Latasha is a Principal Engineering Geologist and National Service Line Leader of the Engineering Geology Team at WSP in New Zealand. Her work over the past 12 years has involved leading field operations and providing technical input to a wide range of projects including tunnel design and construction, foundation investigations, slope stabilisation, natural hazard assessment, and tailings dam assessments in Antarctica, West Africa, Canada, Fiji, Australia and across New Zealand.
Latasha completed her Bachelor of Science and PhD at the University of Canterbury. Her PhD research focused on optimisation of deep drilling for geothermal energy exploration. During the course of her research she published numerous technical papers, gained field experience on geothermal drilling rigs, performed in-depth laboratory analysis on rock behaviour & optical mineralogy and her results included the development of an equation to relate rock behaviour to drill bit selection.
Latasha has been assisting the Antarctic Infrastructure Modernization for Science (AIMS), and the Scott Base Redevelopment project, since 2016 and 2019 respectively. Several site-specific investigation programmes have been completed by WSP and Webster Drilling, using a specialised drilling technique to recover continuous frozen rock core samples at both Scott Base and McMurdo Station. The data collected and analysed has contributed to the design of major rebuild projects at both Antarctic field research bases.
Latasha takes pride in connecting young geotechnical professionals with senior members of staff for mentorship; in particular seeing them develop within their teams and take on leadership roles of their own. Latasha’s own strongly held values help reinforce existing initiatives within WSP, including diversity, equality and equity in traditionally male-dominated engineering roles.