Candice Gray

Candice graduated from the MSc Water Resources programme in 2014. She is registered with the Board of Engineers in Trinidad and Tobago and has worked over the past 11 years in the public sector. Eight of these eleven years have been as a Senior Civil Engineer with the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure in Trinidad and Tobago, where she continues to work providing expertise in coastal engineering and management, hydrology and hydraulic engineering.

Can you tell us about where you work and describe your role?

The Ministry of Works and Infrastructure is one of Trinidad's largest ministries providing infrastructure services necessary for the social and economic development of the country. It is made up of a number of Administrative/Technical Divisions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises. One of the many technical divisions is the Coastal Protection Unit.

The Coastal Protection Unit is charged with the responsibility of implementing the dynamic Program of Critical Coastal Protection Works, which was formulated to address the most crucial aspects of coastal erosion, instability, and inundation along the coastline of Trinidad; the overarching benefit/objective of this program being to preserve and rehabilitate Trinidad's coastlines. Currently I am responsible for planning, organizing and directing the activities of the Planning and Designs arm of the Coastal Protection Unit.

Why did you choose Heriot-Watt and the programme that you studied?

At the time that I enrolled to undertake the MSc Water Resources I worked for the Drainage Division and managing the Comprehensive National Drainage Study – a programme of studies with the objective of determining and designing feasible solutions to address flooding across Trinidad. In order to better understand the processes involved in the determining and designing solutions to flooding I needed to expand my knowledge of hydrology, hydraulics, flood modelling and management and other related theories, practices and techniques; thus my decision to pursue a higher degree in water resources.

Why Heriot-Watt? As a recently married, full time employee, with the responsibility of managing an important programme geared towards flood alleviation, I needed a study programme that was flexible and that fitted into my everyday life. The Independent Distance Learning (IDL) mode of delivery from Heriot-Watt offered this flexibility. My decision to pursue the programme at Heriot-Watt was concretized by the good standing of the university and the fact that Heriot-Watt has international partners in my country.

What was your experience of doing a degree at Heriot-Watt University via Independent Distance Learning?

It was all about commitment and time management. When I started the degree I was recently married and employed full time. During my first year I became a first time mother. Due to the flexibility of the IDL mode of delivery I was able to persevere because I was committed to finishing the programme. One great aspect about the IDL mode of delivery with Heriot-Watt is that the course content is always available to you. There was also access to past papers which was extremely helpful. There is a lot of course work, which suited my style of learning.

How has your degree helped you in your profession?

Obtaining the MSc in Water Resources has strengthened my professional standing within my organization. Additionally this degree has allowed me to pursue and obtain involvements in water management and water related consultancies outside of my substantive employment.

Do you have any advice for students interested in working in your field?

There will always be a need for professionals trained and knowledgeable about the theories, practices and techniques for water management. Whether there is too much or too little, water must be managed.

One great aspect about the IDL mode of delivery with Heriot-Watt is that the course content is always available to you.