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Meet the head of AECOM's new water focus

Establishing a business line focused solely on water, engineering consultancy firm AECOM has committed to a renewed focus on our most precious resource in a restructure set to be supported by newly appointed Water Business Line Director Laura Fluck.

Holding a Bachelor in Geomatic Engineering and a Master of Construction Law, Fluck brings more than 15 years of experience in project, strategy and commercial management to the new position, which will be geared towards supporting growth and strategy for water in the Australia–New Zealand (ANZ) region.

“One of the things I find so interesting about water is that it really plays a big role for many companies across all sectors. Water is in everything; it is involved in almost every project. You can't really deliver a project where water isn’t part of the solution,” Fluck said.

“There have been quite a few times throughout my career where I have ended up in close contact with the water sector. When I was working in project management, I was lucky enough to work on some really great water projects in Queensland and Melbourne.

“Throughout the years, there have been times when I have strayed away from the water sector, but I always seem to come back in some capacity. But I’ve always been fascinated by the sector, so I jump at the opportunity to be part of it whenever I can.”

Fluck said the transition will enable AECOM to continue to support its traditional municipal clients, while also expanding its support for clients within other sectors, too.

“I work closely with all of the states and territories, as well as New Zealand, to help them support their local clients. My job is to set the strategy, to look at areas of growth and work with each of the regions to deliver on that strategy,” she said.

“The fun part for us is seeing what the global restructure has achieved in terms of capability, but also to give our people the opportunity to work on some really significant projects around the world. The transition to a global business line has been really positive.”

Growth and change

In terms of AECOM’s strategic direction moving forward, Fluck said the business has identified the need to connect with environment, social and governance (ESG) considerations.

“We recognise that the water market is growing. But we also recognise that there are a lot of challenges for the water sector going forward, particularly with climate change, but also with changing views within the community in terms of health and wellbeing,” Fluck said.

“We believe there are a lot of really significant and positive impacts we can have in the water space. Not only do we see many opportunities for us to support water in the ANZ region, but also to become leaders in the ESG space. There is a lot we can do in terms of managing water as an asset across multiple sectors.

“Water is needed for prosperity — at the economic level, but also within our communities. With the challenges we are facing going forward, we are going to have to change the way we do things with water in order to look after our environment.

“I’ve got three boys under the age of 11, and the opportunity to contribute to a better future for everyone is really exciting and important for me.”