Catherine Blersch: Never stop learning

By: Kelly-Ann Prinsloo – writer

Catherine Blersch, a civil engineer at Aurecon Cape Town’s Water Unit, talks about how she got to where she is and where she’s headed

Catherine Blersch, a professional engineer in the wastewater treatment division at Aurecon, is responsible for professional civil engineering services in the planning, design and implementation of wastewater treatment works projects.

Like many matriculants, Blersch had no idea what she wanted to do for the rest of her life. After a gap year in Belgium, she settled on civil engineering because of an aptitude for the sciences and wanting to contribute to the development of South Africa. She now holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in civil engineering, and is currently busy with her MBA. “After graduating, I started working at Aurecon’s Cape Town office and have never looked back.”

Attracted to water
“When I graduated, I wanted nothing more but to work in water engineering,” said Blersch. “It is the most varied and interesting of all civil engineering disciplines and is extremely relevant, particularly in a water-scarce country like South Africa.” She became involved in the planning, process design and civil design of wastewater treatment works. “Wastewater projects are diverse, multi-disciplined, challenging and bring new opportunities every day.” Her largest project to date is the construction of a new wastewater treatment works in Bloemfontein.

Blersch loves her work because it contributes to the upliftment of communities and the protection of the environment. It is also challenging and stimulating, and she works with an incredible team. Aurecon’s Cape Town office has a massive pool of wastewater treatment experts, making it a brilliant place to learn.

In the future
Blersch would like to grow and develop in her current role, becoming a leader and mentor. Her work philosophy is to work hard, take responsibility and ownership, be willing to delegate (but offer mentorship and support), build relationships, stand up for yourself and for those who are too shy to do so themselves, and never stop learning.

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