As a Junior Civil Engineer at GIBB, Kate Murphy owes her successful career at a young age to her own perseverance and determination. She strives harder each day to make a positive impact on the lives of the people around her, through the work she does. Working at GIBB, one of South Africa’s leading black-owned consulting engineering firms, she said that her opportunities have been endless.

The eagerness to learn more is directly linked to working for a firm that is influential in the development of the public and private sectors. Being part of a firm that is in line with the country’s growth plans such as the National Development Plan and the National Infrastructure Plan has motivated Murphy to progress her skills to ensure that she adds value.  Having studied BSc Eng. in Civil Engineering and continuing to diversify her career portfolio, Murphy is currently completing her Masters Degree part – time in Water Quality Engineering at the University of Cape Town.

Murphy set out to equip herself with the knowledge to improve her skills set in the Integrated InfrastructureServices Sector at GIBB. “I strongly believe that integrated infrastructure is at the heart of our country’s social and economic advancement and should be a key focus area for industries that are instrumental to fostering growth,” said Murphy.

Working for a firm that has an extensive track record across various sectors, gave Murphy the opportunity to further fuel her passion in maths and science, particularly problem-solving. “My career in engineering allows me to apply my skills in improving the lives of communities through providing basic human amenities,” she added. Murphy said, “There is a vast amount of opportunities within this industry and I believe we need more skilled engineers, I call on youth who have a passion like I did to consider a career in engineering as it is an exciting time to be part of this industry.”

Each project has its unique features and for Murphy, it has been gratifying to see her work and involvement rolled out from construction phase to being commissioned and eventually delivered to the community. The major projects Murphy has worked on range from bulk sanitation infrastructure, bulk water infrastructure and water reticulation projects. These diverse projects have taught her to become adaptable, dynamic and to work under pressure to deliver on the requirements of the projects.

“The Upgrade of the Bulk Sanitation Infrastructure for Cala, Eastern Cape consisted of two phases – the upgrade of the Cala Wastewater Treatment Works (WWTW) with associated pump stations and rising mains, and the bulk gravity sewers. My role was working on the detailed design of the WWTW which included the site layout design, calculation of the hydraulic gradeline and sizing of structures and general project management,” added Murphy.

Currently in detail design phase, the upgrade of the water infrastructure for Maclear, Eastern Cape. Murphy particularly enjoyed this project as it was made up of many parts, the bulk water resource study (undertaken by our Dams, Hydropower and Underground Works Sector in Johannesburg); the design of the bulk water system and water reticulation for the town and the upgrade of the water treatment works. Further allowing Kate to challenge her talents, her duties here are preliminary design of the bulk water system and water reticulation and she is currently doing the detail design of the bulk water system.

Lastly her role on the upgrade of water reticulation for Polar Park, Elliot in Eastern Cape, was preliminary and detail design of water reticulation and in addition all aspects of project management.

These projects have been significant to improving social development in communities, which has far reaching impact as it reduces health risks through providing adequate water and sanitation. And eradicating the poverty cycle through improved infrastructure facilities.