EG Issue 4/2018

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Issue 4/2018 Te Ao Rangahau How much difference can Engineering New Zealand’s new te reo MÄ ori name make?

Zero emissions by 2050? Meeting an ambitious target

Automation nation Staying relevant in the face of increasing automation

Big picture power Meet the engineer creating 3D construction models in his head thanks to dyslexia

WANT A BETTER WORLD? DESIGN IT AT NZ’S FIRST GRADUATE SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING. Launching in July, the Graduate School of Engineering will offer you the option of over 20 Professional Engineering Masters study options. Learn more at


In this issue



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06 Te Ao Rangahau How much difference can Engineering New Zealand’s new te reo Māori name make? 12 Zeroing in on 2050 Two engineers on the Government’s Interim Climate Change Committee are laying the groundwork for reducing New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050. 24 Launching STEM careers A targeted schools programme, support and good role models can help increase numbers in science, technology, engineering and maths careers. 30 Next stop: Auckland 100 not out

Features Engineering New Zealand Te Ao Rangahau PO Box 12 241, Wellington 6144 New Zealand P 04 473 9444 GENERAL MANAGER – MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONS Bridgit Sissons bridgit.sissons@ 04 474 8943 EDITOR Jennifer Black DESIGNER Angeli Winthrop ADVERTISING SALES 04 473 9444 SUBSCRIPTIONS CIRCULATION ABC audited net circulation for the six months ended 30 September 2017. New Zealand 11,410 Print ISSN 2537-9097 Online ISSN 2537-9100 EG ONLINE PDF versions of EG are available for members on our website, under My Membership. PRINTING Your cover is printed on Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) approved and elemental chlorine free (ECF) paper. The inside pages are Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) approved and elemental chlorine free (ECF). EG is printed using vegetable-based inks made from renewable sources. Printing and fulfilment by Printlink. Please recycle your plastic wrap – it’s New Zealand made and 100% biodegradable.

DISCLAIMER Advertising statements and editorial opinions expressed in EG do not reflect the views of Engineering New Zealand, its members, staff, or affiliated organisations unless expressly stated.

This issue of EG was published in September 2018.

12 Zeroing in on 2050 Two engineers on the Government’s Interim Climate Change Committee are laying the groundwork for reducing New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050. 18 Automation nation What does increased automation mean for engineers and what can they do to stay relevant?

24 Launching STEM careers A targeted schools programme, support and good role models can help increase numbers in science, technology, engineering and maths careers. 30 Next stop: Auckland 100 not out

Best practice 38 Tunnel visionaries Tunnelling is a big business and while it’s enjoying a resurgence in New Zealand, more people are needed to meet resource shortages. 41 In engineers we trust While digital disruption and advances in technology are creating new areas where engineers must apply sound ethical judgement, the principles remain the same.

42 On hollowed ground Once-popular hollowcore floors have lost favour in new dwellings after recent earthquakes, so assessing and strengthening them are hot topics. 45 How to get disputed invoices paid How can you make someone pay an invoice they don’t want to pay? 46 Assessment: why and how? We explain why and how we assess, and how to avoid bottlenecks.

Shorts 49 Day in the life Best known as ACT party leader (and Dancing with the Stars contestant), David Seymour MEngNZ is also an engineer. 50 Big picture power Meet the engineer creating 3D construction models in his head thanks to dyslexia. 53 C-Suite EG talks to Bev Batchelar, CEO of Batchelar McDougall Consulting.

54 The secret life of engineers A Hamilton-based engineer building a personal flying device. 56 What’s on your bedside table? Disaster-zone specialist Professor Regan Potangaroa CMEngNZ’s “must reads” for work and beyond. 57 Review 59 Obituaries 60 Engineering Genius

Cover image Dr David Prentice FEngNZ CPEng, Chair of the Government's Interim Climate Change Committee. Photo: Harry Wright

Engineering Envy #29

Te Rewa Rewa Bridge, New Plymouth Year Whitaker Civil Engineering began construction

2009 Year opened

2010 Cost

$2.85 million Span

68.8m Frequency of wash downs

Every 6 months

Described as a breaking wave by some, a whale skeleton by others, Taranaki’s Te Rewa Rewa Bridge represents the sacred relationship between the wind, sea and land with the Ngāti Tawhirikura tribe. The bridge was designed for pedestrians and cyclists to cross the Waiwhakaiho River. Framing Mt Taranaki, the single span tied-arch bridge is an extension of the New Plymouth Coastal Walkway eastward towards Bell Block. The award-winning footbridge is made of three steel tubes – two beneath the deck and one, together with 19 sweeping rib structures, forming an arch.


Have your say. LOOK OUT FOR THE NEW DRAFT VERSION OF OUR RULES IN MID-SEPTEMBER. We’ve created this based on your feedback so far. Read the draft Rules and tell us what you think. Round 3 closes in November. Find out more at

What they said



Be the change you wish to see

“Just because I might look like a skinny scientist doesn’t mean I’m not going to crack down on crime here. I will.” Former environmental engineer and new Mayor of Mexico City, Claudia Sheinbaum.

“I am pleased with the quality of the cover and pages of the latest issue [of EG]. I dislike the shiny magazines that are intent on falling on the floor. More of the same please.” Brian Pattrick FEngNZ

“She was among the top students in the electrical and electronics department.” Principal of India’s Chaitanya Bharathi Institute of Technology on 16-year-old Kasibhatta Samhitha who recently became a qualified engineer.

“… the Graduate School is the way of the future and it will further strengthen the ability of New Zealand to produce first-rate engineers able to lead the way in future technologies and knowledge.” The University of Auckland's Dean of Engineering, Professor Nic Smith FEngNZ, launches the country’s first Graduate School of Engineering.

Nau mai koutou katoa. “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Some attribute this to Mahatma Gandhi, but the origin’s not as important as the meaning. As engineering professionals, we can localise this: be the change you wish to see in leadership, on boards. There’s a lot of self-reflection across the engineering community around our influence with politicians and other decision makers. Engineers are asking whether, as a community, we’ve got the influence and roles in leadership and governance we should have, on issues that matter to New Zealand. Members express concern about the lack of engineers on boards or executive teams where their experience, expertise and outlook could have a significant impact. I’ve heard many ask why an engineer wasn’t appointed to Fletcher Building’s reshuffled Board. It’s an obvious lack, isn’t it? My challenge to the profession is to own that outcome. Own the challenge of having people in our profession operating at levels where they become obvious candidates for these types of roles. If we want leadership roles, influence and a place at the board table, it’s our responsibility. We need to prepare, develop

current state, we are the answer. And there are great engineers in highly influential positions in New Zealand – recent excellent examples are Dr David Prentice FEngNZ CPEng and Dr Keith Turner DistFEngNZ on the Government’s Interim Climate Change Committee (our cover story on p12). There are many more – I suspect we’re doing better than what we give ourselves credit for. Let’s see – and celebrate – more engineers in more influential governance roles. As a profession, look out for each other, promote each other into opportunities, have confidence in your, or your colleague’s, ability. I also want to mention Dame Margaret Bazley’s recent report into law firm Russell McVeagh. It’s a reminder that as professionals we have a responsibility to behave appropriately and respectfully. With our Diversity Agenda goal to get 20 percent more women into engineering by 2021, our industry’s reputation needs to be sound and we must hold ourselves and each other to the highest standards of behaviour, regardless of role or seniority, gender or ethnicity.

our skills and seek opportunities. Nobody else will do it for us. If we don’t like the

Dean Kimpton FEngNZ President, Engineering New Zealand


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Engineering New Zealand is proud to reveal our new te reo Māori name, Te Ao Rangahau. So, what does it mean, why was it chosen, and what difference can a name make? Engineering New Zealand is a renewed, dynamic organisation and our te reo Māori name needed to convey the essence of engineering – its power and its breadth. The name needed to bring engineering to life and convey engineers’ work in improving the lives of New Zealanders. We asked kaumātua and respected linguist Sir Tamati Reedy, of Ngāti Porou descent, to consider how Engineering New Zealand could be best represented in te reo Māori. Sir Tamati took a conceptual approach, seeking a name that was simple and memorable. After careful consideration, he decided on Te Ao Rangahau. He used a wide interpretation of engineering and chose “rangahau” because it encompasses the broad meaning around engineering – to design, create, build, investigate, research and solve. Te Ao means “the universe”. Engineering New Zealand Board member Jan Evans-Freeman FEngNZ has strongly supported the organisation’s adoption of a te reo Māori name. Although originally from the United Kingdom, the Pro-Vice-Chancellor, College of Engineering at the University of Canterbury uses te reo when she can – in emails and at the start of meetings she chairs, and she tries to learn new words each week. She says it’s important a professional body has and uses a te reo Māori name because without bicultural consultation, engineering would be a flawed profession in New Zealand. But what do our members think – can the adoption of a Māori name make a difference in the industry?

What’s in a name?


Warner Cowin CMEngNZ CPEng IntPE(NZ) Based in: Auckland/Tāmaki Makaurau Role: Founder and CEO of Height Education: Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering (Hons), University of Auckland, 1995; Associate Diploma in Aerospace Engineering, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, 1996; Postgraduate Diploma in Business and Administration, Massey University, 2000 What’s your earliest memory of te reo Māori? My dad grew up on the East Coast speaking te reo before he spoke English. In those days it was actively discouraged in schools, so he didn’t use Māori when we were growing up. When I joined the RNZAF around 1998 I started to learn te reo Māori. I helped set up the kapa haka group at Ohakea and one in Timor. What’s your current engagement with te reo Māori? I’m not fluent but know enough to lead the way at hui and public interactions when needed. An understanding of the underlying tikanga helps me progress and have a different perspective on issues and potential solutions. I’ve been developing my language skills with courses in te reo Māori at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa and Unitec. Why is it important a professional body has, and uses, a te reo Māori name? It acknowledges our biculturalism and helps deepen recognition of tangata whenua and our connection to the physical environment. I also hope it stimulates a broader discussion as a profession about how we can apply the concepts of kaitiakitanga (guardianship) to make more balanced, considered engineering decisions. What’s the most important change we as a profession can do to improve our engagement with Māori? Promoting young Māori engineers so they can lead change, be confident articulating a Māori world view within engineering, and be role models for rangatahi (the younger generation). What can all engineering professionals do to better engage

The illustration is based on a Raperape pattern, chosen as it represents movement. The artist’s chains of interlocking spirals represent the many fields of engineering evolving, growing and moving forward together. Ilustration: Walter Hansen

with te reo Māori and Māori cultural values in their work? Be open-minded to other perspectives, including the Māori world view – other views help you develop a balanced solution. >>

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Sina Cotter Tait CMEngNZ CPEng Based in: Christchurch/Otautahi Role: Company director, Engineering New Zealand Board member Education: Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) (Civil), University of Canterbury, 2001; MBA (Dist), University of Canterbury, 2015 What’s your earliest memory of te reo Māori? Māori place names, the words to the haka and casual use of “kia ora” are all aspects of my earliest memories, before I was consciously aware English and te reo were different languages. My first memory of te reo as a different spoken language was learning the names of the colours in early primary school. What’s your current engagement with te reo Māori? Not enough – although my heritage is New ZealandPasifika I try to greet people in te reo and introduce myself in a formal setting with a mihi, even if the group’s not Māori. I’d like to see the language and tikanga form more of a natural part of the way we interact and operate.

