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Chris Soleman’s journey as a Water Treatment Specialist at Coates

Turning water into solutions: Chris Soleman’s journey as a Water Treatment Specialist at Coates

With a passion for the environment and a drive to contribute to society, Chris Soleman has found his calling as an Engineering Solutions Specialist at Coates. Transitioning from his previous role as a diesel fitter, Chris joined the company in January 2022 and has quickly made his mark in Water Treatment.

As a diesel mechanic, Chris worked for various Earthmoving companies and gained valuable experience across field service, mine sites, and workshops. However, his true calling lay elsewhere.

While juggling 12-hour days as a part-time diesel fitter, he dedicated two days per week to studying Environmental Science, Sustainability and Management at university. “I then focused on securing a role in the environmental space, where my passion lies,” shares Chris, highlighting his determination to make a difference.

At Coates, Chris is part of a specialist team of engineers, technicians and project managers with extensive experience in pumps, fluid management and water treatment. When the unexpected happens on site – as it often does with water – the team has to respond rapidly with equipment and expertise to move, treat and manage wastewater. “My days are often very different, which makes my job challenging and exciting,” he says.

Based in Melbourne, Chris’ responsibilities range from client management and sales to science-based engineering, technical design and commissioning systems for construction and infrastructure projects, including major projects such as the West Gate Tunnel Project (WGTP) and Northeast Link (NEL).

He is also setting up a bench-scale testing lab at Coates’ Dandenong branch, which will allow the team to test scaled-down water treatment options ahead of performing site works.

When asked about the most enjoyable aspect of his role, Chris emphasises, “I am passionate about the environment and contributing to the good within our society. Assisting clients with environmental solutions in water treatment and helping them overcome challenges brings me a great sense of satisfaction and purpose.”

Chris also thrives on the challenging nature of managing and treating water on construction sites. “Every project has specific site requirements different from the last, and I am continually learning and challenging myself to produce the most effective solution,” he says.


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When it comes to skills development, Chris highlights the sales component as an area where he is focusing on improvement.

“Presenting to customers and working with large teams in a professional setting is something that I am concentrating on,” he shares. Recognising the significance of effective collaboration, Chris strives to enhance his skills in team dynamics, communication, and collective problem-solving.

Chris is excited about the possibilities the industry offers. “The industry is relatively new, and we have the opportunity to be pioneers and develop ideas that may never have been implemented in past generations,” he explains.

For him, the best moments are tied to project fulfillment. “The success of our projects ultimately makes me the proudest,” Chris says. From the design and implementation to demobilising on site, he always aims to ensures that the client’s expectations are met to a high standard and each step brings him a deep sense of accomplishment.

When considering Coates’ values, Chris especially relates to the value of “being our best.” He believes in striving for maximum potential across all aspects of his role, including teamwork, customer satisfaction, and caring deeply. “Being our best means that we reach our maximum potential across the board,” he says.

Chris highlights the wealth of opportunities working at Coates has offered. From the moment he joined the company, he discovered a culture that fosters growth and recognises the value of hard work.

Chris Soleman’s journey at Coates showcases the power of following one’s passion and embracing new challenges. With his expertise in Water Treatment and his commitment to making a positive impact, he exemplifies the values that drive Coates forward. Through his dedication, Chris is not only creating a better future but also inspiring others to do the same.

To find out more about Coates’ capabilities in temporary works engineering including Water Management, visit

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