Local expertise, collective ingenuity | Meet Claudia Novati

Contributing to the local community and beyond is all in a day’s work for Civil and Environmental Engineer, and Bowral Office Manager – Claudia Novati.
When Claudia opened the Bowral office in 2020, Ngununggula, Southern Highlands Regional Gallery was the first project for the team. It not only delivered a vibrant and important creative hub and cultural centre for the region – which was recognised for its dedication to heritage and conservation in the 2022 National Trust Heritage Awards.
Being local was a bonus as it meant Claudia and her team were able to easily maintain a site presence and utilise local knowledge and long-standing working relationships with relevant authorities, including Water NSW, National Trust and Wingecarribee Shire Council.
Ngununggula means belonging, and the Southern Highlands is where Claudia’s heart is and where she truly belongs.

“Growing up I spent a lot of time in the Highlands at my family’s holiday home and now I live and work here too. I’ve been here now for over ten years – it’s a great community,” says Claudia.  

"I love being part of the local community, getting involved in committees, building relationships with the local government authorities, and my clients enjoy the benefits of my local knowledge”. 
She actively seeks infrastructure and community projects because they give meaning to the community and to Northrop Consulting Engineers. Claudia is passionate about improving the quality of life for communities and Ngununggula is just one example. View the video above or read more about the project here.
As well as community projects, Claudia and her team particularly enjoy collaborating on land development projects including these works in progress: 
  • Wingecarribee Shire Council Bong Bong Common Masterplan
  • Rosewood Land Release 
  • Springfield Rise
Another interesting project is 5 Eighteenth Avenue, Austral where the team collaborated with Council and the neighbouring site to minimise wasted material, labour, and time by eliminating the need for temporary works for their client Vella Building.  
“We’ve enjoyed working with Claudia and the team since 2016. They are so helpful, full of knowledge and very experienced.” Brian Vella, Vella Building
Walking in our clients' shoes
Claudia joined Northrop in 2006 and left in 2013 to establish her own company, Novati Consulting. In 2021 she merged her business with Northrop to open the Bowral office. With this experience of running a new business before returning to Northrop, Claudia has the ability to really walk in the shoes of her clients who are business owners themselves.  
Claudia says many local clients are often first-time or private developers, so their personal risk is elevated. They expect a high level of service and collaboration - more consultation and more frequent communications. She says clients want to feel a connection with their consultant and no surprises! 
Face to face meetings are more common and enable an extra level of personal engagement and service. Accessibility for their clients is key. Claudia builds strong bonds of trust to ensure her clients keep coming back!  
Many of these clients enjoyed the celebration of the Bowral office opening in May 2022. With all the events of the last few years, everyone was thrilled to finally get together again face to face and celebrate.  
Inspiring future generations
Claudia is a strong advocate for women into engineering and is passionate about her engagement with STEM in schools. She loves playing a part in influencing the next generation of innovative, critical thinkers to consider an engineering career.
“I feel a huge amount of joy when I hear back from students I've met, years later telling me about their new engineering careers” says Cladia. 
Claudia plays a part in the Southern Highlands Science and Engineering Challenge and Discovery Days. Discovery Days engage year 5-6 students in meaningful, hands-on experiences to inspire them to make a difference in the world by choosing a career in Science and Engineering.  
500+ primary and secondary students recently gathered at the Mittagong RSL for the two-day event. Students competed in challenges that taught them about topics including earthquakes, managing an electricity grid, hoverboards and missions to Mars! 
She and the Northrop team helped to facilitate the challenges and discussions for the day. She also participates in talks at Young Engineers Australia events and at local high schools.
Collective ingenuity
This is the one of the many reasons Claudia merged her own engineering consultancy with Northrop in 2020. She has always been inspired and influenced by the wisdom and leadership within the business. It supports her to build a dedicated team – a team that feels empowered and included. The team reaches the most innovative solutions by drawing on each other’s insights.
"Our strength is in our ability to reach solutions together" says Claudia.  
Claudia not only draws on the wisdom and insight at Northrop, her ex-racehorse Ace, also has a lot to share with her about discipline, communication, and partnership too. Working with him while training and competing in low level eventing, she believes the sport and partnership with Ace expands her ability to anticipate, communicate, and solve problems in unexpected ways. 
Living and working in the Southern Highlands helps Claudia and her team to realise their own potential and that of their clients’ projects and the local community too.  
“Claudia leads her team with passion and confidence. I’ve regularly seen her jump into the trenches with the team to work through engineering problems, displaying deep commitment to her team and her love of civil engineering.” 
Rodney Pratt, Northrop Principal and Structural Engineer 
Is your next project in the Southern Highlands/Illawarra region?
Claudia and her team would love to hear from you at the Bowral Office on
02 4861 2042 or email bowral@northrop.com.au

Writer/Content Project Manager: Gemma Garratt, Marketing & Conversions Manager
Photographer/Videographer: Matt Vas Photography 

Rodney Pratt

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