16 August 2017

Eremia Tapsell, his scholarship, his success

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The IPENZ Foundation Scholarship provides a great opportunity to school leavers looking for financial support to enter into a career in Engineering. Eremia Tapsell, a scholarship recipient from 2012, has since become a structural Engineer for Beca in Wellington and is now working on the design of the Pekapeka to Otaki section of the new Kapiti Expressway.

Speaking about his current role, Eremia confessed there was some doubt in his mind at first, but after working on projects and putting the theory learnt in his university days he has since changed his mind.

“It’s very rewarding to see the designs you create and develop on a daily basis become something for everyone to enjoy. That’s probably what I get the biggest kick out of”.

The IPENZ Foundation Scholarship helped Eremia to create industry contacts whilst still studying, which has proven invaluable to the development in his career.

“I was invited to attend an IPENZ event while I was studying and from there I managed to network and landed myself a summer job. It also helped significantly to have the scholarship, as others in the industry recognised its value and credibility, which again helped with getting jobs”.

Growing up on a farm in the Bay of Plenty, surrounded by machinery and equipment, engineering piqued his interest from a young age. Family has played a significant role in Eremia’s upbringing, with strong ties to local iwi, Te Arawa and Ngati Pukenga.

“I spent a lot of time on Marae growing up and stayed involved through the Maori students department at the University of Canterbury. After my dad passed away in early 2016, my brothers and I decided to take a more active interest in connecting to our culture, and have started learning Te Reo Maori as a result”.

“I knew more than I initially expected. My sister is fluent in Te Reo so it’s been pretty fun practising with her daughters, who are eight, six and three, as they are more at my level. They also don’t critique me when I mess up which is nice”.

Since beginning his work at Beca in 2016, Eremia has given back some of his time to IPENZ, by becoming an Ambassador for Futureintech – an IPENZ Initiative. This sees Eremia help to inspire the younger generation of Engineer’s in New Zealand, by going into schools and giving talks about his career and what he has achieved so far.

“I really enjoy being able to give back to IPENZ, seeing as they helped me get the kick start I needed. That and it’s a really rewarding feeling to inspire younger children and encourage them into Engineering.”