Photo of Rosie Sanderson

Rosie Sanderson

Senior Environmental Engineer / Water and Sanitation Logistician
Golder Associates / Medecins Sans Frontieres

IWC-Ken Thiess Memorial Fund Scholar Profile

I don’t come from a traditional water background – but rather from a background of engineering solutions to activities that can contribute to imperilling our water resources, like poorly undertaken solid waste or sanitation management. This has given me an appreciation of both the fragility of our water resources and the opportunities we have in acting proactively to avoid contamination in the first place.

These concepts were starkly tested for me in the last couple of years of working in emergency response situations such as refugee camps and disease outbreaks. Alongside first priorities of access to water and safe sanitation, it was vital to consider longer term impacts that could exacerbate or prolong water challenges. It particularly highlighted the wicked problems that arise when basic human needs draw alongside environmental capacity to provide, as more often than not the places I have worked have been low in resources, remote, or isolated.

I have started this Masters to learn from the experiences of my peers in challenging environments, to learn and build on my existing knowledge of our natural and societal systems and to explore ways to be more effective in protecting our water resources from contamination.