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Monitoring for Success

Australian specialist firm Sentinel Pty Ltd (Sentinel) have been a key provider of environmental monitoring services to clients across the world for nearly twenty years. Servicing clients that include the World Bank, various government departments, consultancy firms and the mining industry, this boutique firm provides specialised and cutting-edge hydrographic consulting services that are unequalled. Discover what makes this Australian firm a respected leader within their dynamic industry.

Founded in 2000, with over twenty years’ experience in providing exceptional environmental monitoring services worldwide, Sentinel is a knowledgeable consulting firm that help clients measure, remediate, mitigate and reduce environmental and social effects of any projects. A key export market for Sentinel is the mining sector, with monitoring projects completed across more than fifteen countries throughout Australasia, Africa and the Americas.

Sentinel’s monitoring projects range from single weather stations to multi-million-dollar water resource networks. Each project may be fully integrated from field to data management, or purely data management projects with Seveno DataSight, the firm’s proprietary environmental data management system, as the foundation.

Consciously designing projects for clients to meet their objectives, Sentinel provide a tailored approach that is aware of environmental conditions, budgets and available resources. This approach has enabled the company to cultivate a focused and professional team, including IT professionals and environmental scientists who combine to deliver outstanding results.

By designing, installing and maintaining reliable and cost-effective environmental monitoring stations, Sentinel can help in gathering key data. This includes for example, hydrometric data as used for flood monitoring or hydrological design, climate, air quality and water quality data. Specialising in hydrography, all of the company’s field staff have attained hydrographic certifications from the Australian Hydrographers Association.

All instrumentation, power sources and data transfer mechanisms are chosen specifically for optimal data recovery within the project’s physical environment and budget. The proprietary environmental data management system, DataSight, is used in-house to manage all client environmental data and make it securely available online.

DataSight is one of the most cost-effective and easy-to-use solutions for environmental data management and reporting. DataSight is currently in use across 25 countries by the World Bank, mining organisations, water authorities, shipping ports, environmental consultancies, as well as local and national government departments.

At present the hydrographic industry is exceedingly competitive in Australia. Larger multi-national corporations are offering reduced labour rates for their services, which ultimately will dilute the efficacy of the industry. However, by focusing on maintaining long-term relationships with clients and suppliers, Sentinel enjoy the hard-won benefit of acquiring much of their work by word of mouth.

One of the major jobs that Sentinel is currently undertaking is the upgrade, operation and maintenance of the flood monitoring network for the Scrivener Dam catchment around Australia’s capital city, Canberra. With the network of stations transmitting data as changes occur in the river system or when rainfall is detected, data is sent direct to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology and the primary stakeholder, the National Capital Authority (NCA).

By virtue of the data that the firm collects and the software that is developed, Sentinel are cognizant of the changes in technology. Continually researching the latest high-tech equipment and instrumentation which the firm have invested heavily in over the last few years. Upgrading backend systems, and leveraging themselves off the cloud through software-asa-service solutions, allows the company to see and run the business from anywhere.

Operating as a family business, the firm’s culture fosters open communication both internally and externally. Employees exhibit honesty and integrity at all times in the performance of their work, and always conduct work to the best of their knowledge. Training is provided for staff, both while on the job, through external training providers where applicable, and with suppliers when provisioning new technology. By staying at the forefront of industry developments, Sentinel themselves can offer topquality work.

In an age of automation, data is everywhere and data management has become the norm. Sentinel’s experienced staff have been undertaking this work for decades. However, it is exceedingly too easy to generate data of little meaning, particularly if instrumentation is deployed to the field without any scientific understanding of the practicalities, or how to correctly site and configure the equipment.

Sentinel’s resounding success derives from their ability to communicate and work closely with their clients to provide an appropriately robust, cost-effective monitoring solution under all manner of environmental conditions. As water becomes scarcer, particularly due to growing populations, we need qualified scientists and technicians to authenticate our environmental data sets. In the future, Sentinel believes and hopes that the role of the humble hydrographer will be more highly regarded.