05 October 2016

Waikato Annual Dinner – Tuesday 20 September 2016


The IPENZ Waikato Annual dinner at the Classic Car Museum in Frankton began with a quick meet and mingle in the diner/foyer, then straight into the museum for a good look around. This is definitely one of the better attractions in and around Hamilton, and we would highly recommend a visit if you haven’t seen it. It is great that the Museum can host functions as well.

What was noticeable with this Annual Dinner was that there was a good mix of ages, ranging from the newly graduated, up to those that have fond memories of the cars that we were viewing. There were the usual familiar faces as well as a lot of new faces too. The museum was definitely an enticement for the mechanical engineers amongst us.

Following the tour, we adjourned back to the diner where we were presented a lovely dinner of roast lamb, roast vegetables, seasonal vegetables and salads, and to finish a lovely desert. Our presenter Leo Tooman joined us for dinner. Leo is currently a Hamilton City Councillor and is standing for Council again in the West ward. Needless to say, politics was a topic of discussion around the dinner table.

Following dinner, Leo presented his topic “How it Was” telling of his various roles through the Traffic and Police Departments. Leo’s presentation noted the traumatic parts of his work – namely those fatal accidents, but how things were changing for the better with large reductions in the road toll and serious accidents. Parallel to that we noted in Leo’s presentation the changes in the technology through the years that helped in the retrieval of information. The keynote was that with education and the improvements being made, the road toll is coming down. But there is still more work to do to make our roads more forgiving (because we do make mistakes) and to help our drivers be more tolerant and courteous. A big thank-you to Leo for taking time out of his schedule to present, and we wish you well for the upcoming elections.

The Annual Dinner was also a fitting opportunity to acknowledge John Richards FIPENZ. John has served for many years, in all of the roles on the IPENZ Waikato Committee. Even when retired, John continued to organise and serve as a judge for science fairs in the Waikato and Bay of Plenty, and also in the Waikato University and Wintec student awards. It is clear that John‘s efforts are always directed towards the betterment of the Engineering Profession. It was very pleasing to see John’s dedication to engineering, and work acknowledged with him being promoted to Fellow. Congratulations John on behalf of the Committee and IPENZ Waikato.

The dinner was also an opportunity to present the IPENZ Student Design Award 2015. This award is for the final year design project of the students at Waikato University. Three groups of student applied for the award this time around. The award went to Carl Cavanagh with his project about wireless braking on bikes, doing away with cables and associated weight. Carl received the IPENZ Waikato Student Design Award Certificate and associated monetary prize.

The Annual Dinner wound up a bit later than previous years, but very entertaining, very educational  very engineering.