Māori Language Week 2018 It’s Māori Language Week from 10–16 September. This year’s theme is “kia kaha te reo Māori”.

Why is it important a professional body has, and uses, a te reo Māori name? Speaking here in my personal capacity, firstly, heritage. Using our te reo Māori name immediately places us as a Kiwi organisation and acknowledges tangata whenua as an integral part of our identity. Secondly, te reo Māori is one of our official languages – as a professional body our name should reflect that and we have a responsibility to lead by example. Thirdly, inclusivity. Our industry is often perceived as being demographically male and European with knowledge and systems based on the English model. Our industry’s demographics are going to change over the next few decades and it’s important for us to change along with it if we want to reflect our membership. What can all engineering professionals do to better engage with te reo Māori and Māori cultural values in their work? Seek out new knowledge. Engineering New Zealand has some courses and there are many places to learn te reo in the evening or online, such as Te Wananga o Aotearoa.

From top: Warner Cowin, Sina Cotter Tait, Eremia Tapsell and Chantelle Bailey.


Eremia Tapsell Emerging Professional Member Based in: Wellington/Te Whanganui-a-Tara Role: Structural Engineer, Beca Education: Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) (Civil), University of Canterbury, 2016

Chantelle Bailey CPEng CMEngNZ Based in: Wellington/Te Whanganui-a-Tara Role: Senior Structural Engineer, NZ Consulting Engineers Education: Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) (Civil), University of Auckland, 2012; qualified RNZAF Aircraft Technician

What’s your earliest memory of te reo Māori ? As a child, my parents and older siblings would use some Māori words when speaking to me but (at the time) they

What’s your earliest memory of te reo Māori? Going up north to Pawarenga, Te Morehu Marae attending

weren’t fluent. My earliest memories of fluent te reo Māori speakers were some cousins, and people speaking at the marae.

whānau hui, reunions and less frequent tangihanga. Also, as a child hearing my nana talk with her siblings and on the phone.

What’s your current engagement with te reo Māori? I’ve always maintained a level of exposure to te reo Māori through my whānau, Te Arawa and Ngāti Pukenga iwi in the Bay of Plenty. I’ve been studying te reo Māori through Te Wānanga o Aotearoa in Wellington since early 2017.

What’s your current engagement with te reo Māori? Both my daughters are in their school kapa haka groups and learn te reo Māori at school. I attend the school whanau hui and I use my limited te reo where possible.

Why is it important a professional body has, and uses, a te reo Māori name? Māori is an official language of New Zealand. To be relevant and appeal to a wide cross-section of people, professional bodies should actively promote the use of te reo Māori. One way is by the use of a Māori name, signalling te reo Māori is a normal, and important, part of New Zealand society. The engineering industry has traditionally had low Māori representation and the use of a Māori name for its professional body will help encourage young Māori into the profession. What’s the most important change we as a profession can do to improve our engagement with Māori? Understand how the things we create as an engineering industry – infrastructure, buildings, software – affect Māori values and perspectives. Some knowledge of tikanga Māori should be emphasised as a key part of being a competent engineer in New Zealand. What can all engineering professionals do to better engage with te reo Māori and Māori cultural values in their work? As engineers, we deal with Māori names and places on a daily basis and an easy way to show consideration of tikanga Māori is to try to pronounce these correctly. Another way is to research the local iwi for the project you’re working on – their history, beliefs, marae. Not only will it be interesting, but could also prove useful for any iwi consultation.

Why is it important a professional body such as Engineering New Zealand has, and uses, a te reo Māori name? Māori have an affiliation with the land and people, likewise engineers with society regarding our practices, designs and influence on the future. A te reo name encourages diversity through participation and exposure and forms a link between people. Te Ao Rangahau is a powerful name that comes with responsibility bestowed by someone with mana. It’s a positive step and I will take pride in using it. What can all engineering professionals do to better engage with te reo Māori and Māori cultural values in their work? Understanding comes from exposure that's best developed by attending events and presentations or through observation. Māori operate in communal groups. It's great when there are others around you to provide explanations of what's happening, plus support and guidance.

Pūtahi Kaiwetepanga Ngaio o Aotearoa The organisation adopted a te reo Māori translation of IPENZ in 2004, generated by the Māori Language Commission. This was a long process but it didn’t result in universal agreement. Adopting a new English name was an opportunity to be gifted a more relevant and modern te reo Māori name.

A solid foundation built on partnership.

Calder Stewart team working with Z Energy.

Experience counts when it comes to planning and delivering complex construction projects. Over our 60 plus year history we’ve gained the advantage of working with some well-known New Zealand companies across many sectors. Each journey is different, which is why we take the time to dig deep and really get inside our clients’ business. By understanding how they operate and what is vital to their business, no matter the challenge.

Let’s talk about building a partnership.

18 Automation nation

24 Launching STEM careers

30 Next stop: Auckland


12 Zeroing in on 2050


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Zeroing in on 2050 WRITER MATT WINTHROP

Engineers are solution-focused so it makes good sense two have been chosen for the Government’s committee laying the groundwork for reducing New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050.

Hitting zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 is an ambitious target, admits Dr David Prentice FEngNZ CPEng, Chair of the Government’s Interim Climate Change Committee. But at this stage, the focus is on what the pathway looks like and how the transition will happen. “The transition needs to be about ensuring that any changes are enacted in a fair and balanced way for all New Zealanders, and that we don’t stuff up the economy in the process,” David says. Since coming into power, the Labour Government has made addressing climate change a priority. It has set up the Committee as a precursor for the work that will follow, including the Zero Carbon Bill to be introduced in October, putting climate targets into law. An independent Climate Change Commission will be established under the Zero Carbon Act in 2019, to provide expert advice and hold current and future governments to account.



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>> Engineering New Zealand has launched a thought leadership publication, Engineering a Better New Zealand, which examines issues identified as critical to New Zealand’s prosperity. Seismic resilience We’re still feeling the effects of the Canterbury and Kaikōura earthquakes. How do we ensure New Zealand’s approach to community resilience, infrastructure and buildings reflects everything we’ve learned? Water Water infrastructure is under pressure. It’s often old, potentially no longer fit for purpose, and not designed for our changing climate. What can be done to improve water quality and reduce flood hazards? Find out more at

Dr David Prentice (left) and Dr Keith Turner are on the Government's Interim CLimate Change Committee, looking at achieving zero greenhouse emissions by 2050.


The Committee is developing evidence and analysis on ways of delivering efficient emission reductions from the agriculture sector. This will include how methane and nitrous oxide emissions from the sector could enter the Emissions Trading Scheme, and plans for moving to 100 percent renewable electricity generation by 2035. The work comes with all the challenges that would be expected when setting the course for what will be a multigenerational, national response to climate change. “The more I look at this, the more I realise this is such an unbelievably important piece of work that absolutely requires us to get it right,” David says.

Challenges and opportunities David’s appointment follows more than seven years as Chief Executive of Opus International Consultants. He sees many crossovers between engineering and a role in which he’s been asked to provide “coherent leadership” to an issue that affects every New Zealander. “It ties back to your core DNA as an engineer. I came into engineering because I wanted to build stuff and provide solutions for existing communities and future generations. “You get a sense of pride in doing that, and in many ways, that’s where I see we are with climate change – the need to address both the challenges and opportunities this presents for New Zealand.” David is keenly aware of the importance of building trust and credibility by engaging early and effectively with the wide-ranging group of people who’ll be affected by the transition. “The rhetoric of how we do that has to come from a pragmatic, balanced, community-based angle – something engineers are very good at.” He describes his move from Opus to his role on the Committee as “quite a change”. He says he feels incredibly lucky and honoured to have led Opus and is proud of what he achieved, but felt the time was right to step aside and make way for others. While considering his next opportunity, David’s name was put forward to chair the Committee. Before accepting the role, he met with Climate Change Minister James Shaw. “When I sat down with the Minister I was firm in the belief that if we were to put together a committee to address the issue of how to reduce emissions, then the question of the economic impact had to be front and centre.” David says while net zero emissions are the goal, the transition can’t be done in isolation of the need to continue to maximise economic output, and must consider the sectors and socio-economic groups who’ll be most affected.


in the power industry, including as Chief Executive of Meridian Energy, he believes New Zealand is well placed for the transition ahead. He points to the “extraordinary transition” that’s already happened, from the early years of exploiting our natural resources to today, with roughly 80 percent of our electricity generated from renewables like hydro and geothermal. Other modern advancements, like banning chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) in the 1990s, show collective action has the capability to improve the environment. The hole in the ozone layer above Antarctica and New Zealand is believed to have been caused by CFCs used in refrigerants and as a propellant in aerosol cans. Since the international effort to ban them in the 1990s, the hole has dramatically decreased. “I would hold that up as a good example of a regulatory pursuit of a change, with some extraordinary engineering response to that pressure,” Keith says.

It ties back to your core DNA as an engineer. I came into engineering because I wanted to build stuff and provide solutions for existing communities and future generations. – Dr David Prentice

Engineering responses to complex problems

“If you look at modern refrigeration today, it’s still very efficient and not using anything like the same CFCs that were being used in the early 1990s.” (See EG Issue 3/2018 p36 for an article about refrigerants.) Keith says the challenge of gradually transitioning to net zero emissions by 2050 will require finding “new ways of doing things that we’ve been doing for a long time”, and engineering will be a key part of the response. “It means innovation and creativity, and accepting that what we’ve done in the past isn’t necessarily what we’ll do in the future. That places a huge challenge on engineers, thinking about solving problems that have been solved before but in new ways. “The engineering profession is outstanding at solving

Fellow engineer Dr Keith Turner DistFEngNZ is another of the six Committee members. With extensive experience

complex problems,” says Keith. Technology is a key part of the transition.


