Fresh faces in the office in 2020

Urbaqua is back! And it’s well overdue for us to introduce the newest faces to our office family: Graduate Environmental Engineer Rubén Vescovo and Summer Intern Nicky Lutfullina.

Meet Ruben

Ruben is an environmental engineering graduate from UWA, with a particular interest in coastal systems and meteorology.

Ruben’s arrived showing up some of us at the office by having already collaborated with the Oceans Institute, CSIRO and DWER as part of his Master’s project – exploring the impact of climate change on the Swan River Estuary by modelling sea level rise across the system using Representative Concentration Pathways developed by the IPCC .

Ruben’s shows off his strong hi-vis game while groundwater monitoring at Wungong

Having already spent time working up in the Kimberley at Rio Tinto’s Argyle Diamonds mine as an HSE officer Ruben has already got a strong hi-vis game doing field work around compliance monitoring of drinking water, and developing an understanding of hydro-geochemistry, water quality and environmental design.

In a professional environment Ruben loves poetically arranged Excel array functions and well-presented GIS maps (when software doesn’t crash). Outside of the office Ruben often cuts loose in the kitchen putting together the spiciest recipes he can find, spending excessive amounts of money on specialty coffee and brewing equipment, or doing self-study. This included a year on hiatus working in Tokyo with the aim of polishing up his Japanese.


Nicky has joined Urbaqua for a summer vacation internship while working on her Master’s degree in Environmental Engineering at UWA.

While applying her theoretical knowledge on real projects, Nicky will be working on research projects initiated by Urbaqua. She will be collaborating with DWER and other Local Governments to determine best practice irrigation rates for Public Open Space in relation to function and catchment hierarchy, as well as developing high quality data sets that can guide Local Governments, designers and developers in the selection and design of vegetated WSUD treatment systems. That should be enough for one summer internship!

Nicky may be new to the environmental industry, but she is certainly no stranger to engineering. She started her career in the Oil and Gas industry as a wireline field engineer overseas. While working in the dynamic and demanding environment of drill rigs, Nicky began to develop an understanding of environmental risks across different areas of operation. After relocating to Australia she continued to become more aware of environmental issues and realised it was time for change: she left the resources industry and decided to pursue a Master’s degree in environmental engineering to be able to use science and engineering to improve our environment through better design.

Today Nicky is able to focus on doing what she really enjoys – many things at the same time! A life of full time study, casual work, and everyday gym, while still being a caring mum to her small daughter is nothing short of crazy. So if you see Nicky in the office, be sure to give her a really BIG hug, as she probably needs it!

If you would like to know more about Urbaqua and its staff, please feel free to get in touch:

Looking forward to working/chatting with you in 2020!