02 April 2015

New Zealand engineering's got talent

  • Dinner guests at Te Papa, Wellington.
  • MC for the evening, the comedian Te Radar.
  • Peter McCombs FIPENZ, winner of the Fulton-Downer Gold Medal, with Traffic Design Group colleagues.
  • Janis Swan FIPENZ, winner of the Skellerup Award, with Elizabeth Geddes.

They’re the “rock stars” of engineering and for one night last month they took their place in the spotlight.

This year’s Fellows’ and Achievers’ Dinner recognised those who’d excelled themselves in any walk of the engineering world – whether it be for cutting-edge student design, decades-long commitment to the profession or taking knowledge to new levels. Around 300 guests were at the black-tie function, held at Te Papa in Wellington, to celebrate with the newly named Fellows, Distinguished Fellows, Companions and winners of the nine awards’ categories. Also recognised were IPENZ’s new Professional Development Partners and one tertiary provider which had successfully accredited its engineering programme to internationally benchmarked standards.

Comedian and MC for the night, Te Radar, kept the audience entertained with his offbeat brand of humour, at one point shedding light on the great “West Coast uranium rush of 1955”. In between gags and officiating, video clips screened highlights of IPENZ’s centenary year.  

“It’s been a privilege to serve you during this very special year in the history of IPENZ,” Kevin Thompson DistFIPENZ, outgoing President of IPENZ, says. “This past year has been an opportunity to reflect on where IPENZ has come from and where it’s going.”

Towards the end of the night, a new IPENZ Board was formally inducted, with the Presidential chain of office handed to Andrew Read FIPENZ. “This Dinner is a very special occasion for IPENZ,” Mr Read says. “As engineers we’re very good at seeing the challenges, we occasionally stop to celebrate our successful projects but I’ve observed that we have difficulty patting ourselves on the back. Therefore we mustn’t forget to celebrate our successful people.

“Many challenges are before us and I’m honoured to be in the position to pick up the baton and take responsibility for leading the implementation of some very important changes.”

IPENZ thanks the following sponsors for their support: Opus (Supreme Technical Awards sponsor), GHD (Ray Meyer Medal for Excellence in Student Design sponsor), Beca (Dinner sponsor), SEISMIC MA (Turner Award for Professional Commitment sponsor), and MAS, which brought the SENZ and Emerging Professionals Councils to the event.