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>> Climate Change Minister James Shaw (right) at Kaiwaiwai farm in the Wairarapa. Photo ©Stuff Limited

“You’ve only got to look at the modern technology that we use and it’s all come from engineering.” The potential is huge, and we’re already seeing the benefits – whether it’s nanotechnology that allows a film on a window to produce solar electricity, to increasingly faster and more efficient electric vehicle charging infrastructure. This doesn’t, of course, come without its challenges. Keith singles out transport as one such area. “There’s a big transition underway to electric transport and it all needs to be charged up. But if we electrify the fleet, there’s no point if you have to build coal-fired power plants to do that.” Then there’s the potential economic shock from sacrificing high-earning, carbon-emitting sectors to meet our targets.

Climate Change Minister James Shaw says action on climate change is in fact likely to help us gain an economic advantage “as an early mover”, particularly on low-emission farming. While the economy will look “very different” in 2050, by taking a carefully planned approach, we can minimise,

“ln the transition, we’d need to increase investment into low-emission innovations and continue our world-leading research to reduce emissions on farms. “Sharing our experience and innovation with other countries can help contribute to global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. “We can provide more certainty to businesses so they can make long-term investment decisions and we can begin working with communities that will need to transition jobs from emissions-intensive industries into new, emerging sectors, and thereby support the change over the next 30 years.” Our changing climate was the subject of much debate in last year’s election, and the Zero Carbon Bill’s proposals haven’t been without criticism. But David Prentice says the issue is of such significance, it crosses the political divide. That’s something even National Party Leader Simon Bridges recognises, having offered bipartisan support to the Government for a non-political Climate Change Commission. “That’s why it was so important – he’s basically saying this isn’t a political issue, and it underlines the message

and adapt to, disruptions in a managed way through the transition period.

that everyone, whoever they are, has a part to play in this,” David says.

Crossing the political divide

Do you wish engineering was more inclusive? So do we. From engaging workshops to online resources, the Diversity Agenda gives companies the tools to make a difference. Learn more about the movement and how you can get involved at

WIRELESS CONCRETE SENSORS Monitor (early real time) development of concrete temperature and strength with SmartRock2TM wireless concrete sensors.

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Automation nation WRITER MATT PHILP

Engineering is already being automated in New Zealand, with one firm cutting the time it takes to do some tasks by half. What does increased automation mean for engineers and what can they do to stay relevant?





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Predicting the transformation of an entire profession is fraught with potential for hyperbole – robots at the gate, microchipped employees, wearable surveillance devices etc. But there’s no denying engineering as a role and an industry is on the cusp of significant change. It’s claimed 65 percent of children entering primary school today will one day be working in careers that haven’t yet been invented, and it’s difficult to imagine engineering will be immune to such changes. Recruitment company Hays' report The Modern Engineer: what it takes to succeed says technology brings huge disruption, not just for project delivery and workflows, but for the nature of service provision. It cautions that automation and artificial intelligence (AI) threaten to make many traditional and base-level skills of engineers – to a degree – redundant.

The engineering jobs market will increasingly value “solution-focused” individuals with strong communication skills and a creative, problemsolving mindset.

So how do practising engineers futureproof themselves for some of the changes ahead? The report stresses the importance of developing lifelong skills, particularly soft skills such as teamwork and communication. It highlights concerns such as environmentally sustainable design and lifecycle assessment, and the need for engineers to be up with the latest technology, including drones, GPS positioning, augmented reality and virtual reality. Hays Managing Director New Zealand Jason Walker says the fundamental importance of an engineer having good STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) skills won’t change. But he says automation will inevitably be used for some of the more cumbersome tasks around data. As a result, the engineering jobs market will increasingly value “solution-focused” individuals with strong communication skills and a creative, problemsolving mindset. More broadly, Jason cites three areas where workloads will grow and technology will develop: sustainability issues, pressure on urban infrastructure and water management.

hours. We’ve got it down to half of that, meaning we can do twice as much work, or the same work in half the time, which has big commercial implications. That’s the power of automation.” When BVT was founded in 2009 it cut its teeth on heavy vehicle certification, but it has diversified into other areas of engineering including interior seismic design, secondary structural and temporary works, and “safety in design” engagements. Despite the growing complexity of its workload, Matt says many of these tasks can and will be automated. “Engineers will tell you, ‘There’s no way that could happen to my work; it’s way too complicated to be automated. How could you possibly account for my 20 years of experience?’ But it’s becoming more and more possible.”

The inevitable shift

One Kiwi company embracing automation, actively working to take the engineer out of day-to-day processes, is Christchurch-based BVT. Principal Matt Bishop CMEngNZ CPEng IntPE(NZ), says when he talks to other engineers about the volume of work his consultancy gets through, he receives the same response. “They’re flummoxed,” he says. “They might be working on two or three or perhaps even 10 active jobs a week. We’ve got 100.” Starting with some of its simpler contracts, BVT has introduced digital tools that can rapidly power through the fundamental calculations that are an engineer’s bread and butter, for example certifying industrial pallet racking

While BVT may be a trailblazer, at least in New Zealand, Matt stresses the company is just trying to get ahead of the inevitable shift. Why has he ushered in a digital transformation? “Because if we don’t, someone else will. “This is very much a win/lose game, and the person who figures it out first has the ability to either cut prices to gain market share, or to increase their service offerings.” BVT has embraced structural analysis and design software, among other digital tools, and introduced new agile workflow systems. Technology is one part of the formula to working more efficiently. “It’s about linking these sophisticated engineering tools to each other and with the standard compliance requirements.”

structures. “Our traditional work methodologies used to take four

Ultimately, he says, BVT’s aim is to introduce a deeper level of automation.

Embracing automation




Key findings from the Hays report 1


of surveyed engineers expect to add to their skills through upskilling on the job. Upskilling in the latest technologies is of most importance but currently it's only used by a minority of engineers: GPS positioning (used by 34% of engineers surveyed), survey equipment (21%), drones (10%), and AR and VR tools (9%).


say 2D skills will lose relevance, highlighting the importance of 3D modelling skills. 2


say making a positive contribution to the living environment helps them thrive in their jobs.


say renewable and alternative energy will have the biggest impact on the engineering industry, followed by city expansion, water management and population control.

1. Matt Bishop, Managing Director of BVT. Photo: Johannes van Kan 2. Sustainability is a key issue where workloads will grow and technology will develop, according to Hays' Jason Walker.


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>> Photo: Bryan Isbister/Creative Images Photography Ltd

Left: BVT team members carry out an interior engineering inspection. The company sees great potential for automation in this area and has created calculators for manufacturers.

Photo: BVT


“At the moment, structural analysis tools require an engineer sitting in front of the computer to drive them. True digital transformation involves figuring out what that engineer’s doing – reading the standard, working out the requirements and applying those into the structural model, then examining results against the standard – and automating that, too. You take the engineer out completely.” What are the implications of that? For one thing, Matt says, automation promises to improve safety: machines, by definition, aren’t guilty of human error.

It’s not about how long it takes us to do a job any more, but about how much value the job has to the client, and what other products or solutions would add to that value. – Matt Bishop

It also changes the commercial footing of a business. “If a job that used to take you four hours now takes 15 minutes, it raises a big question about how engineers will charge in the future. It won’t be about the time it takes to complete a job, but the time taken to create the engineering model and the software, as well as the associated risks, the capital value of the work involved, and so on.” BVT has become more client-driven, Matt says. “It’s not about how long it takes us to do a job any more, but about how much value the job has to the client, and what other products or solutions would add to that value.” As for the engineer’s job, Matt predicts this will change significantly. Freed of the requirement to knock out “calcs”, an engineering specialisation becomes less important than a grasp of the broader engineering mindset and process. The role becomes more about accountability and oversight – the big picture. “It will be about making sure the programming is robust and that it meets the needs of society and the environment – that’s where engineers will be increasingly used.”


The workplace of the future? It’s not just the industry that’ll change with more automation and AI, but the very workplace itself. With an increased focus on productivity likely, here are four inventions that might be coming soon to a workplace near you.

01 02 03

US startup Humanyze’s smart ID badges track employees around the office and monitor interaction with colleagues.

Retail giant Amazon’s wearable devices track warehouse or factory workers’ hand movements.

London-based start-up StatusToday’s AI platform gets a regular supply of employee metadata – from the files you access and how often you look at them to when you use your key card at a company door.


Software tool Workday considers around 60 factors to predict the likelihood of you leaving your job.


Year 8 students from Papakura's Conifer Grove School launch their bottle rockets for The Wonder Project Rocket Challenge.

EG 4/2018


Lau nch ing

STE Mc are ers



With the right targeted schools programme, strong support and good role models, more students can aspire to STEM careers, regardless of their school’s decile rating or location. The Wonder Project combines all three as its pilot programme launches, ahead of a nationwide roll-out.


EG 4/2018


Growing up in Otahuhu, Veronica Maka knew what society expected of her. She says there’s a stigma that comes with being from South Auckland. “The idea that ‘oh, you won’t amount to much other than ending up on the news for some crime’.” But these negative misconceptions only encouraged the Melbourne-based electrical engineer at Aurecon, who is currently working on the city’s West Gate Tunnel project. Veronica recognises she’s a role model for young people. “If someone like me who walked in their shoes, and now has been able to have the experiences that I have, can do it, they can too.” She credits her decile one girls’ secondary school, McAuley High School, and in particular her physics teacher Mr Schiefler, with nurturing her interest in engineering.

If someone like me who walked in their shoes... can do it, they can too.

“He loved physics and imparting that knowledge to people, and then it was just a bonus that someone in his class actually wanted to apply it.” When Veronica started at the predominantly Pasifika school in Year 9, she didn’t know what she wanted to do for a job but science was appealing. Once she learnt about engineering in Year 10, she “wanted to help change the world”.

