Senior Environmental Consultant
In 1990, I started at Swinburne University of Technology working as a research assistant on a project looking at the modelling of oil spills in the marine environment for contingency planning and spill response purposes. This involved development of FORTRAN code and a graphic interface to an existing oil spillmodel, as well as hydrodynamic modelling of Australia's coastal waters for input into the model's database. Much of my career since has been managing a team of specialists working on complex, multi-disciplinary marine environmental projects and translating their findings into management plans and outcomes. In the meantime, I have picked up my M.Eng.Sc. from Monash University where my thesis was on oil spill modelling in Antarctic and sub Antarctic waters.
My current position is with Hydro Tasmania, where I work as Lead Consultant responsible for the Melbourne and Adelaide offices. The two major projects I am presently working on are the provision of marine construction advice to our Business Development division on environmental and engineering issues related to the construction of the Basslink power cable between Tasmania and Victoria, and management of the Biological and Physical Workstream within the Environmental Effects Statement assessing the proposed deepening of the shipping channels into Port Phillip Bay.
Numerical literacy is useful in allowing me to understand and interrogate financial reports that I deal with as office manager. As part of the planning for the construction of the Basslink cable, I have used my mathematical training to develop methodologies for assessing risk to the cable from anchors and fishing gear. This has enabled me to develop targeted and cost-effective mitigation measures for protection of the facility. My mathematical training also underpins my environmental management work, as it allows me to work with specialists from a wide range of disciplines in developing quantitative assessments. That said, much of my mathematical training in problem solving and quantitative analysis has become so second nature that, whilst it is integral to what I do, it is largely "invisible" in my day-to-day job.