Sarah Chi is not your average Financial Controller – she’s also a highly trained Chemical Engineer, with a strong track record in project management and research and development. As a founding partner of SWA Water Australia, her skill set delivers a real competitive advantage.
Sarah combines her engineering expertise and her financial acumen to deliver commercial solutions for both SWA as a company and also for SWA’s clients.
“As financial controller, I’m still involved on the engineering side. I still review the documentation and give constructive feedback to the team from both an engineering and a financial point of view.”
Sarah is deeply committed to research and development.
Years of experience have shown her that research and development is the most effective way to ensure SWA Water Australia always delivers high quality and cost-effective industrial wastewater solutions. As Sarah explains, every one of SWA Water Australia’s products and plants is customised to the client’s exact specifications, and this can vary greatly across different industries.
“Each one of our projects is custom designed to suit our client’s needs. We have the capability to achieve very high technical standards, but we need to make sure every solution is cost-effective. Each industry has a different process, a different effluent and unique government standards that we must comply with.”
Before joining SWA Water Australia, Sarah worked as a chemical engineer on a complex research and development project for the Lidcombe Wastewater Treatment Plant in NSW. She successfully managed the R&D of the $8.5million BNR treatment plant from pilot to full scale operations.
From there Sarah moved to the research and development department of Sydney Water, and for five and a half years she worked across a diverse range of wastewater treatment projects. She’s also a Sydney University qualified project manager, overseeing two major projects before joining SWA Water Australia. Sarah says this experience gave her excellent exposure to running a business, as each project was essentially a small enterprise.
Sarah credits SWA Water Australia’s ongoing success to the strength of their team. She sees her skill set as a good fit with Managing Director John Meyers’ technical know-how.
“We have a very good team both on the engineering side and the manufacturing side. John is very strong on the technical side and I cover the commercial side. We all work very well together. We even performed well during the pandemic and were able to keep all our team employed.”
And keeping the team firing on all cylinders means SWA Water Australia can keep doing the work that Sarah is so passionate about.
“I’m here because I love that engineering helps us solve problems for our customers and for the environment. I enjoy developing successful products and solutions because I know our work is helping our clients and helping the world we live in.”