Simon Alexander Wilde

Country: United Kingdom
Sector: Higher Education
Job title: Distinguished Professor
Subject of study: Geology
Year of graduation: 1971
Type/Level of study: Post graduate

Current Employer/Organisation Name

Curtin University

What have you been doing since leaving Exeter, and what are you doing now?

Almost 10 years with the Geological Survey of Western Australia and now almost forty years with Curtin University. I am still working full-time. I am now research-only and a Clarivate Highly-Cited Researcher, being one of Australia’s most cited geoscientists with an h-index of over 100.

Why did you choose this career? And what do you enjoy most about your work?

I like Geology – so I have always done it!! I like the challenge of solving problems. My work has taken me all around the world, so I enjoy the travel aspect as well (or should I say I did until COVID-19 struck!

Please tell us if you were a member of any societies, groups or sports clubs?

I played tennis a couple of times for the university.

What did you enjoy most about your programme and what was the biggest highlight?

As an Undergraduate it was the field trips to interesting places such as Jersey and south-west Ireland. As a Doctoral Student it was learning the intricacies of Geochemistry and helping to set-up the XRF laboratory – the data from which was fundamental to my thesis.

What did you enjoy most about studying here?

The lifestyle.

Why did you choose to study at Exeter?

It is warmer than Shropshire – and I never liked the cold weather. The latter was also one of the main reasons why I emigrated to Australia. Ironically, for the past few years I have been working in Labrador and Greenland – and on Antarctic rocks: bizarre!

What skills and experiences have been most useful for your career?

Appreciating the care and precision that is required to obtain good-quality geochemical and isotopic data. Being meticulous and consistent in all you do is the only way to achieve success.

What advice would you give to a current student who wishes to pursue your career?

You have to love what you are doing. But you also have to like working outdoors – at least initially (even if you want to focus on analytical work). This is because you need to appreciate all aspects of geology – the fieldwork, petrography, geochemistry, geochronology, mineralogy, etc., etc.

What are your plans for the future?

Just to keep going and producing high quality work.


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