Stormwater/Flood Mitigation Engineer

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Stormwaters and floods are natural and frequent occurrences in Australia, often affecting thousands of people in both small and large communities. Stormwater/flood mitigation engineers aim to prevent or alleviate the economic and social impact of these events using a combination of non-structural and structural methods.

These engineers are often involved in the careful planning of construction in regions prone to stormwaters and floods. This may include the design and implementation of appropriate zoning legislation, education programs, stormwater/flood insurance, and warning systems to ensure residents understand stormwater/flood risks and have access to emergency support services. They may liaise with the Bureau of Meteorology and other relevant local/national authorities to gain storm forecasts and to ensure the deployment of warning systems ahead of time.

Stormwater/flood mitigation engineers also employ structural methods to better equip high risk regions with infrastructure to avoid or manage the impact of stormwaters and floods. For example, they may be involved in the design, construction and maintenance of levees, flood mitigation dams, sewer systems and channels to assist urban drainage and prevent stormwaters/flooding from entering residential areas.

Stormwater/flood mitigation engineers are commonly employed in the public sector at both local and national government levels. Others work for private consultancy firms on contracts for clients. Some professionals provide their expertise to international aid/development projects in global regions affected heavily by storms and flooding. Entry-level positions typically require an undergraduate degree in civil (structural, water) or environmental engineering, and relevant experience with design software packages may be highly advantageous. Graduates seeking senior positions may benefit from postgraduate qualifications in civil or environmental engineering, focussing specifically on water, stormwater or wastewater engineering, as well as relevant practical experience.