I work for Golder Associates as a Senior Environmental Engineer. I decided to study Environmental Engineering when I was living in Cairns at the age of 18. I had always been frustrated by ‘litter bugs’ and I was really disappointed to see that tourists would come to view our rainforests and reefs yet leave their rubbish in these beautiful environments. I was initially considering becoming a ranger with Queensland Parks and Wildlife; however, a friend of mine was a Civil Engineer and he told me, ‘if you really want to make a difference in this world you need to be where the real changes can happen’. As an engineer you have the power to influence the development of the world.
I was really inspired, and applied to study as an Environmental Engineer. I was accepted and have never looked back. I am now an Environmental Engineer specialising in Waste Management. I have worked with numerous clients abroad and within Australia on waste strategies and waste disposal options.
One of the highlights of my career was my first full time job where I worked as an environmental consultant at Reading, United Kingdom. During this time one of my principal clients was a Council in the Republic of Ireland. I was part of team that provided engineering and environmental services for their landfill facility.
The facility had previously operated for many years as an unengineered town dump, with domestic refuse being deposited directly into a peat bog in an area recognised as being potentially environmentally sensitive due to its location near a high value fishing river, agricultural land and residential properties. The Council were in the process of bringing the facility up to modern landfill standards through the capping of old areas of the landfill, the development of lined landfill cells for future filling operations, the installation of leachate collection and treatment infrastructure, the provision of a landfill gas collection and flaring system and the provision of a system of surface, groundwater and air quality monitoring stations.
As part of the redevelopment work, it was necessary to put in place a rigorous system of environmental monitoring and reporting to satisfy the requirements of current EPA guidance and the facility licence. With significant client contact and spending long periods on site, I undertook numerous engineering and environmental tasks for Council including:
- Quarterly and annual environmental performance reports for regulatory and compliance reporting.
- Preparation of a site environmental management system.
- Construction quality assurance of geosynthetic landfill lining and capping systems and landfill gas extraction systems.
During this project we faced many challenges, including cultural differences, regulatory issues, and construction difficulties. The extensive experience and strong mentoring that I received in this role meant that I had a strong base for my future career.
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Engineers Australia is proud to announce that 2011 is the Year of Humanitarian Engineering