scientist

Job/scheme locations: 
Basingstoke, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Leeds, Manchester (locations and requirements subject to change)
Type of opportunity: 
Graduate scheme
Closing date: 

AECOM is looking for a Graduate (Surface) Water Scientist to join our growing Water Environment team, a key component of AECOM’s wider environmental business.  This is a multi-disciplinary team currently with surface and groundwater specialists in geomorphology, hydrology, hydro-ecology, water quality (including sediments), water resources management and hydrogeology.   
We have an impressive portfolio of water science projects including technical investigation, restoration projects, and impact and WFD assessment for major national and international infrastructure projects. 

We are seeking to recruit a Water Scientist to assist with a range of projects. Most of our work is in the fluvial environment, although a significant proportion is also focused on estuaries, lakes and the marine environment, and so experience of these environments is beneficial.   
This is a fantastic opportunity to further your career by gaining valuable work experience within a specialist surface water environment team in an established consultancy.  
Your work will cover a broad range of hydrological, water quality, hydromorphological and hydroecological activities including on the following types of projects: 

  • Developing a modelling approach to inform management decisions at water level dependent designated sites;
  • Developing a guide and decision support tool so that users can make informed decisions at barriers to fish and eel migration, as well as producing the upcoming Fish and Eel Pass Guide to enable safe passage at in channel structures such as pumping stations and weirs;
  • Developing a Restoration Plan for the River Ver and Verulamium Lake in St Albans;
  • Deriving catchment improvements for the River Rede, to improve water quality and ecological health of the river;
  • Undertaking environmental assessments of the potential effects of drought permit on lowland chalk rivers to inform suitable mitigation;
  • Undertaking an assessment of options to improve three community fishing and amenity ponds in Southampton; 
  • Undertaking desk studies, consultation, water quality monitoring, and site surveys to assess the impact of major new infrastructure, industrial, residential and commercial developments including WFD assessments and Environmental Permitting;  
  • Developing water quality monitoring programmes, pollution prevention strategies and mitigation / monitoring plans for the construction of major infrastructure projects (e.g. Glyn Rhonwy Pumped Storage Scheme, Melton Mowbray Distributor Road, M42 Junction 6 Improvement, and the Trans Pennine Rail Upgrade); and
  • Producing a Feasibility Study to advise Birmingham Airport on the most appropriate ‘real-time’ water quality monitors. 

 You’ll work with other experienced members of the team who will guide you as you start working on live projects, including groundwater assessments for a variety of projects in the UK and overseas. An integral part of your role will be report writing, analysis, interpretation and presentation of data.  
At AECOM, our water scientists in the Water Environmental Team work for clients from across the public and private sectors, including the Environment Agency, Local Authorities, Highways England, Natural England, Water Utilities, Rivers and Wildlife Trusts as well as commercial developers and overseas clients.   
We are also involved in major ongoing projects such as HS2 and as a team are responsible for coordinating/ leading water environment chapters in Environmental Statements as well as coordinating Water Framework Directive (WFD) assessments.   
Our multidisciplinary water environment team includes specialists in hydrogeology, hydrology, hydromorphology, water quality and water resource management. There are currently 10 surface water specialists in the team with a considerable diversity of skills and experience   
All members of the Water Environment team take an active role in client contact and commercial aspects of our projects. Health, safety and environmental considerations underpin everything that we do.  
We are part of AECOM’s Environment business, which delivers environmental management services for feasibility, impact analysis and operational compliance as well as remediation, restoration and reuse of impacted property. 
AECOM is built to deliver a better world. We design, build, finance and operate infrastructure assets for governments, businesses and organisations in more than 150 countries. As a fully integrated firm, we connect knowledge and experience across our global network of experts to help clients solve their most complex challenges. From high-performance buildings and infrastructure, to resilient communities and environments, to stable and secure nations, our work is transformative, differentiated and vital.

Job Responsibilities 

Water quality studies (e.g. baseline studies, environmental impact assessment, nutrient loading studies and pollution studies including monitoring and modelling);

  • Hydrological investigations (e.g. flood, drought and water resource allocation);
  • Hydro ecological studies (e.g. assessing the effects of schemes on aquatic organisms such as salmonids, freshwater pearl mussels, invertebrates and macrophytes);
  • WFD / Environmental Compliance studies;
  • EIA (e.g. highway, rail, aviation, utilities, power generation including renewables, mixed use/commercial/residential and other development types);
  • Pollution prevention advice including preparing Water Management Plans, acting as Environmental Clerk of Works, and developing sustainable treatment trains; and
  • Applications for various permissions (e.g. Environmental Permits for flood risk activities and discharges, Water Abstraction / Impoundment Licences, and Land Drainage Consents). 


  • MSc desirable but not essential – degree disciplines considered include: Environmental Engineering, Geography, Environmental Science, Hydrochemistry or similar – must have a focus on hydrogeology, hydrology, hydromorphology, water quality or water resource management chemistry.  
  • Ability to conceptualise surface water environment issues;
  • Strong analytical and numerical skills;  • Have experience using GIS; and  
  • Self-motivation, enthusiasm, hard-working, with ambition and drive
  • Excellent research and report writing skills.
  • Ability to work as part of a team, collaborating with colleagues, client and stakeholders as appropriate and independently without losing initiative & focus.
  • Ability to work flexibly under pressure, responding to changing project and programme demands.
  • Strong numeracy,
  • Ability to communicate effectively to internal and external clients, both verbally & in writing with the confidence to engage with a variety of people (clients, colleagues, stakeholders and sub-contractors alike) and the aptitude to rationally explain, explore and discuss technical issues and capture feedback
  • Good Microsoft Office skills essential such as Word, Excel & PowerPoint
  • Ability to structure & prioritise work effectively through close cooperation with the team as a whole
  • Strong attention to detail. 


  • Language skills;  
  • Experience with databases and modelling software;  
  • Preparation of figures and presentations.  
  • A full driving licence would be beneficial as the role will involve travel for site surveys often with equipment
  • Previous experience of working in a consultancy environment would be beneficial, including work placements or relevant voluntary experience. 


Our Graduate Development Programme (ADVANCE) along with our huge scope of projects across the globe will challenge and inspire you to make a real difference to the world we live in. Our GDP forms a core part of our business strategy globally, designed to develop the best talent across numerous disciplines to lead our business into the future. We have more than 750 graduates on our programmes across the UK and Ireland from more than 40 different disciplines, each making a tangible difference to the environment in which we live and work. 
We’ll provide you with all the tools and support you need to achieve your professional development ambitions, including Chartership with the relevant international professional institution (we have graduates working towards more than 30 professional institutions in the UK and Ireland). We’ll push you to achieve the highest standards and expect our graduates to pass their professional review first time. You will be assigned a mentor to support and guide your development, and you will take regular training modules throughout the programme. 
The Professional Institute you may work towards is the Chartered Institute for Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM).

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More about this vacancy

North West, South East, West Midlands, Yorkshire and the Humber, Edinburgh and Lothian