21 February, 2024 ,

Engineers Tania Alvarez and Jose Valverde have celebrated their engagement at one of the world’s southmost locations,  British Antarctic Survey’s (BAS) Rothera Research Station on the Antarctic peninsula.

The station is the UK’s largest Antarctic research and operations hub, supporting leading researchers in frontier science in the region. Tania and Jose work for civil engineering firm BAM as part of a wider team working in the world’s harshest environment on upgrading Rothera Research Station’s facilities.

Meeting during their civil engineering studies in Spain and later joining BAM for the Antarctica Infrastructure Modernisation Programme (AIMP), the couple have spent two years working together alongside colleagues from BAM, Ramboll and Sweco. Jose, on his second BAS deployment, and Tania, on her first, collaborated on upgrading Rothera research station’s vital runway, providing a stunning backdrop for Jose’s unforgettable proposal.

A smiling man and a woman holding up a hand to display an engagement ring
📷BAM – Jose with Tania displaying the engagement ring!

The programme forms part of the UK Government’s long-term investment in the Polar Regions, enabling the UK to continue to lead climate, biodiversity and ocean research and innovation in the southernmost continent of the globe.

“The northern views are truly unmatched, with northerly winds gathering ice and icebergs, offering a panoramic spectacle of eastern islands, Antarctic land, ice cliffs, and Reptile Ridge,” shared Jose.

Describing the significance of the location for the proposal, Jose added, “The location is simply magical, with the added bonus of overlooking Reptile Ridge. I couldn’t think of a more perfect spot for such a significant moment.”

As for wedding plans, the couple is savouring the moment before making detailed arrangements.

Tania said, “We’re still processing everything, but we want our family, friends, and, for a touch of Antarctic charm, two penguins as our ring bearers.”

A hand with an engagement ring on a finger crossing over the top of another hand with icy mountains in the background
📷BAM – Tania and Jose get engaged at Rothera!

And when it comes to the dress code, Tania playfully responded, “No PPE for the wedding! We’ll reserve that for working hours. Traditional and comfortable attire will be the order of the day.”

Two people standing on ground in front of an icy lake with snowy mountains behind.
📷BAM – the proposal at Rothera!

As Tania and Jose revel in their engagement amidst Antarctica’s icy wonders, their love story serves as a reminder that even in the most extreme environments, love can blossom, creating a warmth that transcends the freezing temperatures of the southernmost continent.