Jennifer Howe, Digital Content Manager
Emily Afoa is the proud recipient of the CH2M Beca Young Water Professional of the Year 2017 award, presented at the Downer Conference Awards Dinner for the Water New Zealand Conference and Expo last week. Her entry for the award was supported by Morphum Environmental’s Directors and Mark Iszard of Auckland Council’s Healthy Waters, Infrastructure and Environmental Services team.
The key aspects that influenced the judges’ decision included her success in academia, her growing position as a leader at Morphum Environmental, and her involvement in education at multiple levels.
Emily leads Morphum Environmental’s Engineering Design team, and frequently represents the company at industry events. She holds a PhD in Civil Engineering, specialising in urban stormwater management. She is passionate about the opportunities that water professionals have in designing water infrastructure to enhance the urban environment.
“My passion is for water sensitive design; integrating both water sensitive and standard infrastructure solutions to achieve multifunctional outcomes which support urban liveability. I see a changing water management paradigm; people – from governing bodies to the wider public – appear more cognisant of the impact of water quality and quantity on ecological, cultural, and amenity values.”
Along with being active in the water industry in a professional capacity for the past six years, Emily regularly contributes to the development of the next generation of young water professionals. She has lectured engineering students at the University of Auckland and Unitec, and participated in a Water Sensitive Design in Schools program run by Auckland Council and local boards.
“I find these environments rewarding, as I can share my passion for water management with young students and open their eyes to opportunities in science and technology.”
The Young Water Professional of the Year award provides recognition to a water professional in the early stages of his or her career, who has contributed to the water industry and community, and has demonstrated exceptional achievement. It is open to individuals under 35 years of age, with between one and 15 years’ experience. Emily is the second Morphum Environmental team member to receive this honour: Director Caleb Clarke was 2011’s Young Water Professional of the Year.