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Aurecon appoints internationally recognised hydropower and dams expert Bill Hakin

Aurecon appointed Bill Hakin, who has expertise in delivering hydropower, water, and dam infrastructure projects across the world.

Bill Hakin has provided strategic, project and technical leadership across the hydropower and dams sector globally and understands the challenge and complexity of major essential services infrastructure.

19 March 2021 – International engineering, design and advisory company Aurecon has appointed hydropower and dams expert Bill Hakin who has a track record of successfully delivering water and power infrastructure and security projects for communities around the world.

Aurecon’s Managing Director Energy, Resources & Water Paul Gleeson said that Mr Hakin’s experience in the delivery of large and complex hydropower, water and dam infrastructure projects across Africa, Asia, Australia and the Middle East will be especially critical for regions where there hasn’t been significant projects developed or delivered for decades.

“Like solar and wind energy, hydropower is a mature technology that is a key part of the energy mix required to transition to a net zero carbon future. In some region’s hydropower plays a larger part than other technologies because it ensures the benefits of both a sustainable energy source as well as providing flood control, irrigation, and water supply where and when it is needed to communities,” Mr Gleeson said.

For the past 30 years, Mr Hakin has provided strategic, project and technical leadership across the hydropower and dams sector globally and understands the challenge and complexity of major essential services infrastructure.

“Critical to the success of major hydropower and dam projects in the past has been a collaborative, non-transactional environment similar to that developed for Aurecon’s major water sector partnerships with WaterNSW, Sydney Water, Urban Utilities, Yarra Valley Water and SA Water,” Mr Hakin said.

“In the future, critical to the ongoing benefits that such projects provide to society at large, will also be whether they can withstand the fact that the climate is changing. We need to take a careful look at our water and power infrastructure to ensure it is sufficiently resilient to the phenomena of increased sedimentation, longer and more severe drought periods and more intense and frequent flood events.

Often the capital costs for such “preventative maintenance” or “future proofing” represent a comparatively small investment to reduce or prevent the significant capital costs of subsequent rehabilitation and the even higher impacts from loss of revenue and social benefits provided by such projects.

Digital Engineering is transforming how built assets are planned, designed, constructed, operated and maintained. The ability to create a “digital twin” of such assets which provides for real time sharing of data thereby allowing us to understand how the asset is reacting to such impacts is incredibly beneficial.

There are currently very few hydropower or dam projects around the world that are delivered in a common data environment (CDE) and I’m increasingly excited about the opportunities arising to change that.”

Water plays a pivotal role in how the world reduces, mitigates and adapts to the effects of climate change. Hydropower is power derived from the energy of falling or fast-running water and is a renewable, reliable, versatile and low-cost source of clean electricity generation. Dams provide the essential infrastructure to capture and store water and deliver sufficient supply to communities even during times of drought and less predictable inflows.

"Climate change and growth are creating a strong demand for dam projects that not only provide water and energy security for communities, but resilience in the face of increased flooding and climate variability. It is really exciting to have Bill join our rapidly growing water team, bringing skills across both the energy and water sectors that are complementary to what our utilities and government clients are wanting as they significantly increase their funding of water and energy infrastructure,” Aurecon’s Water Capability Leader Kevin Werksman said.

Mr Hakin currently serves on the Hydropower and Dam’s International Technical Committee and is an advisor to the World Bank on how to move the projects they fund to digital delivery platforms.

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