I kept my mind open with science and maths all the way up to year 12 and 13 I’d have more options in my career choices.” Over the years, Veronica has met with graduates who remember her visiting their classrooms and she believes targeted STEM programmes in schools can have a big impact on career choices. “If you can get one child to see someone who has used maths or science in a practical sense and go ‘actually, I’ll keep taking maths, I’ll keep taking science’, that’s enough to justify it is making an impact on young lives.”

Making an impact Historically, there are a range of reasons why girls haven’t chosen engineering and Veronica acknowledges there can be additional barriers for Polynesian girls. “I think for a [Pakeha] female the chances of hearing about engineering and opportunities are higher because of attending higher decile schools. And they have technology classes and better resources. “A typical Pacific Island girl is sitting in a low decile school having applied science and applied maths thrown at them and nobody to show them ‘actually, you can do more than this’. Saying: ‘Have you heard of this thing called engineering?’” She’s a firm believer in the power of strong role models in schools to influence and inspire young people and she was an ambassador for Engineering New Zealand’s former schools programme, Futureintech. “It was my way of giving back… Futureintech gave me a role where I was able to impart inspiration and my experience to young people who I know are going to follow in my footsteps.”

– Veronica Maka

Veronica encouraged students to continue with STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects. “I told them what my physics teacher told me – that if

The Wonder Project Earlier this year, Engineering New Zealand launched a pilot for its revamped schools programme, The Wonder Project, funded by Callaghan Innovation. For 13 years, its predecessor, Futureintech, promoted STEM careers to young New Zealanders through one-off school visits and career fairs. The Wonder Project has been designed to reflect changes in technologies – from 3D printing and augmented reality to space travel and digital transformation – and changes to the types of careers students can strive for. It leverages off Futureintech’s strengths – teacher and ambassador input and support – and focuses on encouraging students to consider STEM careers early in their decision-making process. The Wonder Project Rocket Challenge pilot for students in years 5-8 began in term two with seven South Auckland schools building and flying a water rocket. A second pilot with 22 schools recently started and there’ll be a joint Rocket Challenge blast off in term four. A nationwide roll-out to all New Zealand schools is planned for 2019. The Wonder Project will also include a STEM challenge for years 7–9 focused on solving a community issue using innovation, and a careers initiative to encourage senior students to consider STEM as a tertiary study option.








1. Veronica Maka, electrical engineer at Aurecon. 2. Veronica firmly believes in the power of strong role models in schools to influence and inspire young people. 3. A student at Conifer Grove School in Papakura proudly shows off her rocket. 4. Sketching rocket designs – one of the key elements of the Wonder Project Rocket Challenge.



EG 4/2018

Emily Bennet Based in: Auckland Role: Graduate Engineer at Harrison Grierson, Wonder Project Ambassador Education: Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) (Engineering Science), University of Auckland, 2016 Why did you decide to become an engineer? I wanted to do engineering because I enjoyed maths and science. When I was in year 10 a couple of engineers came to talk to our class. It really sparked my interest in engineering and now I am here. How long have you been an ambassador for Engineering New Zealand programmes? I first got involved two years ago. At school I had been on the receiving end of Futureintech’s work and I wanted to give back and inspire kids to do engineering. We need more people in STEM careers and even if the kids aren’t interested in engineering it can show them the roles maths and science play in the world.

What benefits do you see students gaining from The Wonder Project? Understanding of maths and science principles they wouldn’t otherwise get to explore until high school. Exposure to a hands-on project where they take the lead can help them to see value in subjects they might view as more abstract.

What’s your role with The Wonder Project pilot? I go to a school once a week and answer student questions about the project and/

How valuable is an initiative like this in encouraging students into professions such as engineering? Very valuable – the more we can instil in children they can be engineers/ scientists/mathematicians, the more likely they’ll choose these careers. The Wonder Project differs from other schools programmes because it’s a more sustained communication with schools and students. This helps build up a relationship with the students and allows

or engineering. Most of the time I help with the technical aspect of the bottle rocket.

them to get a more consistent message about engineering.



Teacher Rebekah Gage says Conifer Grove School got involved with The Wonder Project as it was a novel way for her students to explore science concepts.

Rebekah Gage, a year 8 teacher at Papakura’s Conifer Grove School, says her school wanted to get involved because it was a novel way for students to explore science concepts that can be difficult to investigate and understand. Presentations and videos from Rocket Lab increased the excitement for students. “It gave rocket science a more achievable feel as it was something being done right here in our backyard rather than just looking at NASA or SpaceX.” She says The Wonder Project is easy to follow – lesson planning was straightforward, all resources were provided and it caters to a range of learning abilities. “Once the students have some basic understanding they've been able to work together in small groups to share their knowledge and create their rockets.” Rebekah says the programme’s much more than reading and writing about how rockets work. “The students get to draw, design, build, fly, video, take photos and rebuild when things don’t go quite how they were planned. I've had 10 groups of students all working on their rockets completely engaged and excited.” She describes having an engineer ambassador as “amazing”, adding a real authenticity to the programme. Ambassador Emily Bennet has become part of their class, she says.

Seeing their rockets fly has been of most value to her students. “The students have been able to test out their prototypes, see how they go and then come back to class and modify and change their designs where needed.” Rebekah admits she was surprised by just how much The Wonder Project has excited and inspired students. “My students didn’t really know much about what being an engineer entailed, and now there are so many, especially girls, who are wanting to explore a career in engineering.”

“You don’t get a ‘real person’ with many other initiatives to talk to and discuss ideas with.”

the next generation of engineers. If you’d like to be involved, get in touch with us at

Become a Wonder Project Ambassador We’re looking for more volunteers from around the country to become Wonder Project Ambassadors and help inspire


EG 4/2018

Next stop: Auckland

100 not out




Auckland just keeps growing, and its ever-increasing population and additional demands on resources and transport systems have prompted large-scale engineering projects. As Engineering New Zealand's Auckland Branch turns 100, it's a good time to celebrate some of the city's noteworthy infrastructure achievements and outline some of its bigger plans.

Engineering a centenary


1.6 million Area (Auckland city)

1,059km² Engineering New Zealand Branch membership

9,553 Did you know?

Auckland is called the “City of Sails” for good reason – Westhaven Marina alone, on the edge of the CBD, is home to more than 2,000 boats, four yacht clubs and 50 charter operators.

A lot happened in 1918. Significant events include the global flu pandemic, the end of WWI and the rise of Russia’s Communist Party. It was also the year civil engineer and surveyor, George Thomas Murray, formed the Auckland Branch of the New Zealand Society of Civil Engineers, now Engineering New Zealand. One hundred years on, the largest branch in the country boasts 9,553 members and while it mightn’t be expecting a card from the Queen, it sure knows how to party. “It’s a busy and exciting centenary year for us,” says Auckland Branch Chair Geof Stewart CMEngNZ CPEng IntPE(NZ). “Our theme is celebrating our past and present achievements, and the future – what engineering might look like in another 100 years.” There was a glitzy August Centennial Awards’ Dinner with a raft of awards up for grabs, including six one-off Centennial Awards. The night aptly recognised and celebrated exceptional engineers and engineering excellence across the Auckland Branch. A 2018 centennial event series looks at iconic Auckland structures designed and constructed since the Branch’s inception – the Town Hall, the Harbour Bridge, the Art Gallery, the Sky Tower, Grafton Bridge and the Waterview Tunnel. Utilities don’t miss out, with other events focusing on major infrastructure projects including WaterCare’s Central Interceptor, the City Rail Link and the future of the country’s electricity network. The Branch is also hoping to break the 10,000-member mark. “Ten thousand members in 100 years,” muses Geof. “Yes, making the numbers line up. Engineers like that sort of thing.” >>


EG 4/2018

Engineering sustainability

Talk about complexity. With a combination of planning restrictions, designated rail alignment and optimal road access to the site came the challenge of locating the tower on top of the tunnels, with basement ramps wedged in between. Clever application of below-ground transfer trusses across a number of the tower’s supporting columns allows for structural stability and avoidance of ramps and tunnels below, yet still achieves the desired scale and financial viability. Differing design life requirements for an IL2 tower (50 years) and the IL3 tunnels (100 years) also presented a problem. There was the risk that a damaged tower above ground could potentially compromise the tunnels below. Designing the tower for higher loads mitigated that risk—at greater cost but with benefits of increased safety margins, greater resilience and improved performance in

One of the most significant wastewater projects in Auckland’s history is a new 13-kilometre wastewater tunnel that addresses the need for greater infrastructure resilience. It also addresses the city’s population growth, with an expected 740,000 more people in the next 30 years. Importantly, it will also reduce wet weather overflows by 80 percent, bringing much-needed water-quality improvement to the city’s harbours and waterways. Introducing Watercare’s $1.2 billion Central Interceptor, a 4.5-metre internal diameter tunnel that will thread its way south through the city. It lies at depths of up to 110m, travelling from Western Springs in the north to the treatment plant at Mangere.

A straight-line tunnel was never going to work. From the outset the project has been a complex, threedimensional proposition. There are basalt rock fields to avoid and a stretch of seabed to bore. Plus there’s a plethora of stormwater/wastewater overflow points to connect with, numerous existing sewer link-ups to accommodate, a gravity tunnel gradient requirement and all of these at depths considered deep by world standards. A straight-line tunnel was never going to work. Tunnelling directly under properties in some of the most built up areas of the city means regulatory and land-owner approvals. The project involves 16 access shafts that are up to 65m deep. It requires the collective engineering firepower of internationally experienced experts alongside some serious stakeholder engagement. Construction is expected to start in 2019 with completion six years later. However, timing could change due to a tight construction market and the fact this is no ordinary build. One thing is certain though: Aucklanders will breathe a collective sigh of relief at restored water quality and beach access.

a seismic or large-wind event. Allowing for relative movement between multiple interconnected and covered laneway buildings required an extraordinary level of seismic joint detailing. This was carried through both structural elements and the façade, the roof and myriad architectural finishes. Some of Commercial Bay’s retail stores are expected to open this year.

