1. What is your role at Opus?
I am a Geotechnical Engineer based in the Queenstown office in New Zealand. My main area of work is in slip and rockfall remediation on the Central Otago State Highway Network, which is around 540km of highway in a mountainous environment. My work often involves abseil inspections. I am also the Chair of the Geotechnical Professional Interest Network, which is a companywide network of over 100 employees and involves overseeing the technical health of the Geotechnical Discipline at Opus.
2. What do you enjoy the most in your current role?
I enjoy working with clients onsite, in a team environment, and successfully mitigating geotechnical hazards to make the road a little bit safer for the public – even though the public may not always realise the work that goes into keeping infrastructure operational. I have also really enjoyed the leadership and strategy development required as part of my role as Geotechnical Chair and hope to further develop my skills in this area.
3. What has been your biggest career achievement?
Winning the Association of Consulting Engineers NZ Future Leader Award in 2014 was a huge honour and is a tremendous opportunity involving sponsored travel to the International Federation of Consulting Engineers conference in Dubai in September 2015.
4.Outside of Opus, what do you like to do in your spare time?
I like to be busy and occupied. My husband owns a café including a small gift shop and I manage the retail for the shop. I also have to do something creative in my life, from art to interior design to sewing to music, so I always have a project on the go. My husband and I have just bought a house that needs a complete renovation so I am currently dreaming about bathrooms.
5. What advice would you give to people beginning their career?
Keep going through the tough times and don’t give up, there will be many rewards in this career. Do what you have to do as well as you possibly can, then take feedback and learn as much as you can from more experienced engineers and contractors. For women starting out – I have never found it to be a problem being a female in this industry. As long as you know your stuff (or admit when you don’t), are honest and fair people will listen to you, and I think that applies to males and females. Keep your sense of humour and smile.