Dr Megan Schlotjes achieved her PhD in Civil Engineering from the University of Auckland and the University of Birmingham after completing her Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Civil and Environmental Engineering. Her thesis was on risk modelling road pavement failure. Megan cites achieving her doctorate as her proudest career achievement as it created the foundation for her passion, Asset Management. Straight out of university she worked as a project engineer and co-task team leader on the World Bank Transport and ICT projects in the Pacific, including a roads project in Tonga.
Megan began her career in Local Government in 2016, joining Warringah Council as the Road Assets Planning Engineer, four months prior to the amalgamation. Following the creation of the Northern Beaches Council she was promoted to her current role of Manager Asset Strategy, Planning and Performance in 2017.
In her current position Megan has infected staff, council and the community with her asset management passion. Developing a single vision for asset management, using the three councils’ strategies, policies and plans and growing the capability and willingness in staff to successfully implement this vision. Megan learnt valuable lessons along the way about patience, not trying to do everything now, how to take people along with you and making sure you don’t race too far ahead.
Megan is the Chair of Young IPWEA, the Chair of the IPWEA Metro North regional group and has been integral to the development of the Cadetship Best Practice Guidelines for Local Government. She is a great advocate for diversity and has overseen the Young IPWEA Ambassador program which promotes engineering as a career path.
Megan believes that anyone can be a leader – you don’t need a title but must first learn about yourself and recognise that you need the support of others to get things done. Successful leaders are trusted, meaningful communicators who build genuine rapport and paint a compelling vision. She engages people by setting clear achievable expectations, explaining the rationale behind decisions and encouraging people to move outside their comfort zones.
Megan’s humility and integrity are confirmed by her reluctance to use her honorary doctorate title. Dr Megan Schlotjes is a respected local government leader, a dedicated professional, a mentor, a role model who thoroughly deserves the 2019 David Abbott Award.