Our Team

  • Karen Rouse: Chief Executive Officer
    Qualifications: BSc(Hons), M Env St
    Karen is the CEO of Water Research Australia and brings to the role more than 20 years of experience in the water sector including water resource and environmental management, economic regulation and strategic planning within a state-wide utility, and leading the urban water research program for Australia's national science agency, CSIRO. Karen's career has seen her lead collaborative research initiatives in integrated urban water management; provide sector leadership in climate change response, and negotiate net positive environmental outcomes for wastewater treatment plant upgrades. Karen currently serves on the Board of the Global Water Research Coalition and Water Industry Alliance and is a passionate advocate for collaboration to solve wicked problems and design a better future.
  • Mark Andersson: Engagement and Marketing Manager
    Qualifications: BPsy, MMkt
    Mark leads the engagement and marketing team managing the WaterRA brand, member engagement and offerings, and business development opportunities. He works closely with members, trusted partners and external stakeholders to enhance member benefits and build upon the strength of the WaterRA community. With a strong background in strategic marketing, events and engagement, Mark brings member-focussed expertise to the team.
  • Michelle Pfitzner: Business Manager
    Qualifications: MBA, GAICD, CPA, BComm
    Michelle manages all aspects the company's financial management in addition to WHS, risk management and policy development & review. Michelle ensures that business systems are operated effectively so that internal and external financial, contractual and administrative obligations are met. With strong finance and governance skills gained from a variety of industries, including not-for-profit and retail, Michelle brings a holistic approach to WaterRA.
  • Jacqueline Frizenschaf: General Manager Research Services
    Qualifications: MSc (Geography - Hydrology), MSc (Civil Engineering)
    Jacqueline has been in the water resources and water quality business for over 25 years. After completing degrees in hydrology and water resources engineering in Germany and the USA, her professional career has been marked by research assistant work at German and American universities, consulting with CH2M HILL in the USA for 10-years; and, for the past 18 years, working for the SA EPA and SA Water. Jacqueline’s passion throughout her career has been to contribute to improving lives in the community through solving challenging water resource issues to ensure the broader community benefits from security water sources and safe drinking water. During her professional career, Jacqueline has lead projects and teams in the areas of water resources and water quality assessments including modelling and environmental impact assessments of key water infrastructure. She has also been instrumental in leading drought and extreme weather event projects such as water quality modelling in the River Murray, Lower Lakes and reservoirs during drought years and land and fire management and recovery post bushfires. Jacqueline will be working closely with our utility and research partners as she facilitates and oversees the delivery of high-quality and effective research to enable efficiencies and greater understanding of current and future challenges for our membership.
  • Dr Kelly Hill: Research Manager
    Qualifications: PhD (Water Engineering), MSc (Sustainable Catchment Management), BSc Hons (Environmental Management)
    Kelly is a member of the research team and manages research projects especially relating to data science, source water quality, including cyanobacteria, pathogen fate and monitoring, sanitary surveys; and general catchment management including stormwater aspects. Working closely with our utility and research partners she facilitates delivery of high quality and effective research to enable efficiencies and greater understanding of current and future challenges for our membership. With an established background in environmental science and catchment management from the UK, and a stormwater engineering PhD, Kelly brings both specialist knowledge of research practice and catchment management to the research team, as well as expertise and interest across other areas of the business.
  • Dr Arash Zamyadi: Research Manager
    Qualifications: PhD (Civil Engineering), MSc (Agricultural Environmental Engineering)
    Arash has over 14 years of experience working with academics, government agencies, utilities and industry partners in Australia, Canada and the United States to tackle water treatment challenges. He brings to WaterRA his research expertise in how climate change and harmful algal blooms affect water treatment, removal of combined microbial and chemical contaminants, and reuse opportunities. Arash has been leading and managing projects funded by WaterRA, the Australian Research Council, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, and the Water Research Foundation. He has a strong publication record and has frequently been invited to make keynote speeches and conference presentations across the world. He actively volunteers in the water community and contributes as a member of the Australian Water Association, American Water Works Association (AWWA), an International Water Association (IWA) Fellow, and Co-Chief Editor of Water Quality Research Journal, and Guest Editor of a MDPI Water Special Issue.
