Success for University of Leicester Geology Master’s graduate

Posted by ap507 at Feb 05, 2016 11:05 AM |
Rebecca Strachan wins three international awards while studying for Master’s Degree at Leicester

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 5 February 2016

Images of Rebecca Strachan available to download at:

A University of Leicester Geology graduate has excelled during her Master’s degree by being awarded with three international awards.

Rebecca Strachan, 22, from Horsforth in Leeds, received the following awards while studying for her MGeol in Applied and Environmental Geology at the University of Leicester:

  • Best Student Poster prize Mineral Deposits Studies Group, Southampton, 2014
  • Best Student Project prize Mineral Deposits Studies Group, Dublin, 2016
  • Best Student Talk prize, SGA Biennial meeting, Nancy, France, 2015

Rebecca beat off stiff competition from PhD students to win the best poster prize in Southampton, and then this was followed by an exceptional talk in Nancy, France. This conference was made up of over 550 delegates which included over 150 student presentations, again mostly by PhD students, but Rebecca was awarded one of three Best Talk prizes. The year was rounded off by her MGeol project being selected by the MDSG community as the best Master’s dissertation project in the country.

Rebecca’s MGeol research was undertaken with a scholarship awarded by leading mining consulting practice, SRK Consulting. She completed her fieldwork in Ghana, where she helped to revise the geological model for gold mineralisation in the Wassa mine.

Speaking about the awards Rebecca said: “Winning these accolades was amazing. Although the prizes are the result of hard work, they also reflect the support of a very encouraging department and a tutor that believed in my abilities.”

During her time studying at Leicester, Rebecca was able to attend many field courses as part of her course including the Isle of Arran, Anglesey, America, Spain, Tenerife, Cornwall and Sicily.

She also completed independent fieldwork associated with the course in the Isle of Man for her third year dissertation and Ghana for the MGeol project.

Rebecca added: “One of my favourite aspects of geology is fieldwork, I love seeing structures in the field and think of fieldwork as detective work – rocks can’t speak, and therefore we need to try and work out how they came to be where they are.

“The Geology Department at Leicester understands the importance of students gaining broad experiences in the field and therefore the course offered many fieldtrip opportunities which normally involved around 5-10 days of intense work in places with fascinating geology.”

Dr David Holwell, Senior Lecturer in Applied and Environmental Geology in the University’s Department of Geology said: “I am absolutely delighted that Rebecca received these well-deserved awards and recognition at such conferences. We pride ourselves in offering opportunities for our MGeol students to work abroad with industry and present their work at conferences. The fact that our MGeol students can go to international meetings and pick up awards in competition with PhD level students really reflects the quality of the research that our MGeol students undertake.”

Immediately after graduating from Leicester, Rebecca worked for a gold exploration company in Portugal. She is currently applying for PhD projects in structural geology to continue her love for the subject and with the aim of specialising as a Structural Geologist.


Notes to editors:

For more information contact Rebecca Strachan at: or Dr David Holwell at:

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