Extreme Engineering: Careers in STEM can take you everywhere…including Antarctica


We’re all used to a video chats and meetings now; it has been a year of waving at laptops and forgetting you’re on mute. But the bonus of our new-found proficiency with videos calls is that we’re hearing people from all around the world like never before. We’re excited to present this unique online event from Antarctica!

Staff on the ground at the southernmost tip of the earth host a fascinating talk about the construction of a brand-new science building at British Antarctic Survey’s (BAS) Research Station. The construction team in Antarctica, and their teammates at Antarctica Infrastructure Modernisation Programme, give an insight into their careers in engineering, spanning project management digital construction and surveying. They also discuss their day-to-day lives working in extreme temperatures, the surrounding environment and stunning wildlife.

The team are currently working on the new Discovery Building at Rothera Research Station, a new scientific support facility named after the discovery of Antarctica over 200 years ago! The project is being delivered by the Antarctic Infrastructure Modernisation partnership, which includes construction partner BAM and their team, design consultants Sweco, Hugh Broughton Architects, with Ramboll acting as BAS’s Technical Advisers, with their team NORR architects and Turner & Townsend.

Speakers at the recorded event include:

  • Jonathan Ager, Programme Director, BAS
  • Billy Thursfield, Sub-Agent, BAM
  • Chris Lloyd, Senior Project Manager, Ramboll
  • Belinda Carini-Nunn, Trainee Quantity Surveyor
  • Stewart Craigie, Technical Director, Sweco
  • Scott McLean, Digital Construction Coordinator, BAM

This event was recorded for British Science Week and includes a Q&A with school students.

More information about the Antarctic Infrastructure Modernisation Programme can be found on British Antarctic Survey’s website: https://www.bas.ac.uk/polar-operations/antarctic-infrastructure-projects/

Click here for a great activity packs for children to accompany the video. For further materials click here.

Click here for resources for teachers to plan a lesson on STEM careers and working in extreme environments.