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Renata Tracey, BEng '13

Civil Engineering | Engineering Down Under

Renata Tracey is making her mark on the landscape. But it happens to be the landscape on the other side of the world.

The 2013 Civil Engineering grad works, in land and urban development, consulting as a civil project engineer in Sydney, Australia.

“I’m responsible for leading design and delivery of projects, as well as project management and business development,” she explains. “I manage a team of drafters, designers and engineers who support me in the technical aspects of the role. Deliverables include stormwater management measures, erosion and sediment control, bulk earthworks and pavement design.”

While it was a relationship with an exchange student that brought her to Australia, it was the culture that convinced her to build a life in Australia after the romance ended.

“I fell in love with surfing, the outdoor lifestyle, walkable communities with little mom-and-pop shops and the beautiful beaches in Australia,” says Tracey. “I was able to get permanent residency as a skilled independent because of my degree and profession.”

Her firm, originally an Australian company with about 600 employees nationally, has recently become part of Canadian engineering giant Stantec.

Tracey, one of two female project engineers in an office of 150 people, was recently promoted to civil project engineer, adding a range of responsibility for client relations, management and business development activities to her portfolio.

Her work ranges from industrial lots and roads to subdivisions, schools and community master plans.

“I chose this area of civil engineering because I like the influence it has on the overall development,” she says. “The work can be detailed at times, but often requires a bigger picture view and can have a significant influence on the outcome of the development.”

Career highlights include acting as the lead civil engineer on the Australian Technology Park in Sydney, a development that includes two high-rise commercial buildings, and redevelopment of the public domain to accommodate an estimated 10,000 people on site per day.