Nicole Locke

MIEAust CPEng

Specialist – Asset Risk

Water Corporation

Nicole Locke is an Asset Management System and Risk Specialist currently working for the Water Corporation. She studied Environmental Engineering and Environmental Geoscience at the University of Western Australia, finding a passion for sustainability, future thinking and evidence-based decision making.

Nicole joined Water Corporation in 2014 as a graduate, developing an appreciation for the complexities of operating a vast and aging water supply scheme. She was also seconded to GHD for a year, learning about the consultancy environment. Her next challenge will be volunteering for 12 months with Engineers Without Borders in Cambodia as WASH Program Mentor.

How long have you been volunteering with Engineers Australia?
I have been volunteering with EA since 2017 when I joined the Young Engineers Australia WA Committee and Hydrology Committee. I am also the 2019 Chair of the YEAWA committee.

Why did you become a volunteer?
For me, it was a combination of giving back to the engineering community and working on my personal development. Volunteering helps you practice important skills that you can take with you into the workplace, including project management, public speaking, networking and leadership.

What do you enjoy most about being a volunteer?
I love meeting other passionate engineers who really care about their profession and community. It’s inspiring to hear what everyone’s up to and a great way to connect with your industry.

What has been your greatest achievement in your time volunteering with Engineers Australia?
This year, YEAWA has delivered some amazing events, and grown into an incredibly strong and capable team. I am proud of what we have accomplished so far and what we will continue to accomplish in the future.

How has your career informed your work as a volunteer?
I graduated in 2014 when the mining boom collapse was at its worst. I’ve never taken my job for granted, and active networking and skill development is something I value highly. Volunteering with EA is a part of that.

How do you balance work and volunteering?
It’s about prioritising and communicating with your team. Work and life commitments can take up a lot of your time, but if you have a good volunteer team you can work together to achieve your goals. Just make sure you are upfront about what you can give.

What would you tell other members who are considering becoming a volunteer?
I would recommend just giving it a go. Find a group who has the same interests, rock up to a meeting and see where it takes you.

Image: courtesy of Nicole Locke