Jonathan-Adam Mukhtar

'I love my degree and the opportunities it has presented and opened up to me...'

  • Jonathan adam mukhtar

Bachelor of Science in Geology

Master of Science in Engineering Geology

Engineer Geologist, Land Development and Exploration Ltd, Napier

‘Without a doubt, I love my degree and the opportunities it has presented and opened up to me,’ says Jonathan, who was able to get a head start in his career in engineering geology while studying towards his master’s degree at UC. Jonathan’s research looked into the igneous geology of Christchurch’s Port Hills to create a robust geotechnical data set for the first time.

‘And it was very exciting to see what my master’s research would yield, as a study like this has never been done before on the Port Hills Lavas. I like to think it’s rather “tip of the spear”, from which many other studies will be able to follow.’

Jonathan says studying at UC has been ‘a great privilege’ and more than lived up to his expectations.

‘I grew up in Auckland and I wanted to see something different, so I chose to apply to UC, expand my horizons, and get a general change of scenery,’ he explains, adding; ‘I had also heard that UC had an excellent College of Science.

‘Everyone in the Geological Sciences department has been exceptionally friendly, approachable, and enthusiastic, and has been a great help. I owe a lot to the staff for their continued support throughout my studies.’

To give back, Jonathan also assisted his department as a Lab Demonstrator teaching classes between 100 and 400-levels. ‘The huge variety of options in Geology courses has equipped me with a range of skills to approach a situation from many different angles. This multi-disciplinary approach was of great benefit to my research during my thesis.'

Canterbury’s experience of major earthquakes had given Jonathan’s natural interests in geology and engineering even more purpose.

‘I’ve always been interested in what is going on around me; how the land came to be the way it is today, and how it is still dynamically changing. Geology was a great choice from which to develop and forward my interests,’ he says. ‘The Canterbury earthquakes have also allowed me to apply what I have learned through my studies to many situations that I have come across, from professional work to informing people.’

After graduating his master’s, Jonathan headed back up to Auckland and started work with Earthtech Consulting Ltd, a small geotechnical, engineering geological and hydrogeology firm. He later moved down to Napier and is ‘happily working’ at New Zealand-owned company LDE Ltd as an Engineer Geologist.

Jonathan encourages anyone with an interest in geology to study it at university. ‘I’d implore you to give it a go. A BSc in Geology is incredibly multi-disciplinary, and you can specialise into many fields such as engineering geology, hazard and disaster management, volcanology and many more.’

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