Engineering traffic

Billed as the biggest mixed-use development in Auckland’s CBD, Commercial Bay is set to transform an entire Waitemata waterfront city block. Incorporating two existing office buildings, the $681 million development comprises a new world class 39-storey office tower, a European laneway-style retail and hospitality complex

In the city’s western suburbs, a 2.5-kilometre portion of State Highway 16, from Lincoln to Westgate, is being given a three-year, $110 million facelift. Due for completion in 2019, and driven by predicted population growth in those suburbs and increased traffic on the Western Ring Route, it’s the final project of the SH16 north western upgrades. There are measures in place to help manage traffic and increase the reliability of travel times. These include additional motorway lanes, dedicated bus lanes and improved interchanges. There are three bridge replacements and improvements include a shared-use path for cyclists and walkers and on-road cycle lanes (aka Copenhagen Lanes). A three-kilometre extension of the Northwestern Cycleway will allow cyclists to pedal 16km to the heart of the CBD. New wetlands will treat stormwater run-off, providing a much-needed wildlife habitat and increasing public amenity value. Keeping the motorway network going called for some creative thinking from civil engineers. For example, the issue of raising and upgrading two over-motorway bridges. In a staged and highly-planned process, a new half-bridge structure was built alongside the old, and traffic flow switched to the new bridge once it was complete. The redundant structure was demolished during night closures, and the “missing” bridge element was constructed. Finally, the two new portions were joined, or stitched, together during more night closures. The

and a basement car park, all constructed concurrently with, and on top of, two City Rail Link tunnels.

process, while intricate and complex, effectively delivered a new bridge.

Engineering transformation





Thanks to these contributing engineers and their colleagues: Auckland Branch Centenary: Geof Stewart CMEngNZ CPEng IntPE(NZ), Auckland Branch Chair. The Central Interceptor: Shayne Cunis FEngNZ, Executive Programme Director Central Interceptor, Watercare Services Ltd. Commercial Bay: Chris Mackenzie CMEngNZ CPEng IntPE(NZ), Business Development Director, Holmes Consulting. Western Ring Route/SH16 Lincoln to Westgate: Tim Christensen CMEngNZ CPEng, Project Manager, NZTA.




1. Auckland Town Hall, as seen from Queen St, 1922. Photo: Ref1/2-046200-G, Alexander Turnbull Library 2. Boring of Auckland's new wastewater tunnel, the Central Interceptor. Image: Watercare 3. Render of Commercial Bay precinct. Image: Holmes Consulting 4. Upgrade of the motorway bridge at Royal Road. Photo: NZTA

Snapshot The Week of Engineering’s free public expos in August in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch drew crowds of thousands who were wowed by the interactive learning experiences on offer. Here, a budding young engineer at Wellington’s Shed 6 shows determination and a steady hand with 3D printing.



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41 In engineers we trust

42 On hollowed ground

45 How to get disputed invoices paid

46 Assessments: why and how?

Best practice

38 Tunnel visionaries


EG 4/2018

Tunnel visionaries

Opinion Bill Newns is a Chartered Member of Engineering New Zealand and the founding President of the New Zealand Tunnelling Society. A Cornishman, he and his family have lived in New Zealand since 2005 after working on major tunnels in several countries. Bill recently joined KiwiRail as a Project Director for Northland Rail, after 12 years with Aurecon.

Photo: NZTA

Best practice



Tunnelling is a big business and while it’s enjoying a resurgence in New Zealand, more people are needed to meet resource shortages. It’s a dynamic time for tunnelling in New Zealand with unprecedented levels of major new projects underway. In Auckland there’s the Central Interceptor (see p32) and the City Rail Link. There’s other, smaller-scale tunnelling going on and much work to be done in unlocking the value of existing assets. Globally, tunnelling and underground development is a US$100 billion per annum industry and there’s a huge demand for tunnellers. There are resource shortages across the industry and following the recent losses by the country’s largest construction company, concerns margins are unsustainable or at least insufficient to allow the industry to grow to close a widening infrastructure gap. The New Zealand Tunnelling Society (NZTS) wants to continue the momentum of the country’s tunnelling projects, grow the skill base of our tunnellers, and encourage more people into the sector. This gives rise to three initiatives. Firstly, promoting the advantages of tunnelling at the early planning stages. Secondly, setting up tunnel projects for success during design and contract procurement and thirdly, delivering successful tunnel projects. To develop the technical skill base in New Zealand we’ll be offering free NZTS membership to students and we’re planning more collaboration with universities regarding student theses and project-related studies. Interestingly, an MSc course in tunnelling recently began in Queensland, like those offered in the United States and Europe. Tunnelling has an exciting future and the projects are increasing in scale and complexity.

As tunnellers, our principal focus is risk management. At an individual level, this requires competency development to enable the proper assessment of risks. At a project level, risk management requires a clear understanding of the roles and responsibilities of the client, designer and contractor before commercial risks are allocated under contract to minimise the potential for them to be under- or overestimated.

For the tunnelling sector, the most important legislation is the Health and Safety at Work (Mining Operations and Quarrying Operations) Regulations 2016 and we recently received notice of an implementation review. We consider there is room for improvement because while there are common risk elements, there are also significant differences between civil engineering tunnelling and mining in relation to, for example, the use of tunnel boring machines and the rehabilitation of existing tunnels. We look forward to engaging with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), our members and other industry organisations such as MinEx in the review. Before the NZTS was formed in 2017 we were part of the Australasian Tunnelling Society (ATS). However, our activities grew and we reinvigorated our relationship

size and our relationship with the ATS is as healthy as ever. Many of our members regularly work in both countries, given the current scale of tunnelling in Australia. We’re a member of the International Tunnelling Association (ITA) and our objectives are aligned – to promote the sustainable development and use of underground space. Our committee has representatives from industry regulator WorkSafe, major national infrastructure clients, major contractors and senior members of leading engineering design firms that promote, design and construct tunnels in New Zealand. We hold regular technical sessions and an annual short course, and form working groups to share knowledge and advocate for improvement by publishing good practice guides. As a Society we share experiences – good and bad – because this builds confidence in our ability to overcome the significant challenges involved with tunnelling. In New Zealand, tunnelling is integrally linked to the development of infrastructure and economic growth, involving rail and road, water supply, wastewater and hydropower. But there have been good and bad times. For example, in 2006, when we were first promoting large diameter Earth Pressure Balance Machines for a three-lane Waterview Connection tunnel, many highlighted the history of tunnelling commercial losses and disputes. It was hard to argue against at the time, but since then there have been several project successes with the opening of the Waterview Connection last year arguably the most notable. I believe the success of Waterview is attributable to an enlightened delivery model (the NZTA’s competitive alliance), the skilled use of proven

with Engineering New Zealand and set up the NZTS to provide a local focus. It has already grown to twice its previous

technology utilised at Project Hobson and Project Rosedale, great leadership and – unavoidably – a lot of hard work.

As tunnellers, our principal focus is risk management.

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Best practice


In engineers we trust JENNIFER BLACK

While digital disruption and advances in technology are creating new areas where engineers must apply sound ethical judgement, the principles remain the same.

“sunshine test”, which the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers uses. “They say if you would have any reservation in discussing the matter under consideration with a wider group of people

Blame the engineers Engineers need to be mindful that the Code of Ethical Conduct applies to individual engineers, Dirk says. He gives the example of the Volkswagen

Digital disruption and emerging technologies have created new ethical challenges for engineers, says University of Canterbury College of Engineering Academic Dean Dirk Pons FEngNZ CPEng IntPE(NZ), but these differ depending on an engineer’s practice area. When it comes to ethics and technology, Dirk says a big challenge for today's engineers, regardless of their field, is confidentiality of information and all engineers need to be more mindful. “This is so much more difficult to preserve now that documents and communication are predominantly digital.” He cautions about the ease of reproducing digital documents, citing the case of a senior engineer at Google’s truck navigation unit who went to work for Uber, taking a memory stick of files from one employer to the next. “It’s just a couple of minutes sitting at the computer whereas 20 years ago that would have meant a whole day or more standing over a photocopier, which would have been noticed.”

in public, in other words bringing it out into the sunshine, if you have any misgivings, then you need to reconsider.” The more complex the decisions an engineer makes, the more care is required, Dirk says. He adds the reason complexity arises in engineering is not primarily because of the mathematical complexity of a problem, but because of the need to include elements such as multiple stakeholders, safety considerations, or different phases of the project life cycle. “There’s no way of including all of those aspects in some kind of spreadsheet – one cannot convert all of those things into financial utility and then try and optimise them using an algorithm. As a consequence, ethics is the mechanism that as engineers we use to balance the competing priorities of the different parts – stakeholders, users, clients, society as a whole – and how they’re affected by the works that we undertake.”

emissions scandal which began in 2015. Volkswagen’s diesel engines were unable to meet the stricter emissions control requirements of the US, but the company wanted to be part of that market. So, tens of thousands of cars sold in the US were fitted with “defeat devices”, designed to circumvent emissions tests. When the scandal came to light, Volkswagen’s management initially blamed “a couple of software engineers”. But it transpired management had known about the deception all along and the engineers had protested about the use of the software. The scandal cost Volkswagen US$25 billion with consequences including jail sentences, fines to US regulators and a widespread ban on diesel engines in city centres. Dirk says large engineering organisations have a contract with society. “They have a freedom to operate and implicit in that is that they will not do harm to society. When that trust is shown to be misplaced it causes a sense of outrage. It causes legislation to be applied and it permanently limits the actions of those particular firms.”

The importance of ethics in engineering For engineers carrying out their everyday roles, ethics provides a set of principles to underpin decision making. “That’s where it becomes difficult because the Code of Ethical Conduct is not a long set of rules but rather a set of principles that have to be applied using an element of judgement to the context that

A Kiwi context Dirk says New Zealand has a strong emphasis on health and safety, and environmental considerations, which come with their own ethical challenges. Engineers must serve the needs of employers, clients and their customers when developing technical systems that add value. But they must also give thought to the natural environment and the concept of kaitiakitanga or stewardship for future generations. Then there’s the health and safety of

the practitioner finds themself in.” He recommends engineers apply the

people, covering not only those building the structure, but all those who will use it.

This September, all Engineering New Zealand members will commit to upholding our Code of Ethical Conduct over the next year. You’ll also declare you’ve done 40 hours of professional development in the preceding year. Find out more at


EG 4/2018

On hollowed ground

Opinion Nicholas Brooke is an Auckland-based structural engineer at Compusoft Engineering, specialising in the effect of earthquakes on reinforced and prestressed concrete structures. He is Vice President of the Concrete New Zealand Learned Society, a member of the SESOC management committee and Chair of the review committee for the Part C5 technical guidelines for assessment of reinforced concrete buildings.

