Hydraulic consultants & engineering, essentially, is a sub-trade of the wider field of civil engineering. As most other disciplines in civil engineering, this too requires knowledge of a set of subjects ranging from basic and advanced mathematics to the physics of fluids in motion.
As a student, one is exposed to these as a part of his/her undergraduate course in civil engineering or depending on one’s interest one may go for advanced knowledge of surface hydrology, hydraulic analysis, environmental fluid mechanics, groundwater flow, sediment transport, open-channel flows, hydraulic modeling, simulation studies, or municipal water systems during masters or doctoral courses. The problems that are encountered on a day to day basis in the life of hydraulic engineers relate to collection, storage, transportation, control and measurement of water and its use to satisfy various purposes. The role of hydraulic engineers varies as to a particular area in which they are working, for e.g. design of bridges, dams, water channels, reservoirs, canals or levees and also calls upon the knowledge of sanitary and environmental engineering.
A challenging aspect for hydraulic consultants Perth is often to deal with the problems of scouring and sedimentation of channels as seen in many parts of the world. As flowing rivers carry bulk of sediments as a natural part of their erosion cycle, any attempt to control or stop its flow or divert it from its natural path leads to deposition of sediments in and around the divergence. Hydraulic engineers must take this basic knowledge as well as the interaction of water with its alluvial boundary in their calculations to ensure success and longevity of hydraulic projects.
Other responsibilities for hydraulic engineers cover soakwell design, storm water design, gas service design, water distribution networks, sewage networks, storm water management, etc. It clearly is a wide field in itself. When it comes to job opportunities in the field of hydraulic engineering, they are found in both private sector as well as public sector. A number of consulting firms, and government departments( municipal, provincial and federal ) look out for talented hydraulic engineers to serve on various roles. Research and academic careers are also promising.
The pay packages vary depending on one’s domain expertise and sector specific experience. The average earnings in most of the AU states come around $60000-$70000 with a few years of experience. Again, students looking to make rewarding careers in the field of hydraulic engineering should always try to improve upon their knowledge which is true for any field today. Thus, a mix of higher education and specific job experience is the right way to proceed in one’s career.