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Meet the 2019 NSW Young Water Professional of the year

During her career in the water sector so far, Dr Yulia Shutova has managed water treatment systems in Russia, completed her doctoral research, and now works at engineering consultancy AECOM.

Shutova completed her PhD on water treatment monitoring at the University of New South Wales (UNSW). As a PhD candidate and research associate, she collaborated with water utilities, research organisations and universities.

Since 2017, Shutova has worked as a water and wastewater engineer at AECOM, where she has brought her passion, enthusiasm and innovative ideas to projects involving water and wastewater treatment facilities design and planning.

She is busy inspiring the next generation of young water professionals by being a mentor with the Australian Water Association’s (AWA) Young Water Professionals Mentoring Program and sharing her experiences with those around her.

Shutova's significant contribution to the Australian water industry, including her research, project work and current role as co-chair of the AWA's Water Quality Monitoring and Analysis Specialist Network Committee, saw her named the AWA's 2019 New South Wales (NSW) Young Water Professional of the Year.

The AWA’s NSW branch spoke to Shutova about seeing the world from a new perspective and saving water  with your morning coffee.

What excites you in the industry right now?

The Australian water industry is facing difficult challenges due to climate change and more frequent extreme events in all areas including water availability, water quality changes, growth planning, etc. It is exciting to see the industry take on those challenges and I’m looking forward to seeing the outcomes of these measures.

If you could be anyone for a day, who would you choose and why?

I would like to be an astronaut aboard the International Space Station. How amazing would it be to see our world from a completely different angle? It would be a perfect opportunity to see our world from a new perspective and think outside the box.

Have you got any tricks for saving water?

It is estimated Australians use 1 billion disposable coffee cups each year. If you stop using disposable coffee cups, it would not only help to reduce the impact on landfill, but also save water that would be used to produce these cups.

I prefer to take a pause in the day and have a cup of my favourite coffee, rather that rush through the city with a takeaway cup.

If there was one piece of advice you could give yourself on your first day of full-time work, what would it be?

Be yourself. Think of ways to be relaxed and project yourself as who you are.

Can you sum up what the water industry means to you in three words?

Imagine and Innovate for People.

To learn more about the Australian Water Association's Young Water Professional program, click here.