Best practice



Once-popular hollowcore floors have lost

while also revealing unexpected forms

favour in new buildings, especially after recent earthquakes. How to assess them, and how to improve their capacity, are proving hot topics. Hollowcore floors, comprising an in-situ concrete topping placed on precast concrete planks, have been a common feature of New Zealand buildings since the 1980s. Their long span made them an economical choice. This popularity is evidenced by the fact that more than 1.5 square kilometres of hollowcore planks have been manufactured in New Zealand. However, their popularity has waned recently in new construction due to increasing awareness of their limitations and the need for more complex engineering to mitigate this. Hollowcore planks are less robust and more prone to failing in a brittle manner than other commonly used reinforced concrete elements. Research undertaken at the University of Canterbury during the 1990s and early 2000s revealed the risk hollowcore floors could pose during an earthquake. While changes to design standards resulting from this research have improved the resilience of hollowcore floors constructed during the past decade, more vulnerable floors remain common in older buildings throughout the country. This was brought into stark relief by the earthquakes that affected Christchurch during 2010 and 2011 and Wellington during 2013 and 2016. In particular, the 14 November 2016

of damage. The question of how to address earthquake-damaged hollowcore floors has since been prominent amongst structural engineers and is the subject of ongoing research at the University of Auckland. This research has been hampered by the difficulties of reproducing the vagaries of 1980s construction in the laboratory, and consequent ongoing difficulty reproducing some types of damage observed in the field. The current inability to determine the risk posed by earthquake-damaged hollowcore floors is a significant problem for building owners generally, with insurers becoming increasingly aware of the financial risk posed by older hollowcore floors. It’s hoped that forthcoming opportunities to test elements from genuine damaged buildings may provide the answers engineers need. Engineers have also become increasingly aware of the limitations of older hollowcore floors due to an increased focus on rating and improving existing buildings. The problem of dealing with earthquake-damaged hollowcore floors is currently centred on buildings in Wellington. However, structural engineers nationwide have for some time been grappling with the need to assess the capacity (%NBS or percentage of new building standard) of existing hollowcore floors relative to the capacity required for new buildings. Assessing hollowcore floors is particularly challenging due to their

the Structural Engineering Society New Zealand (SESOC) and other technical societies have been contributing to a working group funded by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE). Chaired by the University of Auckland’s Professor Ken Elwood, Director of QuakeCoRE, it has been tasked with improving and simplifying guidance on assessment of existing precast concrete floors, including those constructed with hollowcore planks. The updated guidance is expected to be released for public comment this year. Assessment of the capacity of an existing building is often only half the answer. The other half focuses on how to improve the capacity so that it’s closer to that required for a new building. To date, little research has been undertaken to validate approaches employed for improving the performance of hollowcore floors. This means there is uncertainty about the most efficient ways to meet building owners’ requirements. A proposal to undertake the research required to resolve this uncertainty has been developed by the University of Auckland in collaboration with the University of Canterbury and BRANZ, with support provided by Concrete New Zealand Learned Society, SESOC, and the New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering (NZSEE). Provided the required funding is obtained, guidance on improving existing precast concrete floors should become available to the structural

Kaikōura earthquake confirmed the vulnerability of older hollowcore floors

complex behaviour and susceptibility to numerous different types of failure.

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Over the past year, representatives of

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Best practice


How to get disputed invoices paid MADISON DOBIE

At some point in their career, every engineer will probably be faced with a client who disputes or refuses to pay an invoice. How can you make someone pay an invoice they don’t want to pay?

Withholding the PS4

Agreement for failing to pay you for the services set out in the Agreement. This could encourage the client to pay the disputed or outstanding invoice(s). But, if you take this step, your client may argue that you have breached the Agreement by failing to perform the services as agreed. If this happens, you will find yourself in a dispute. The Agreement specifies that both parties must attempt to settle all disputes in good faith through mediation. If you have withheld the PS4, you could sour the relationship between you and your client, making it difficult to resolve the matter through mediation. The Agreement specifies that it can be terminated if either party materially breaches its terms. if your client terminates the Agreement, they may seek relief against you in the Courts or Disputes Tribunal (only for claims up to $15,000 or $20,000 by agreement between the parties). Courts have a very wide discretion of the type of relief that can be awarded for breach of an agreement. If you counterclaim that your client is also in breach of the Agreement, the Court will assess whether there has been any breach of the Agreement. They will look at whether the breaches are

You may choose to withhold the PS4 on the basis that your client is in breach of the

material and consider what (if any) relief is appropriate. This could be a stressful,

When an invoice is in dispute or the client refuses to pay, it can seem like the logical next step is to withhold whatever services are outstanding until the invoice is paid. We often receive complaints about structural engineers withholding a Producer Statement PS4. This step can lead to a breakdown in relationships and potentially complicated legal ramifications. We encourage engineers to use either the ACENZ and Engineering New Zealand Short Form Agreement for Consultant Engineers or the equivalent long form for all their engagements. This article is based on the Short Form Agreement (the Agreement). If a client disputes an invoice for services under the Agreement, you could choose either to withhold the PS4 to encourage payment or release the PS4 and seek to recover the amount. Each action has different consequences.

time-consuming, costly and complicated process. Releasing the PS4 Alternatively, you may choose to release the PS4 to encourage your client to pay the invoice. If the client still doesn't pay, you could take steps to recover the outstanding fees from your client utilising the dispute resolution provisions in the Agreement. You would need to prove that the debt is owed under the Agreement and that there was no valid basis for your client to withhold payment. This scenario may in some respects be simpler, cheaper and quicker because the issue will focus solely on outstanding fees rather than the provision of the PS4. Madison Dobie is Legal Advisor at Engineering New Zealand. This article is intended to be used as general guidance rather than specific legal advice. If you think you may have a disputed invoice, we recommend you discuss your situation with your lawyer before taking action.


EG 4/2018

Assessments: why and how? No one really likes to be assessed and the process can seem rather daunting. Engineering New Zealand’s Registrar Peter Lourié explains why and how we assess, and how to avoid bottlenecks. Why do we have an assessment process rather than an exam? An exam is quite good for finding out someone’s knowledge. However, if you want to find out someone’s professional performance, then a discussion about their work will give you a better idea than an exam. We want to be sure that someone can repeatedly do something and call on that knowledge and apply it. How does someone apply? If someone wants to become a Chartered Member or a Chartered Professional Engineer, they go to the My Membership area of our website, log in and start the application process. There’s a repository for learning records, their continuing professional development (CPD) and work records – jobs they’ve done that have involved complex engineering activities and problems. When they’re ready, they can submit their assessment. How have members described the process? Our new process that came in last October has proven to be a lot clearer for members – it’s easier and less repetitive. We’re always going to get people who don’t like being reassessed but the six-year cycle for the Chartered Professional Engineers is a legal requirement to help ensure continued current competency.

How do we make the process more rigorous? Through the training we’re giving our assessors. We recently trained about 60 new practice area assessors to make sure they’re all assessing to the same standard. The only variable you want to allow for in a competence assessment is the candidate. Everything else needs to be the same. Why does the assessment process take so long? Once we receive the information, we need to find a practice area assessor in the candidate’s engineering discipline and assign an assessment panel. Also, the candidate’s referees need to provide a response – that’s often one of the sticking points that can cause delays, so it’s a good idea to brief referees in advance. Issues around the quality of the work that is submitted can be problematic. It’s helpful for a candidate to talk to another Chartered Member or Chartered Professional Engineer who has gone through our assessments successfully. This means talking about the level of work that needs to be provided, because sometimes what is submitted is not complex engineering. If we can’t see complex engineering, this is a problem.

understand what complex engineering is, so we have guidance on what complexity means. CPEng has a high pass rate in part because candidates are ready. They’ve gone through university and they’ve been out in the real world long enough to have experience and apply their knowledge in complex engineering. When they come to our assessment, it’s a professional conversation about what has worked, what hasn’t and how they’ve used their engineering ability to solve a complex engineering problem or activity. When it comes to assessment, what is one thing you wish all members knew? While it is an assessment, it really should be viewed as a professional conversation beween peers. They’re an engineer, the people having this discussion with them are engineers and it involves talking about their engineering work and what they do.

In what circumstances would someone fail the assessment process? It doesn’t happen a lot – maybe 10 people a year out of roughly 250. The reasons are generally people either not keeping

How will “Bodies of Knowledge and Skills” change the assessment process? We’re developing additional assessment processes around Bodies of Knowledge and Skills (BOKS). We don’t want them to be too restrictive to entry, but we do want to ensure public safety. We need to find out to what level and how we should assess knowledge in the BOKS – is it some sort of test, or an exam? Any new BOKS assessment needs a clear focus on safety-critical engineering pertinent to that practice field. How we incorporate this

up with their CPD or not doing complex engineering. Sometimes they don’t

into our assessment process is a work in progress.

50 Big picture power

53 C-Suite

54 The secret life of engineers

56 Bedside table

57 Review

59 Obituaries

60 Engineering Genius


49 Day in the life

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ay in the life

While his name's synonymous with the ACT Party, and for some, Dancing with the Stars, many New Zealanders mightn’t know David Seymour is a qualified electrical engineer. He started his career as an engineer, but before long he moved to Canada to work as a policy analyst for a private sector think tank. He’s one of five engineers in his family and one of two in Parliament (the other is Nick Smith MP FEngNZ). David was elected to Parliament in September 2014.

11:30 Deal with media on the issue


13:00 Get back to Parliament, prepare

Wake up, get to the airport, have breakfast, board plane.

08:00 Arrive at Parliament and meet my EA, press secretary and policy advisor. Work out where the media opportunities are, our meetings, how I’m voting on bills and whether I’ll speak on them or ask questions in the House.

09:00 Select Committee. The agenda varies, but may include examining legislation, hearing public submissions, a presentation for the Treasury or Reserve Bank Governor, or grilling a Minister on spending in their portfolio.

11:00 Meet with lobbyists for interest groups who might have a view on a particular issue. Some people say lobbying is dirty, but if, for example, the electricity industry didn’t have people explaining to MPs how the electricity market works and how it might be impacted by legislation, who would be doing it?

of the day. Aim to get ACT’s view reported accurately and consistently so voters know what we offer.

12:00 Take the team for lunch. I am proud to have good people in my office and I like to stay connected with them. It’s a time to talk strategy, what's going on in the political world and what we need to do next.

for Question Time if I'm asking a question. Check how the media cycle is going before doing the “bridge run” where MPs walk the gauntlet of journalists .

