As a Senior Process Engineer for SMEC, I have the opportunity to work on a range of wastewater and water treatment projects. It is satisfying when these opportunities include international projects, such as AusAID projects. As an example of a recent project, I worked on augmentation of water supplies in Tanzania last year. These projects also date back to water supply projects to address excessive fluoride in China in the 1990s.
From my early high school years, i wanted to do something which would have a beneficial impact on people's quality of life. I was initially drawn to the public health aspects of wastewater engineering, and was pleased to embrace, during the 80s and 90s, the environmental benefits that good treatment plants can provide.
Initially, when choosing which course stream to follow at high school, I had thought of being an architect - until, that is, my father said that I appeared not to have read past the letter A in the vocational list. i subsequently chose town planning, and held to that for many years ... until I was offered a bond (scholarship) to do engineering. Taking that up was the best career choice I’ve ever made.
Since graduation, I have worked predominantly as a consulting engineering serving water Authorities and Councils, and occasionally working for industry.
One comment I would like to add, given that this is the Year of Humanitarian Engineering, is that as individuals, we can all do more than only our work to make this world a better place.
As an example, I understand the "Make Poverty History" movement aims to increase Australia's spending on foreign aid to 0.7% of GDP. I consider that this is not a large amount, but I use it as a guide, and try to donate 0.7% of my income to charitable causes.
In addition, other profiles on the Humanitarian Engineering section mention various forms of volunteer work - in my case, I support human rights organisations. All these can be both personally rewarding, and potentially contribute to this world being a better place.
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Engineers Australia is proud to announce that 2011 is the Year of Humanitarian Engineering