  • Dr Marty Hancock: Research Manager
    Qualifications: PhD (Environmental Science), Grad Dip BA, BEd (Biology, Chemistry)
    Marty has over 25 years experience in the water and education sectors. In his role as Research Manager within the Research Services team, he brings a wealth of knowledge in water, wastewater and recycled water processes, catchment management and water quality management systems. For the past 12 years he has led an operations team for a local government utility. During this time Marty has had a particular focus on water quality assurance and treatment process optimisation. He has published and presented on the developing Health Based Targets and treatment process validation. He has also combined his educational experience with the industry need for highly qualified and experienced operators and has been instrumental in developing operator resources and training operators for the water industry. Marty is an experienced science communicator and has shared his water industry experience through forums, conferences and technical training.    
  • Marlene Hsu: Research Manager
    Qualifications: MIWM (Integrated Water Management), MBiomedEng, BE (Mechanical Engineering), CEng IMechE
    Marlene is a member of the research team and has over 15 years of experience working in the water sector both in Australia and in the UK. With her experience as a lead design engineer at Thames Water and design project manager for numerous leading consultancies, she brings her enthusiasm for engaging WaterRA’s research partners and stakeholders to achieve our common goals. She understands both the technical requirements of water and wastewater treatment, as well as the importance of working collaboratively with other sectors of our economy to design resilient cities of the future.
  • Carolyn Bellamy: Research Capability Manager
    Qualifications: DipCounselling
    Carolyn manages the Research Leadership Program which provides our membership with professional development opportunities throughout all phases of a professional career with a focus on research, leadership and innovation mindset. Carolyn has over 20 years experience in the water industry with a strong focus on building capability and capacity for WaterRA members and the Program having successfully retained a high number of students within the water sector. With an established background in psychology and counselling, Carolyn brings a wide variety of skills and expertise to the team.
  • Kathryn Nicholas: Communications Lead
    Qualifications: BMedia, MAJournalism
    As a member of the marketing and engagement team, Kathryn manages all aspects of communications, media relations and digital content from development to implementation. She works closely with members and external stakeholders to enhance promotion of WaterRA and delivery of its key events. With an established background in journalism, digital media and strategic communications as well as stakeholder engagement, Kathryn brings a wide variety of expertise to the team.
  • Jessica Burgess: Engagement Officer
    Qualifications: BIntSt
    As a member of the marketing and engagement team, Jessica manages our annual events calendar and works with members to ensure they are receiving value from their membership. As an event management and member specialist with experience in multiple industry sectors and a passion for creating meaningful business events, Jessica brings a wide variety of expertise to the team.
  • Joel Voortman: Digital Engagement Lead
    Qualifications: BArts (Geography)
    As a member of the marketing and engagement team, Joel develops and manages our online training courses, webinars and digital content to achieve best practice learning outcomes. In his role he also ensures a seamless and positive digital experience for our members and attendees. Joel brings valuable knowledge, experience and a wide variety of expertise to this role having worked at ICE WaRM for nine years and Flinders University for nearly five years within the National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training - NCGRT.
  • Ella Pietsch: Governance & Administration Officer
    Qualifications: BVA
    As a member of the financial team, Ella is responsible for providing governance, regulatory and administration support to the Board and company sub-committees. Ella also assists with logistics support and delivers project management administration to enhance member experience. With an established background in the higher education sector, Ella brings compliance and customer service expertise to the team.
  • Mia Luke: Accounts Assistant
    Qualifications: BInfTech
    Mia is responsible for supporting the company's financial team. Mia assists with payroll, accounts receivable and accounts payable to ensure all financial obligations are met in a timely manner. With strong bookkeeping skills gained from diverse industries, including construction, telecommunications and medicine, Mia brings financial support to the team.