14:00 The House begins with Question Time. If I have a question I’m focused on asking it then getting any new information out to traditional and social media. If not, I’m alternating between reading the news or policy documents or replying to emails and watching the circus unfold around me.

15:00 Grab an afternoon caffeine boost on the way back to the office, or stay in the House if I need to speak on a bill. Record a video on the day/week’s political happenings for my social media channels.

David Seymour MEngNZ Based in: Auckland Role: MP for Epsom, Leader of the ACT Party Education: Bachelor of Engineering (Electrical and Electronic), University of Auckland, 2006

been a record number of submissions and shepherding it through the lawmaking process is a major task.

17:00 Meet with the cross-party team working to get the Bill passed. Work out how MPs are thinking of voting and why, with the aim of making sure we maintain a majority in support.


The House rises for dinner break. Go to a function hosted by, perhaps, Engineering New Zealand. Ask people what they think the Government is doing right and wrong, how we could improve as an opposition party.


16:00 Read public submissions on the

The House resumes. If I’m not speaking in the House I’ll stay in my office and read up on upcoming legislation and potential policy ideas for the future, return calls or make calls to raise money for the Party.

End of Life Choice Bill which I sponsor that would legalise assisted dying for those

22:00 The House rises for the day –

who are ill and suffering and want choice about when and how they die. There have

time to go to my apartment.


EG 4/2018

Being able to create a 3D model in your mind is so much faster than you can process text.



The ability to create complex 3D construction models in his head has proven an asset for a Christchurch hydraulic engineer who uses his dyslexia to his advantage. Marc Jensen’s parents suspected he was dyslexic after he swallowed a poisonous seed during his childhood in Zimbabwe. “I had a paralysed tongue and needed speech therapy and they realised I had to be taught differently.” Officially diagnosed at around five years old, Marc benefited hugely from his mother, who is also dyslexic, teaching him after school. “Because she knew how her brain worked, she started picking up early that both my brother and I were highly dyslexic, and my sister mildly. She would teach us through touch, smell and feel. She was an exceptional teacher.” The hydraulic engineer at TM Consultants says most people discover how they learn once they reach university but he had the advantage of discovering his style early on. “With dyslexia you see everything in 3D. If I hear the word ‘horse’ for example, I immediately see a detailed horse running through a field, whilst others see the text or have to consciously conjure the image.” He says that while that’s easy to do for words that have an image associated with them, 60 percent of words do not. “When I was studying in the 90s, I created in my mind scrolling 3D words, so instead of just viewing a word floating in space, I could see it moving and in 3D.” Marc and his family moved to New Zealand in 2004 and he studied engineering at both the University of

suited to his learning style. He approached problem solving in a visual way. For example, when faced with the question: "what is the deflection of a bridge surface and what stiffener can you use to strengthen it?" he'd mentally see a car moving over a bridge. He would model the forces coming out of the wheels and going into the supports of the bridge, then establish the different types of supports or reinforcing in his mind. Marc says that despite the expectation at university to write screeds of notes, he would just listen and create detailed mental images. “They say an image is worth a thousand words, but if you have a video that’s interactive – like 3D virtual reality goggles – you can look around anywhere in time and space and see exactly what’s happening.” While coming up with a different solution was marked down at university, Marc says this approach has been very helpful in the construction industry. “There’s no doubt about it, it’s a strength. Being able to create a 3D model in your mind is so much faster than you can process text. I’m able to spin the whole thing around and discover chinks in the armour. “If people are struggling to come up with an answer, often they will ask me and I’ll give them an answer that’s not something they would have thought of, not in textbooks.” For example, on one commercial development with substantial areas of glazing, he and colleagues reduced the typical insulation thicknesses and requirements for

Canterbury and Christchurch Polytechnic. He found the polytechnic’s more practical, visual approach better

very high performing glazing, while fully complying with the Building Code.


EG 4/2018


About dyslexia

“We then balanced the insulation throughout the development to better equalise the heating and cooling loads for the HVAC system. This saved our client expense and the reduction of insulation thicknesses had the additional effect of increasing the rentable floor area.” Marc says in his role as a hydraulic engineer, when he gets a client calling with a problem such as a boggy site that needs a wastewater system, he goes on Google Earth and “I turn it into a 3D image in my mind”. “I then take all the theoretical knowledge that I’ve got, such as interflow [water flowing between different layers of soil], different levels of treatment, and the different land application systems, and I can imagine how the entire site works together. I can then look at all the other services and easements and create a mental 3D model of where the effluent field needs to go.”

Dyslexia is usually a genetic, inherited condition affecting around one in 10 New Zealanders. It’s a processing difficulty that makes it harder for people to learn to read, write or do number work. While dyslexia can present learning challenges, big-picture skills like problem solving, creativity, high-level conceptualisation and interconnected reasoning can be real strengths. People with dyslexia can often perceive the world from many perspectives with their unique visual-spatial thinking. This can be an advantage in fields such as engineering, the arts, design, leadership, entrepreneurship, sciences, business and technology. Famous people with dyslexia include Sir Richard Branson, Whoopi Goldberg, Jamie Oliver, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightly and Kiwi Academy Award winner Sir Richard Taylor KNZM.

He says when designing duct work, he can place himself in the 3D model in his mind, move duct work around and analyse the vibration from the air unit coming through as airwaves and bouncing off different structures. “Dyslexia is not a disability. The only time it ever holds you back is when you yourself are learning about it, but once you’ve figured that out and how to deal with it, you can be so much better than anyone thought you could be.”

World Dyslexia Awareness Day is 4 October.

1. 50 Victoria St, Christchurch, where Marc completed energy modelling, hydraulic design, H1 compliance and helped obtain government grants. 2. Marc worked on designs for underfloor heating at Orana Wildlife Park to keep gorillas warm in winter.







What, and where, did you study? When I left school I worked fulltime for an airline and studied accounting and business out of hours at the Wellington Polytechnic and Massey University. While I'm CEO of an engineering firm, I'm not an engineer. I became a CEO through my career in Human Resources, management and operating my own businesses. It continues to be a lifetime of learning and I don’t think we ever graduate! What has had most influence on your career to date? Working within a range of industries and positions, I observed the inefficiency of those in management and how it should not be done – there had to be a better way. How long have you been CEO and why did this role appeal to you? For five years. The role encompasses my skills and passion for effective management and a happy, balanced work environment.

executive officers for every department so the CEO wears many hats. I bring a diversity to my present career that I can draw on to bring something different to each of those hats. How does your location impact on the type of work you do? I travel a lot and technology allows me to work anywhere. It's interesting that each of our offices, Wanaka, Christchurch, Queenstown and, from October, Invercargill, has slightly different workstreams depending on their location. These encompass very high-end residential work, commercial new builds, forensic earthquake assessments and heritage projects.

What are the best, and the most challenging, aspects of being a CEO of a smaller organisation? We have grown to 30 staff, which is a nice size to keep things personal. Every

Your company is a founding partner for the Diversity Agenda, which aims to get 20 percent more women in engineering and architecture roles by 2021. Why did you decide to support this initiative? Batchelar McDougall Consulting has always had an inclusive, equal and flexible ethos. Currently, 17 percent of our engineers and 20 percent of our Board are women. We want to make sure we retain the best, whether male or female. We hear about gender inequality in many industries

member of the team is important. The company isn’t big enough to have

and want to ensure ours is not regarded in this light. Women make excellent

Bev Batchelar Based in: Wanaka/Christchurch Role: CEO of Batchelar McDougall Consulting

engineers. We want to ensure the pipeline is supplied with good people to make excellent engineers and retain them to the top, in management and as directors. How is your company addressing technological changes such as increased automation and artificial intelligence? We are actively seeking knowledge and building the foundation blocks ready for change. We already openly embrace technology and apply it to our everyday business wherever we can. Who is the engineer of the future? A problem solver, assisted by technology. They will have a wide knowledge base but a sound understanding of fundamental engineering principles which can be applied to diverse workstreams. What key attribute do you look for in job seekers? Passion.

EG 4/2018


The secret life of engineers

Kris Sebro MEngNZ Based in: Hamilton Role: Master of Engineering student, University of Waikato Education: BSc (Mechanical Engineering), The University of the West Indies, 2009; Master of Business Administration (Sustainable Energy Management), The University of the West Indies, 2016


Kris Sebro MEngNZ moved to Hamilton from Trinidad and Tobago in January to pursue a Master’s degree in engineering at the University of Waikato. In addition to his studies, he’s inventing a personal flying device, which he has entered in the Boeing-

Would people need a licence to operate your craft? Although the craft will be able to fly autonomously, it is expected that the Civil Aviation Authority and general aviation governing legislation would require some

backed GoFly competition. Kris hopes his machine will be available to the public in 2025. And while a lot of the plans are still secret, he lets EG in on some of the details.

sort of licensing and training for people using the personal flight system.

Tell us a bit about your invention. It’s a modular platform system aimed at revolutionising the personal drone flight and transport industry. While the prototype craft will be exposed, the completed model will be fully enclosed, with aircraft-grade aluminium and carbon fibre composite materials used for the main structure. It’s designed to ferry a person and luggage for 60km, using vertical landing and take-off. The craft’s external height would be around 152cm and width is a maximum of 259cm. The passenger would be positioned in a lounging position for maximum comfort while in transit. How much will it cost to buy? Once mass produced, it should be about $20,000 to $30,000.

Where in the process are you? The preliminary designs and theoretical models have been completed and we’re in a pre-seed phase for funding. We’re also working to secure a permanent space for detailed engineering design and prototype assembly and pursuing partnerships for the engineering, construction and long-term funding. I'm currently looking to expand the team with more engineers, corporate sponsors and other people interested in getting involved. When do you work on the project? Weekends are reserved for working on the project, as is any free/slow time not working on school projects. There’s a lot of work to be done and a strict timeline. Innovation is a funny thing – ideas strike you at any place and time so I always have a notepad to record any ideas that cross my mind.

How does it work? It will be intuitive to operate. Fly-by-wire technologies (meaning a semi-automatic, typically computer-regulated system for controlling aircraft flight) will mitigate dangerous pilot input and collision avoidance systems are incorporated to mitigate in-air and landing collisions. The safety systems ensure that in the event of full systems failure, the craft could land safely in an unpowered, unguided state.

