We are pleased to announce that Karen Atkinson, Deputy Chief Operating Officer for South East Asia, has been elected to the board of the International Hydropower Association (IHA) in the East Asia and Pacific region.

“I’m passionate about the exciting future of hydropower as a core to the world’s renewable energy solutions and excited that IHA, as the leading industry body, is proactive in shaping conversations within the industry and with critical stakeholder groups who can advance hydropower development,” says Karen.

“At SMEC, our roots are in one of the most iconic hydropower developments in the world, the Snowy Mountains Hydroelectric Scheme. I’m excited to work with my colleagues and fellow Board members to promote our industry priorities, pave the way for new projects, and contribute to thoughtful and proactive policy debate on energy security, sustainable supply, and environmental and social accountability.”

Karen is a Civil Engineer who has been actively involved in the hydropower industry, based in the Asia Pacific region, for over 20 years. She has significant exposure to the wide variety of projects being developed, and the challenges faced, across South East Asia. Within SMEC, Karen is also part of a global network of hydropower specialists delivering iconic projects including Snowy 2.0 in Australia and the Ulu Jelai Hydroelectric Project in Malaysia.

Operating in over 120 countries, IHA is a non-profit membership association representing organisations, including leading hydropower owners and operators, developers, designers, suppliers and consultants. committed to the responsible and sustainable development and operation of hydropower. Around a third (450 GW) of global installed hydropower capacity is directly managed and operated by IHA members.

The new Board will begin its two-year mandate on 21 October 2021 and will help shape and guide IHA’s work at a crucial time in the clean energy transition.

Image: Karen Atkinson speaking at the Sustainability and Renewable Energy Forum (SAREF) in Sarawak, Malaysia, with Rajan Doraisamy (SMEC Regional Manager Malaysia), left, and Kobus Venter (SMEC Functional General Manager, Hydropower and Dams), right.