02 March 2015

Engineering future leaders

  • Barry Potter FIPENZ, Director of Barry Potter Consulting, (left) and David Prentice FIPENZ, Chief Executive of Opus (right).
  • Tania Williams GIPENZ, General Manager of Waste and Water at MWH.
  • Student Members listen in on advice from engineering leaders.

Who better to learn from than those at the top? Late last year, three of New Zealand’s top engineering leaders shared their personal insights into the profession with a group of engineering students. IPENZ’s “Engineering Future Leaders” featured Barry Potter FIPENZ (Director of Barry Potter Consulting), Tania Williams GIPENZ (General Manager of Waste and Water at MWH) and David Prentice FIPENZ (Chief Executive of Opus).

The leaders say engineering has opened many doors for them. ​Barry: “The opportunities and challenges I’ve been given have been phenomenal.” ​David says engineering encompasses a “huge cross-section of very generic skills and capabilities that I don’t think you can get in virtually any other degree”. ​Tania says engineering has allowed her to travel and work in different locations around the world “in a great variety of roles and I’ve really enjoyed the opportunities engineering has provided me”.

The three leaders discussed a range of issues, including how today’s young engineers compare with their generation, how to delegate, and difficult decisions they’ve had to make as leaders.

The students in the audience were comprised of the 2014–2015 Student Engineers New Zealand Council and a select group of students who’d volunteered their time for student activities in 2014.