- International Experience
My heritage is Czech, Russian and Ukrainian. Both my parents were born overseas and came with their parents as refugees to Australia after the 2nd world war. My Russian grandma was a big influence in my life, particularly as a young adult and I learnt two really important life lessons from her – that family is number one and not to waste anything.
I grew up an “army brat” – ie my dad was in the army so we moved around year to year. I have lived in most places in Australia, went to 7 different schools including a year of schooling in India & Pakistan.
I was fortunate to finish my high schooling in the one school (Mt St Michaels, Ashgrove) and this is where I met my life long girlfriends, found my interest in engineering and got up to lots of fun! My girlfriends and I are all celebrating our 50th birthdays this year. While we are very lucky to still be close friends after 35 years, we have all had our ups & downs, our ins and outs and our time away and come back. Keeping this long friendship has take effort, understanding and compromise but they should give & bring you up as well as take.
About my role
This role manages a team of engineers who look after the operation and fine tuning of 27 wastewater treatment plants to make sure they run optimally – and meet the required environmental standards at minimal cost (based on chemicals, electricity & other costs). People think it sounds a bit ‘yucky’ working with wastewater (or sewage) but it’s such an interesting area and contributes so much to our quality of life.
As a leader, this role is to motivate, provide direction and guidance and remove the hurdles and barriers to allow your team to do their best. While engineering can be a technical role, it's the connection to people and seeing them do their best that is a rewarding part of this role.
- Chemical Engineering (hons)
- PhD (Doctorate) School of Environmental Engineering, Griffith University
- Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Institute National des Sciences Appliquees, Toulouse, France
- Chartered Engineer and Engineering Executive
- Registered Professional Engineer of Qld
- Australian Water Association “Infrastructure Project Innovation Award 2021/22” as part of team who delivered Anammox side stream project at Luggage Point Resource Recovery Centre.
- Transformation of Process Engineering Team to be benchmarked as “Highly Performing Industry” standard – Effectiveness (as per Employee Effectiveness Survey)
- Beach adventures
- 1 Dog
- 3 Guinea pigs
15 year old me!!
My career journey
Completed a Postdoc in France in 2001
Worked at Environmental Protection Agency for 6 years (had 2 kids)
Worked at Redland Water as process engineer for 8 years
Worked at Urban Utilities as Principal Process Engineer 2015
Became Manager at Urban Utilities in 2017