Helen McGettigan
Senior Water Engineer
PER

Helen has over 17 years of engineering experience across consulting and the public sector in Australia and New Zealand.  As a senior water engineer, Helen has a special interest in developing climate resilience through integrated water management projects that provide both innovative technical solutions and recognise the social and economic value of water.

Throughout her career, Helen’s drive to build effective stakeholder engagement and collaborative working partnerships has been fundamental to her approach.  Helen relishes the opportunity to work with people to understand all aspects of a project and the outcomes it needs to deliver – whether that is the fine details of locating power points in a lab design or blue-sky thinking about water source options for the next 30 years.  She values an explicit approach to option evaluation, through actively consulting stakeholders and identifying community expectations, to ensure diverse perspectives are represented in developing technical solutions. 

Helen credits the foundation of her collaborative approach to problem solving to starting her career as a graduate engineer in New Zealand.  While living in Auckland, she had the opportunity to work on many coastal engineering projects and hazard assessments that required sensitivity to cultural heritage and an understanding of social values as well as technical skills. 

Returning to Australia, Helen’s technical focus turned from the coast towards water and wastewater engineering.  Her involvement in long-term water services infrastructure planning has included option identification, technology selection, environmental suitability assessments and concept development for wastewater treatment and water recycling.  Her experience working through crisis-driven changes to strategic planning after the Christchurch earthquakes and Perth’s 2014 drought have highlighted for her the importance of incorporating asset and system resilience into infrastructure planning and design.  

Helen believes that engineers have the power to shape the environments in which we live, and actively seeks opportunities for change and adaptation to ensure her projects contribute to a sustainable legacy.