Spotlight: Nicola Logan, Principal Hydrologist

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Welcome Nicola, tell us why you’re a good fit for ATC Williams

ATC Williams nurtures a culture of cross-discipline interaction, and the sparking of ideas in their consultants, which is a perfect match for my philosophy. I like to work with clients who have a broad range of issues that require holistic solutions. I value long-term relationships and have clients from previous roles who are still connected to me, which is very flattering.

At MMG there was a lot of travelling, which gave me contact with different people each week, but not necessarily a strong connection. At ATC Williams, I’m looking forward to collaborating closely within a team, and I’m eager to discover everyone’s capabilities and where I can add value.

After leaving MMG of all the opportunities I considered for the next stage of my career, ATC Williams stood out because I knew I could add value, while still being challenged to expand my skills. It’s exciting to be working with a company that values technical expertise and ongoing learning and development.

Where in the world has your career taken you?

I started my career with the Department of Natural Resources Management Queensland, performing catchment modelling to support legislation and planning. From here I’ve held senior hydrologist positions at SKM Australia, Jacobs and MMG that have taken me all over Australia and the world. While I started in catchment modelling, I’ve also worked on environmental flows projects, the Murray Darling Basin, sustainable yields projects, hydropower, water supply schemes, and of course mine water management.

I’ve got a particular interest in tropical hydrology and have undertaken projects in Australia, Africa, South America, Laos, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Papua New Guinea. I worked on the Sepon gold mine in Laos and at sites in the Democratic Republic of Congo. In Australia, I’ve designed water management plans for Dugald River mine in Northern Queensland and the Rosebery underground mine in Tasmania.

Have you collaborated with ATC Williams before now?

I met Phil Soden from ATC Williams at Las Bambas open-pit mine Peru and was interested in the technical depth of their work in tailings. I didn’t have much exposure to tailings management before that and ATC stuck in my mind as a company to watch. I then worked with the ATC team again at the Dugald River and Rosebery mines.

Do you have any advice for engineering graduates?

I’ve been fortunate to have gathered a wide range of experience in fifteen years of working in engineering and hydrology. My advice to graduates would be to get lots of opportunities and decide what it is you like best. Everyone is different, but a variety of experiences has been great for my career. Also, get plenty of field and lab experience so you can discover your strengths and weaknesses.

Do you have any thoughts on the future of water management in mining?

A big focus for me is the challenge of balancing today’s water management issues with sustainable future-focused solutions. Clients have day-to-day operational challenges that need the best cost-effective results that are available now. Then with climate change, closure planning, community expectations, and increasing regulatory requirements, we also need to incorporate long-term solutions that can reduce the burden on operators.

Exciting opportunities are emerging for mine water management as well, particularly in the areas of water surplus management and water sharing with communities and the environment. Public opinion is driving change, and we’ve recently seen that companies need to be aware of community expectations and what is fair and equitable to the bigger picture.

Mines of the future will require much better water surplus management, especially in mine dewatering solutions. We need to be asking questions around more beneficial use of surplus water, for ecological and social benefit. Mine closure and rehabilitation is another big issue, and it cannot take second place in thinking anymore. There needs to an increasing attitude of stewardship along with the usual corporate responsibility actions.

I’m about adding value to the client to broaden technical offerings across environment and water efficiency. I enjoy complementary expertise that expands and adds to the way I think about my work, and I know by joining ATC Williams, that will be happening now and in the future.

Nicola Logan is a Principal Hydrologist with experience as discipline lead or project manager for large multi-disciplinary projects across the globe, with a special interest in Tropical Hydrology. Nicola has a background in catchment management, mine water management, environmental flow assessment, and dam planning and yield assessments, making her a talented allrounder for your water management projects.