Aurecon Industry Awards 2019

Sonja de Klerk

Strongest Aurecon Attribute: Fearless

Africa’s Most Influential Women in Business and Government Awards by CEO Global

– Winner: SADC South – Business & Professional Service sector

What Engineering = Humanity means to me:

Coming from a quality assurance background, we ask ourselves, “What is good engineering?” Once the focus was on technical soundness. That’s important – we don’t want engineering deliverables with technical flaws. But “good engineering” shouldn’t end there. Engineering with vision provides solutions to the complex challenges humanity faces… climate change, environmental degradation, water scarcity, the lack of even the most basic services in poor communities… This is what makes engineering such an exciting field to be in – we can and really do make significant contributions to a better world.

It’s also critical to never lose sight of empathy in what we do. Reaching out, listening, understanding and involving stakeholders in finding solutions has become increasingly important. I remember a project where we created decent housing for a disenfranchised community which previously lacked even basic sanitation services. To speak to community members afterwards, to hear and see what a difference access to clean water and an inside toilet had made to these families, was incredibly rewarding. We helped give these people dignity.

Learn more about Sonja’s award.