A Family History with the Land – Chris Smitt

EHS Support Managing Director Chris Smitt’s strong connection to the land paved the way for his career as a hydrogeologist.

Back in 1949, Eric Smitt, grandfather of EHS Support’s Chris Smitt, was the Officer in Charge at the RAAF Base (Tidal), in Katherine, Northern Territory. One of his favourite activities was to explore Seventeen Mile Creek Valley with his wife, Aileen. In 1951, when the Katherine River was in flood, Eric noticed a large rock which would split the river in to two. Every wet season thereafter he would fly Department of Civil Aviation officials over the landform. Later, he gave photographs of the landform to local newsagents in Katherine and Darwin to assist in tourism in the area. Due to the success of the campaign, the landform was named Smitt Rock and to this day is frequently used in tourism brochures.

Chris Smitt first visited his namesake landmark was in 1990 when he was 11, and he’s been back many times since. He credits his travels to Smitt Rock, as well as his late grandfather’s passion for exploring nature, for why he is who he is today.

After graduating with a degree in physics and earth science, in 2000 Chris majored in hydrogeology and geophysics during his honours year from the Flinders University of South Australia. He began his career as a hydrogeologist with CSIRO Land & Water, where he developed a large-scale 3D numerical model capable of predicting surface water and groundwater interactions in complex basaltic aquifers across Southern Australia.

Chris is currently the Australian managing director for EHS Support Pty Ltd and a principal hydrogeologist with experience in both private and public sector within Australia, North America and the Middle East. He is also experienced in preparing and delivering expert witness statements for VCAT and PPV acting on-behalf of both public and private industry.

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