If you give Associate Engineer Alice Noviani a challenge, she will find the most innovative way to solve it. From hydrology and hydraulic models to landfill design assessments, she is solving problems not just for now but also for the future.
What motivates your career?
Throughout my career, I have taken the opportunity to help solve engineering challenges for our clients. The gratification comes from being able to see our design being built, functioning, and operating effectively for the client. Design is not a one size fits all approach. Each project has its own complexity and challenges which gives you the chance to get creative with solutions. Being innovative with the solutions means that we need to use different skills and ways of thinking. I get a lot of satisfaction when we’ve solved the problem and everyone is happy with our solution.
What are you hoping to change in your industry?
With the rapid changing environment and extreme weather events, design engineers are required to be innovative and to think ahead to consider a Future Ready approach. All of us need to be aware of the implications of climate change and how to become more climate resilience. This can be integrated throughout the design process or in our day-to-day work. Things like how we reduce production of waste by reuse and recycling and changing the norm of waste management will help us to move towards a sustainable future.
It is essential to be creative and innovative during the design process to achieve a resilient design. The approaches adopted at the start of the project are most likely to determine the outcomes. We need to think about design life, regulatory requirements and what is considered an acceptable and reasonably practical design. All of these need to be completed while also fulfilling client expectation on the project.
How would this impact people or society?
By adopting a more robust and sustainable design, we are helping our clients to reduce the potential impact of a rapidly changing environment on infrastructure and increasing protection towards any potential for environmental harm or damages. The inclusion in our recommendations such as ways to reduce waste generation and to design for more extreme climate events will help mitigate potential risks. We are working together with our clients to understand their needs, and their potential future needs, so that we can provide more robust measures within our designs, reducing the potential for environmental harm and moving towards a more sustainable future.
What are some barriers to this change?
Funding and approval are the largest barriers to adopting the change towards more resilient and sustainable designs. Generally, change can interfere with consistency within already adopted processes. Implementing something new may not always be accepted especially if it relates to large infrastructure with limited allocation of funding. Early discussion at the start of a project on the topic of Future Ready trends should be incorporated as part of a risk assessment. This will make the clients aware of an alternative approach which will benefit their project. Ultimately, we need to have open communication with everyone, and all be on the same journey regarding what solutions are sustainable and equipped for our changing climate.