This year in Australia we have been at the mercy of mother nature, experiencing the extremes from fire to flood to cyclones.  The common element in each of these natural events, is water. In particular the lack of water or the over abundance of water.  Coincidentally, water just happens to be at the centre of our profession. A question for you readers out there, have these recent events got you thinking about your role in our profession of flood and stormwater management as a resource?

For me, watching the devastation being reported has heightened my awareness of the opportunity our profession provides us. We are in a privileged position to be able to advise or influence to help make a difference, whether it be through planning policies or educating the community.  To me this is one of the “buzz” factors of our profession.

I have spent the majority of my career working in the area of urban stormwater management. My current area of interest lies in how we strengthen the link between levels of service and asset management. Assets are used to convey stormwater runoff through urbanized catchments, but why do we need these assets? We can stipulate technical levels of service, but the underlying reason is the need to provide a level of service to our customers, the community. How do we link these two aspects in an environmentally and financially sustainable way?

What are your greatest achievements throughout your career? 

The greatest achievements in my career are associated with leading teams to deliver stormwater projects that make a difference for the community, and working for organisations where I’ve had the opportunity to influence planning policies to help support better stormwater management outcomes for the community.

Who inspires you?

The most recent female to have inspired me is Zhanna Sichivitsa.  I recently had the pleasure of working with Zhanna, and I noticed that her level of enthusiasm and her “can do” attitude was very infectious.  Zhanna’s ability to empower those that she works with, to get things done is incredible.

What advice do you have for young females just starting out in engineering?

To those young females starting their careers, I would say that engineering is a very worthwhile profession.  It doesn’t matter what field of engineering you may end up in, it is a profession that can provide fantastic opportunities to create, innovate, and help make the world a better place.