Is this your first invention? I have worked on a variety of concepts and innovations that stemmed from the InnoCentive and HeroX online platforms, websites that connect companies with technological challenges with innovators and inventors around the world. I have been successful (ie awarded financial compensation) for previous innovations, however due to confidentiality clauses I

What speed will your craft reach? It will be able to exceed 100 knots.

can’t talk about these. This is the largest and most demanding project that I’ve undertaken.


Innovation is a funny thing – ideas strike you at any place and time so I always have a notepad to record any ideas that cross my mind.

When did you first become interested in the idea of personal flying machines? I have always loved the idea of flying as a child (what kid doesn’t?) but I never pursued the idea due to the lack of venues available for the development, and the lack of technical and financial support available in the Caribbean. Have you ever tried flying an aircraft? I have experience with model aircrafts (home built) but not actual aircrafts. Are there any specific advantages to inventing products in New Zealand? New Zealand is a great place to innovate. The culture of approachability and friendliness lends to ease in networking and meeting key individuals who are willing to help or get involved with the project. The high level of expertise and passion for technology and innovation is evident through the rate of adoption of new technologies.

B 56

EG 4/2018

edside table

Engineering for advocacy best sums up Professor Regan Potangaroa’s career of nearly 35 years, which has spanned 26 countries. He has carried out more than 200 humanitarian deployments with the United Nations, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and international non-governmental organisations utilising his professional, design, academic and research experience. He’s just returned from working with the UN Agency for Refugees UNHCR on the Rohingya Emergency Response in Bangladesh.

Professor Regan Potangaroa CMEngNZ Based in: Wellington Role: Professor of Architectural Science, School of Architecture, Victoria University of Wellington Education: Bachelor of Engineering (Civil), University of Canterbury, 1977; Master of Engineering, University of Canterbury, 1979; Master of Architecture, Victoria University of Wellington, 1984; PhD (Architecture-Engineering), James Cook University, Townsville Australia, 2002; Master of Business Administration, James Cook University, Townsville Australia, 2002

What’s on your bedside table? Books, my reading glasses, my old iPhone 5 (alarm and torch), my diary and pen, and a light. When I’m in the field there’s also my UN ID tag, passport and local currency in a bulldog clip.

Bangladesh: one is rather cynical while the other is expansive. A bit of both helps me. Which group of engineering professionals would find these books helpful? What I’m reading could be useful for the “reflective practitioner”. There are three engineering types in the humanitarian sector. Firstly, the technologists who are up to five years out of university. The technologist plus is five to 15 years out, then there’s the reflective practitioner. The first would say the concrete has to be a minimum 20 MPa. The second would say 20 MPa, but that 10 MPa is useful and can be workable. The reflective practitioner would ask: why are we using concrete?

How do they help you in your role?

What book has most influenced your work? A Pattern Language by Christopher Alexander et al (1977). It was my first book that cost over $100, which in 1983 was a ridiculously large amount to pay for a book. I took my time and walked around Lambton Quay before buying it at Roy Parsons' book shop. It has more than 250 design patterns that linked what we as engineers build, to the meanings that people take from them, in a way that was timeless and potentially universal. My advocacy career theme, and diversity of experience in 26 countries, has tested these two ideas and found them to

They’re good reality checks and imagination breakouts for the work in

essentially hold. It has allowed me to reach beyond the mathematics of structural

Let’s focus on those books, why did you choose them? Usually it’s many books, mixed with a good dose of reports and theses in various states. At the moment, I’m reading through parts of Breaking the Rules by Alexander Casella and Design Thinking for the Greater Good by Jeanne Liedtka, Randy Salzman and Daisy Azer.





designs to reflect on appropriate spans, location of columns, spatial qualities and flow through buildings, positive and negative space to ultimately create buildings that can “heal”, in addition to keeping the rain out and being otherwise comfortable. It is probably why I am a Professor of Architectural Science attempting to link science and architecture. What work-related books are on your must-read list? Designing Resilience edited by Louise Comfort et al and Latex Concrete Habitat by Albert Knott and George Nez for a bit of weekend fun fabrication. Why motivating People Doesn’t Work by Susan Fowler for some tips on working with people. Engineers can tend to be middle of the road, potentially conservative, old fashioned and almost out of step and plain. We need more colour in many ways and perhaps also with our reading. What do you read that’s not work related? I should really read more trashy material on a whim. Do you prefer traditional books or e-books? I now use a Kindle for my reading. It’s lighter, has access to a large library and

Exactly: How precision engineers created the modern world By Simon Winchester NZ RRP $36.99 Exactly proposes that just one engineering element is central to the advances behind the scientific and industrial revolutions: precision. Author Simon Winchester’s father was a precision engineer and he instilled a love of precision in his son from an early age. Here, the award-winning author covers the history of the pioneering engineers who developed precision machinery. He delves into the origins of the Industrial Age, moves through the development of manufacturing in the early 20th century, then to modern, cutting edge work. Winchester writes in an accessible, almost conversational manner to engage readers, particularly in the expansive and often anecdotal footnotes. The book is packed with details, from the technical through to the personal – who knew the Mr Rolls in Rolls-Royce was little more than a salesman, and the engineers in the machine shop in the early 1900s referred to their creations as “Royces”? With photographs and line drawings to further draw in the reader, Exactly is likely to appeal to a broad range of engineering professionals.

is readily available when I’m in the field. Reviewed by EG Editor Jennifer Black.


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Raymond Francis Meyer

Basil John Wakelin



Emeritus Professor Ray Meyer ONZM DistFEngNZ will be remembered for his service to New Zealand’s engineering profession. He was a member of Engineering New Zealand for 53 years and President from 1982–1983. Ray was born in Rangiora and he graduated from the University of Canterbury in 1953 with a Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical). He then joined the Defence Science Corps and became a Flying Officer in the RNZAF, then gained a PhD at the University of Manchester. Following this, Ray was posted to Ottawa, Canada, where he worked at the National Research Council of Canada. He spent more than a decade there working on highspeed aeronautics. In 1969 he was appointed Professor and Head of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Auckland. Ray had a distinguished career in mechanical engineering and led the University of Auckland’s Faculty of Engineering through major growth as Dean from 1971–75 and again from 1978–92. In 1997 he was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to education and engineering. In 1998 he was awarded the MacLean Citation and in 1999 he was promoted to Engineering New Zealand’s most prestigious membership class, Distinguished Fellow. Ray was a champion for the commercialisation of technology and a director of UniServices, the commercial arm of the University of Auckland, in its formative years. His support for the Inductive Power Transfer project, which has since become a multimillion dollar business, is an example of the way he supported both the faculty’s teaching and research programmes over many years. The Ray Meyer Research Centre is named in his honour, as is Engineering New Zealand’s Ray Meyer Medal for student design. He also held a range of governance roles, particularly in the energy sector. Ray passed away in July in Auckland and is survived

Basil Wakelin MNZM DistFEngNZ CPEng IntPE was a longserving, loyal servant of Engineering New Zealand and the international engineering community. He gained a Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical) from the University of Canterbury in 1963 and became a member of Engineering New Zealand in 1966. In parallel to a consulting career in mechanical engineering, Basil was a thought leader on accreditation systems, starting with his involvement on the then-IPENZ Examination Committee in 1976. He was involved in the early days of degree accreditation in New Zealand and was later made the foundation Chair of the Standards and Accreditation Board in 2001. He was a founding board member and Deputy Chair of the New Zealand Vice Chancellor’s Committee’s Academic Audit Unit from 1994–2005 and was sought out by other professions to help develop accreditation processes. From 2003 he became heavily involved with the International Engineering Alliance (IEA) and helped develop the international exemplar graduate profile and competence standards adopted by six international engineering mobility agreements. He was involved with international panels that reviewed accreditation systems on behalf of the Washington Accord in Japan, Australia, Germany, Pakistan, Hong Kong and Sri Lanka. Basil was elected Chair of the International Professional Engineers Agreement from 2009 to 2014 and Chair of the International Engineering Alliance Governing Group from 2011 to 2015. In 2013 he was elected a Fellow of Engineers Canada in recognition of his contribution to the IEA. Basil also had a long involvement with Engineering New Zealand’s competence assessment process. In addition, he won some of the organisation’s top awards including the Fulton-Downer Gold Medal. In 2013 he was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to engineering education.

by his wife of 62 years, Dorothy, two children and three grandchildren.

A much-loved husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend, Basil died in Wellington in July.

EG 4/2018


Engineering Genius

On your marks, kitset, go

The hull shell is extremely strong and eliminates the need for bulkheads or other structural elements that would increase weight, build time and material use.

Queenstown-based WattsCraft Ltd designs small, aluminium river jetboat hulls and specialist components, selling hull designs as kits for amateurs and professionals to build. The company began after the Watts brothers couldn’t afford to buy a jetboat, so made one instead. Since 2014, WattsCraft has been selling kitset boat hulls to customers in New Zealand, Australia, the US and Canada, with enquiries from “almost everywhere there are rivers suitable for jet boating�, owner Henry Watts says. Customers tend to build their own jetboats to save money, or as a fun project, completing the fit-out with their preferred engine and pump.

Jetboat hulls are designed using SolidWorks CAD software as a 3D assembly of sheetmetal parts.

The software is also used to flatten curved panels and sharp bends to produce 2D geometry for CNC router cutting.

Customers use MIG and TIG welders to complete the hull.

The hull and its curves are formed as the seams between parts are welded together.

After cutting, any sharp bends are formed using a press brake. The resulting bent aluminium parts are the hull kit ready for the customer to assemble.

Your building could be put to the ultimate test. So we do the same to our steel. At Pacific Steel, we put all our products through a rigorous testing regime. Our dedicated laboratory has full IANZ certification and we’re the only local manufacturer of reinforcing steel to have third party ACRS certification. So when we say our SEISMIC® reinforcing steel is tested to meet the AS/NZS 4671 standard, you can be sure it’s been put to the ultimate test.

A steel bar about to be tested in one of five testing machines at our laboratory in Otahuhu.


Continuing your professional development. Whether you’re a student, emerging professional or Chartered Member, keeping up with today’s fast-changing professional world is a must. Check out our expert-curated courses and webinars on stormwater management, liability, crime prevention through environmental design and much more. If you don’t see what you’re looking for, get in touch so we can create something for your organisation. Learn more at or subscribe to our Learn+ mailing list by reaching out to

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