THE winner of a prestigious national prize has urged other North-East geology students to enter this year's competition.

Durham University MSci geology student Adam Pacey received a prize of 2,000 for him and his University department when he won the 2012 Neftex Earth Model Awards.

Adam, 24, gained acclaim after impressing a judging panel of industry professionals with his project 'A lithospheric control on the position of arc volcanism?'

The awards were developed by Neftex, an Earth science research company and provider of geoscience products and services to the Earth resource exploration industries.

"It was such a surprise to win," said Adam. "I truly felt on top of the world! It's a great independent benchmark to have the quality of your work judged at such a high level."

"If you're considering entering and fit the required criteria then I would strongly encourage getting involved. I was writing my thesis anyway, so it was no extra work - but a significant amount of gain!"

Adam sees geology is a subject which applies all major scientific disciplines to understand the Earth and your surroundings, as one large complex natural system. What he enjoys most is the ability to 'read' the landscape around him and unravel the past processes which led to its formation, and how it controls everything - from major natural hazards, building and construction to economic growth, providing energy and supplying raw materials.

He said: "Once you get thinking in geological time, it is very humbling to realise your place in the world."

Providing the motivation to write his final thesis, Adam was attracted to the awards due to their prestigious nature.

"I thought it would be an incredible opportunity to get my masters work, and all the effort that went into it, more widely recognised, especially in industry. Also my project was relevant to treating the Earth as an integrated system, clearly one of the main ideas behind the Neftex Earth Model.

"Finally, I of course cannot neglect to mention the prize money. This is an excellent encouraging factor and tremendous reward for your work."

Adam is currently three months into a PhD in economic geology at Imperial College London, studying the footprints of copper deposits in order to help provide a scientific bias and toolset to help when exploring for further copper resources.

Cally Elston, Marketing Communications Manager at Neftex, said: "There has been a fantastic response for this year's Earth Model Awards, we have already received a high number of registrations. The exceptional level of interest this year highlights a growing significance in geoscience study across the UK.

"The competition aims to recognise excellence in geoscience research at Masters Level and raise the profile of the work being carried out by students and the academic institutions.

"Last year's awards were a great success, recognising emerging talent in the geoscience industry and we hope to continue this in 2013. We would like to encourage students across the UK to register before the deadline."

To register for the 2013 awards visit Registrations of interest need to be made by May 26 2013 and all final projects must be submitted by September 16 2013 with a presentation ceremony planned for November 2013.