28 March 2015

John Charles North (1914–1979)

  • John North, circa 1970. Past Presidents Album, IPENZ.

John North was a New Zealand born engineer. He joined the Hamilton Borough Council as a cadet in 1930 and went on to attend both Auckland and Canterbury University Colleges, graduating Bachelor of Engineering (Civil) in 1936.

After a period of bridge design time in New Zealand Railways, Wellington, he spent four years in Australia in the employment of consulting engineers. North then returned to Hamilton, joining JR Baird in the consulting partnership of Baird and North for four years. North then worked for the Hamilton City Council until 1954.

The consulting field called once again. From a partnership with RL James, North went on to set up his own practice, which grew to become North, Swarbrick, Mills and Westwood. This later merged with Andrew Murray and Partners to become Murray-North Partners Limited – one of the larger consulting groups in New Zealand.

North was a Chair of the Association of Consulting Engineers New Zealand. He was also a New Zealand Institution of Engineers (now the Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand (IPENZ)) Branch Chair, a Councillor and President in 1969–70.

His continuing interest in professional activities led to his involvement on various committees as well as advisory, negotiating and arbitrative roles. A paper on the “Design of cylindrical reinforced concrete surface tanks” won the Furkert Medal in 1954.

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New Zealand Engineering, September 1979, p.220.