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Insights What does a drainage engineer do and why do we need them?

As the job title would suggest, a drainage engineer will design the drainage systems that transport water. Every time you brush your teeth, water the garden or take a shower, you have these skilled professionals to thank for the supply of clean water and the removal of sewage water. Not only that, but the innovative designs these engineers implement and the ongoing maintenance they undertake is what keeps our buildings and transport systems safe from flooding.

As more extreme weather events hit our planet each year, drainage engineers have never been more important. Overall, drainage engineers help to keep communities safe and look for solutions that will combat climate change. It sounds like a huge undertaking, but with that comes the chance to make a difference.

image of a team standing next to a digger

The role and responsibilities of a drainage engineer

Drainage engineers deliver the drainage design on multi-disciplinary civil engineering projects, which includes storm drain systems, pond design, culvert analysis and bridge hydraulic analysis. Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Visiting sites to understand the project requirements and note any complexities
  • Overseeing the production of drainage designs, models, calculations and drawings
  • Preparing cost estimates, technical reports and memorandums
  • Managing stakeholder relationships to support the development of the drainage design and consents process
  • Preparing and presenting progress and technical reports for discussion at client and key stakeholder meetings
  • Using a number of programs and methodology which may include MicroStation, Geopak Drainage, ORD and SUDA, InRoads, 3D corridor modelling, AutoCAD, Civil3D, ArcGIS and HEC-RAS
  • Incorporating sustainability into drainage designs
  • Leading and encouraging the technical development of graduates and technicians

Why drainage engineers are important

Whether you work in a large water team or take on the role of the specialist engineer for a project, you will see how your work directly improves the everyday lives of millions of people. Drainage engineering is a dynamic and rewarding career where you will get the opportunity to:

  • Manage flood risk, preventing damage to buildings and the transport network
  • Prevent water pollution
  • Encourage water reservation and water harvesting
  • Ensure that damaged or deteriorating pipes are repaired

Why you should bring your drainage engineer career to AtkinsRéalis

The AtkinsRéalis Group is comprised of several companies, including Atkins, Faithful+Gould and Acuity, with offices in more than 50 countries. Every person across the six continents that we operate in has something different to bring, and we are proud to be a company that celebrates people's diversity of thought, expertise and knowledge.

Though each drainage engineer role is different from the next, you could have the chance to work within a local team whilst also delivering on remote projects. With exposure to varied work across many markets - including water, transportation , and cities and development - you will develop a broad skill set that could open you to new paths further along in your drainage engineer career. This opportunity to work in different areas of a business is just one of the top reasons to become an engineer.

Career progression opportunities are ripe for the taking at AtkinsRéalis , and by supporting the leadership team and development of our drainage capability, you’ll stand yourself in good stead for a senior drainage engineer role. To help you get there, we offer a portfolio of training and development activities designed to help you make the best of your abilities and talents.

Are you ready to make your next career move?

We are on course for a challenging yet exciting future. Our growing workload means that we are always looking to strengthen our existing network of employees, and that means finding people who will add something different to the team. If you are interested in learning what a career with AtkinsRéalis could mean for you, explore our latest drainage engineer roles. Join our cross-sector team, and you will help us deliver innovative solutions to the biggest challenges in the UK and beyond.

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