PITMAN, Heather

2018 Distinguished Alumna of the Year (posthumous)


Bachelor of Engineering

Graduation year


Heather broke down barriers in engineering with an integrity that earned her tremendous respect in the sector and led to her becoming the first female Head of Engineering for the City of Ballarat. She studied at the School of Mines and Ballarat College of Advanced Education and was awarded the Civil Engineering Scholarship in 1977.

Heather pioneered sustainable design and developed and approved Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) projects, ranging from large scale wetlands projects to innovative water detention systems. She was the first of a new breed of engineers to consider the urban water cycle in its entirety and not in isolated parts, a radical approach at the time.

In her honour, the Pitman Benjamin Engineering Prize was founded, to recognise students like Heather, who have chosen not to accept the status quo, but instead to change the world to make it better for all. Heather died in 2005.