Emma Clements has over 15 years’ experience working in Australia and the UK on projects of varying scales. Emma talks about what she loves about her role, the importance of communication in engineering, and the challenges of being a working mum in the construction industry.
Can you tell us about your experience? What do you love about engineering?
In past roles, I spent time in the Queensland mines undertaking water management programs and design and construction of river diversions. I’ve also worked with councils on Flood Risk management programs.
One of my favourite and most challenging roles was when I was supporting a Country-Victoria council (Wimmera Shire). I was the technical support to help the Council facilitate their river stabilisation budget. This involved a lot of community networking and educating farmers on river stabilisation techniques, which was fascinating.
More recently, my passion has moved into development. I work with developers, architects, planners on a diverse range of mixed use developments throughout Queensland. I love getting involved in the project during the early stages, to help identify the site’s land and water opportunities and constraints. It’s great helping to create the development footprint while respecting the local topography and surroundings.
Communication is key – with my team, my clients, with state and local authorities. That’s what I really love about my role – I get to talk shop all day.
Why water engineering?
I have always been intrigued with anything to do with water. When I was growing up, we had a hobby farm which always flooded. I was fascinated when it rained, how the water would rise and drop back, the speed of it, the damage it caused. I think this is where my interest started.
What are you working on at the moment?
All styles of development projects from townhouses, unit blocks, land subdivision and local community properties in and around Brisbane. My team takes care of all the civil engineering requirements from concept to completion on a project.
We also have a lot of flood projects on at the moment. My team is very skilled in flood modelling and we work on a huge range to projects, from single house renovation in a locally overland flow path, right up to detailed 2D flood modelling of waterways for larger subdivisions.
I find it hugely rewarding educating clients on the importance of protecting our waterways and effective ways of achieving this while still maximising their yield.
Are there any standout projects that have really impacted your career?
Every project is a stand out to me. I take great pride in our work and aim to make a positive impact on every project.
What’s it like being a working mum in the construction industry?
It has taken some time to establish a good balance between achieving a quality service for our clients, active mentoring of my team and being a good mum to my three gorgeous boys. I’ve found the key is not in multi-tasking, but instead, is in being present, and allocating 100% of my focus on the task ahead, whether that is in the work place, school ground or at home.