Covey Employee Dr Chris Walker 2015 USC Alumni
Covey's Dr Chris Walker BSc(Env Sc) 2006, Ph2 2012 received the 2015 Outstanding Alumni of the Year - Rising Star award from the University of the Sunshine Coast.
Chris is the Environmental Manager and Senior Environmental Scientist for Covey Associates, a leading Sunshine Coast based, multi-discipline, engineering consultancy with clients throughout Australia and abroad. His specialties are: stormwater management, urban lake design and management, Water Sensitive Urban Design, erosion and sediment control and overall environmental project management of commercial, residential and industrial developments. In this role, Chris has made a significant impact on reducing the environmental impacts of large scale urban developments and improving the environmental health of water courses throughout Queensland.
Chris has significant experience in the design and management (construction and operational) of constructed lakes, wetlands, floating wetlands, and bio-retention basins. He has a particularly high level of expertise in the design and management of constructed urban lakes and stormwater quality modelling, which was the basis of his PhD research at USC. Chris has been instrumental in Coveys gaining local and national recognition for their environmental work in greenfield and other urban developments, including from Sunshine Coast Council and Healthy Waterways, who selected the Parklakes master planned residential Estate in Bli Bli as a case study.
Over the past five years, Chris has been developing the use of Floating Wetlands to treat urban runoff stormwater in Australia. Chris has established several floating wetland projects in Queensland. The first project was Riverstone Rise in Gladstone, which has been extremely successful. Following this, designed in partnership with USC’s Senior Lecturer Civil Engineering Dr Terry Lucke and SPEL Environmental, Chris developed the first research study in Australia on treating urban runoff using floating wetlands. This project is located at Bribie Lakes, an upcoming residential development on Bribie Island, and has generated a high level of national and international interest.
Chris has also recently forged a new research alliance with BHP for using Floating Treatment Wetlands to treat dam tailings and to assess how floating wetlands can help to limit algal growth. This is cutting-edge research with significant potential international opportunities. USC is included as a stakeholder in the initial pilot study.
Chris' strong links to USC extend to playing a significant role in establishing numerous collaborative projects between the University and Industry research over the last few years. This collaboration now includes securing a new $700k+ research project with the developers of Parklakes 2 at Bli Bli, in which USC will be involved in the largest floating wetland research project in the world. Chris will be an associate supervisor for the PhD project and was recently appointed Adjunct Senior Lecturer at the University.
Previously, Chris received a Deans Award for Academic Excellence for his Honours degree at QUT, and an International Post-Graduate Research Scholarship and Australian Postgraduate Award for his PhD at USC.
Chris graduated from USC with both a Bachelor of Science (Environmental Science) in 2006 and a Doctor of Philosophy in 2012.