#011 – Flood Risk Management – Heather Murdock

Published On January 10, 2016 | Civil Eng

Heather Murdock studied Civil engineering at Queen’s University in Canada. After graduation she began work as a junior civil engineer at Hatch – an engineering design firm. Last year, the society of Professional Engineers of Ontario awarded Heather with the Sterling Award – presented annually to a young engineer who demonstrates leadership potential within the engineering profession. She was also named volunteer of the year by Engineers Without Borders Canada. Heather is currently pursuing a masters degree in Flood Risk Management at the UNESCO-Institute for hydraulic and environmental engineering – which is the largest international graduate water education facility in the world.

Heather shares with us:

  • why she studied civil engineering.
  • her passion for cities and the built environment.
  • advice on securing internships and your first job.
  • insights into the bidding process.
  • and much more…

Reach out to Heather Murdock via LinkedIn.

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Discussion timestamps:

07:00 – Intro
08:02 – Why Heather decided to study Civil Engineering.
08:39 – Internship at Air Liquide in Buenos Aires at a hydrogen plant.
09:49 – Advantages of working in a larger company.
10:30 – Internship hunting tips.
11:54 – An introduction to Bio Civil Engineering.
13:04 – An introduction to gabions and aquaflora.
15:21 – Pros of working in a smaller company early in ones career.
16:48 – Leveraging language skills for opportunities.
18:00 – Why Heather is passionate about water management engineering.
19:21 – Landing the first job out of college at civil engineering firm Hatch.
23:14 – Advice for the interview process: Be focused and know your strengths.
26:18 – Taking climate change into account when designing for flood events.
30:17 – The engineering bidding process. Insight into a design build contract.
34:35 – Working closely with construction companies.
36:12 – Crucial qualities for a civil engineer.
37:05 – The Banff Leadership program.
40:26 – Masters degree at UNESCO IHE in flood risk management.
43:42 – Introduction to Engineers Without Borders Canada.
47:36 – Heather’s favorite engineering structure.
50:04 – Final words to engineering students.

Episode related content

New York under water:

More images here.

The Maeslantkering storm barrier:

Tokyo’s Incredible Underground Flood Defense Systems:

Which Countries Will Be Underwater Due To Climate Change?:

Simulation of the Turcot interchange improvement in Montreal:

Interesting articles:

In Teeming India, Water Crisis Means Dry Pipes and Foul Sludge – New York Times

The Maeslantkering is a huge storm surge barrier… – Wikipedia

UK flooding: cost of damage to top £5bn but many homes and businesses underinsured – The Telegraph

UK weather: Why the recent devastating floods will become the new normal – The Independent

U.S. Floods Cost $34 Billion – Money Nation

How Close Do We Live to Water? A Global Analysis of Population Distance to Freshwater Bodies – National Center for Biotechnology Information

Scientists predict huge sea level rise even if we limit climate change – The Guardian

Sea-level rise due to polar ice-sheet mass loss during past warm periods – Science Mag

Rising Waters: How Fast and How Far Will Sea Levels Rise? – Yale

Global flood toll to triple by 2030 – BBC


Episode image courtesy of David Shankbone.

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